I became an American, in Lee Harris' terms, when I gave a group of teenage hitchhikers in the Midlands of England (don't ask) a long ride North, and listened to them explain to me that American women are brash and selfish and disgusting. They knew, they watched the imported syndicated situation comedies.
"No, we've seen them."
They didn't offer anything but their opinions. They didn't say thank you when they were delivered to the City Centre in Manchester.
They're almost pensioners now, in the sad shadow Britain has become.
So, the prediction today is for a high of 70 degrees Farenheit, and we're having a conversation that includes the word "chilly." Reading an amusing blog from Winnipeg. We conclude this little vignette sums up the conjunction of "cosmopolitan" and "spoiled."
Remarkable Celtic crosses, though pictures of Ireland add "damp" to the "chilly" tag.
Via Amy Welborn, who also has a memento of the Pope as a probing young scholar and loyal friend.
Update: From her link, a Lenten image. Corpus Christi Procession winds through a bombed, ruined Munich.
It's a site where we also learn that enthusiastic fans of the Bavarian Benedict XVI denominate themselves Benaddicts.
Dressed in the traditional multi-coloured kimono,
Princess Sayako visited shrines in the Imperial Palace grounds that are
dedicated to Japanese gods and emperors of the past.... Japan does not allow women to take the throne, and
therefore the youngest child of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko
must leave the imperial family after the wedding.
One function of royalty for the populace is to act out important turning points in life writ larger than one person's story. Big Deal! So a daughter is getting married. But the numinousness with which these figures of ancestral importance shine, is dramatic at a near-archetypal level, and in those terms may be said to justify their careful training, their wealth, their prominence. It is a sacrificial and harrowing existence for many royals, sustained only out of duty and taboo.
A tender-hearted child grows up, gets married, goes away. Life. Fully felt by virtue of rite and pageant.