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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

'O Say...

... can you see...' etc etc

The rattling is over, and, yes, history repeated itself, even in my distorted and limited version:

The boys went in - what was left of the Buffalo soldiers and the supporting regiment...

A pretty forgone conclusion, with the few surviving defenders overwhelmed - but just look at the Buffalo standard bearer! Congressional Medal of Honor ?? Think so. Er, well, perhaps not just at the moment (1898); pity he hadn't been an Imperial sort of chap - the VC or the CdG might have been his.

But somebody's having a good war - look at Teddy, as his men come steaming in on the left flank...

pursuing a part regiment of rallied defenders, and driving them off the board.

Back at the heart of the action, the boys storm the blockhouse, and, what's that above the smoke, the billowing black powder from the US artillery and some small arms...

Yes, Old Glory.

Aaah, all's well that ends well, or, at least, with a nice, new, fresh Empire.

Meanwhile, on the way to the painting table are some more 42mm ACW chaps from Irregular. I so enjoyed my first run of 'A Rattle of Dice' with the shiny 42s, that I ordered up a few more from the good fellows in the City of York, including a few more officers, standard bearers and gunners:

And so, to bed. Well, soon-ish. It's a dark, chilly night here in Mercia, but this was the late evening sky over the rooftops of Old England a few nights ago:

It's from here that I can hear trains running down the mainline, people talking in the quiet street where I've come to rest, and the bells ringing on Wednesday evenings and Sundays from the great tower of St. Mary's. I was interested to read today that Channel 4, here in the UK, intends to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer every morning throughout Ramadan, and throughout the day on its website. How delightful. Interestingly, Channel 4 seems to be trying to play two cards at once, claiming that as Muslims are a minority in the UK then they need special treatment, while at the same time saying that because they are/will soon be the biggest religious group in the country (take your pick on numbers here, no one really seems to know, but 3.8 million seems to be a common number used, of which some 40% want English and Scots law replaced by Sharia law) that majoritarian status also requires that they get special status. For my part (and I care not what anyone thinks), and speaking as an Englishman and someone who has some regard for Christianity, specifically Anglicanism, I don't like the sound of this. If this is going to be the beginning of some kind of 'norm', then all religious groups need to get this type of opportunity. That, of course, would be bloody well impossible - just off the top of my head I can think of lots of genuine minority faiths that would need that access: Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland (the Shorter Catechism to be broadcast during various communion weeks); the Society of Friends (silence, broken only by a lot of talk when someone is moved); the Unitarians (explaining why the Trinity isn't what it might be); the Copts (the majority of Egyptian origin Britons are Copts - I wonder why that might be??)... anyway you get the idea. So, the other options are a) no religion broadcast whatsoever, or b) accept that England has been, since its foundation in AD 927 a Christian country, and that for good and ill, its very nature is interlaced, intertwined and built around Christianity, and that it is part of England's national identity. Church bells - sounds, not words - have been ringing here for time out mind, and it is part of what England is, and who the English have been, and, in some cases, still are. As for Channel 4, they are just being silly. We all know the context, and the overpaid beggars at Channel 4 are throwing oil on the embers.

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