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Tony Grist

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Lapis Lazuli [Nov. 6th, 2016|11:42 am]
Tony Grist
November 5 falling on a Saturday should mean that most people will have had their bonfire parties on the proper day. It was very noisy last night. We don't have many near neighbours but those there are have lots of dosh to spend on fireworks.

Once upon a time the effigies on civic bonfires would have represented Guy Fawkes and the Pope. This year a lot of English towns chose to burn Donald Trump. I wonder if any US presidential candidate (not sitting President but presidential candidate) has had that honour before. It bother me a little that the craziness in the States should be infecting us as well. Yes, Trump is awful- but whenever a person becomes elevated into a universal hate figure you have to wonder who or what he's acting as a decoy for.

Yesterday, briefly, the mass circulation papers were trying to make folk demons out of the three judges who had thwarted the will of the press barons people by ruling that the Referendum wasn't enough to trigger Brexit and the matter needed to be put before parliament. It was ugly. I'm not saying judges should always be respected- or anything like that- but in this instance they were simply doing their job and were almost certainly right in law.

Edgy times, brittle, hysterical; mobs on the prowl...

I got my Yeats down yesterday and re-read "Lapis Lazuli". Everyone knows "The Second Coming" which says "Bad Times are coming" but "Lapis Lazuli" which says "Bad Times are coming and...." is the greater and wiser poem.

[User Picture]From: sorenr
2016-11-06 01:57 pm (UTC)
I generally dislike the idea of burning any person in effigy; it just carries such horrid connotations...

As for the Brexit judges, it rather seems they just did their job. And of course the ruling will be appealed, but regardless of the outcome it seems likely that Brexit will go ahead regardless, though the "hardness" of it might now be up for debate by Parliament. It will be interesting to follow the developments.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-06 04:54 pm (UTC)
Burning effigies on bonfire night is such a long established tradition that I think most Brits no longer see any harm in it...

I think Brexit will go ahead- but slowly- and we'll probably end up with some sort of a compromise. As someone said we're currently half in and by the time the negotiations are over we'll be half out. While all this is going on I expect the EU itself to change. Another financial crisis, the election of Le Pen as French President or any number of other things could serve as game changers.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2016-11-07 08:19 am (UTC)
In Denmark we burn a witch on St. John's Eve bonfires and have done for centuries. It still makes me uncomfortable - and is indeed falling out of favour. The Danish LGBT association actually hosts a St. John's Eve celebration where a closet is burned on the bonfire, and somehow that seems a bit more palatable to me than an effigy of a human being, specific or general.

And yes, things will change in the UK and the EU over the coming years. I sit back, observe and await - much like with the US election.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-11-07 09:22 am (UTC)
Burning a witch- even in effigy- would make me uncomfortable. Partly because it's not that long since we did that sort of thing for real- and partly because of the implied misogyny. Also I used to be a Wiccan.

Here in England we hung witches rather than burning them. Burning was for heretics.
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[User Picture]From: sorenr
2016-11-07 01:47 pm (UTC)
The misogyny and religious intolerance is what gets to me about "burning witches"... It has some serious historical connotations that are deeply unpleasant. The last Danish woman to be burned at the stake for witchcraft was Anne Palles in 1693 (though she was beheaded before being burned.).

(And of course gay men have been burned at the stake in Denmark, too, though fortunately only two to the best of my knowledge.)
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