Monday, 14 January 2013

Sir Bradley of Blighty

For those who didn't know, I am from Britain. We are a queer old race, having many traditions with origins unknown even to us indigenous people. 

We queue; a concept alien to a lot of our overseas visitors. I have travelled to far away countries, some of which prefer to gather around the point of interest, creating a semi-circle of pushing and shoving, with varying degrees of efficiency. We have Morris dancers; a cult-like dance of people banging sticks together, again, the origins of which I have no idea or who the hell Mr Morris may have been. In Gloucester we have lunatics who chase rolling cheese down a hill and we burn effigies of a man who tried to blow up parliament over 400 years ago (the latter of which has been described as the only man who entered parliament with honest intentions.)

It's strange but it's home.

One of the more archaic of these traditions is our honours system. The reason I'm writing about this is due to the fact that the Queen's honours list for 2013 has been announced, heavily featuring the athletes of last year's successful Olympic games. 
For those who don't know or aren't of this country, people who are recognised for certain achievements and contributions can be nominated for a title, the some of which being one of various knighthoods which carry the prefix 'sir' or 'dame' for males and females, respectively. I won't get into the intricacies of it, I'm certain it runs pretty deep.

It's hard to believe that in this day and age that we would have any need for knights and dames, especially since the threat of dragons is pretty minimal these days. Neither would I expect any of the recipients to be handy with a sword, or any of the dames to be giving favours to these brave knights before a quest. It seems pretty unnecessary. 

As I mentioned  before, this year's honours list is full of Olympic stars after last year's successes. This has divided people. Some are arguing that the recipients, notably cyclist Bradley Wiggins, are being recognised for 'being good at riding a bike', to quote one keyboard warrior on a news article. Some have claimed that these honours trivialise (an already trivial system) and undermine it.

Personally I have no problems with athletes joining the round table. They have been great ambassadors for their country and have done much more for the national identity of the UK than a good many already on the list. And if they can invest in sports, help out charities and reduce the number of fatties in the country then I can't think of a better use for such a high profile.

Also, there should be cheese-rolling at the next Olympics, it really should be a thing.

Today's tune: Woodkid - Run Boy Run. Used in a few Olympic teaser trailers last year, awesome jungle-like percussion juxtaposed with beautiful strings. These guy should be huge.

Random fact: Cracking knuckles/fingers does not cause arthritis. The noise made is the popping of the bubbles (made up of oxygen, nitrogen and water vapour) in the synovial fluid in your joints.


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