Capsule book review! Capsule book review!
The Daily Dose/November 13, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
CAPSULE BOOK REVIEW: Elizabeth The Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch By Sally Bedell Smith: We’re not unabashed royalists here at your Daily Dose, but we have always found the British monarchy intriguing, much like we’ve always found the papacy intriguing, though we’ve never been Catholic.
We haven’t wasted a whole hell of a lot of time wondering why we’ve found those things interesting, though it might have something to do with the long, unbroken line through history both share, but the clap has a long, unbroken history, too, and we’re not particularly interested in that.
Elizabeth is not an easy life to chronicle because it is not all that exciting. Accessible but aloof in public,
Elizabeth has always gone about her duties with diligence and effort while avoiding doing anything at all that would do anything but reflect splendidly on the royal family.
She has done this magnificently in her 64 years on the throne, really only drawing scorn for being out of touch with what her subjects were feeling following Princess Diana’s death.
Go In Peace, Serve Yourself: One of our favorite aspects of the monarchy is how little choice monarchs have in how they spend their life. You’re born the heir apparent and you prepare for the job and then you inherit the job. In the case of Prince Charles, you spend an awfully long time preparing for the role.
One of our favorite insights into this was provided by Helena Bonham-Carter playing the Queen Mother in the film The Kings Speech when she referred to the royal life as indentured servitude.
That’s not too far off the mark. Elizabeth had very few options in her life. She could be queen or she could be queen, that was really about it. Now, being the British monarch isn’t too bad a gig. It comes with luxurious housing and a large staff and comes with several months off every year in castles and country estates. In exchange all you really need to do go tour a few hospitals and invest people as dukes and earls and whatnot. There are tougher jobs out there, but their life is not their own.
Back On Message: Though the real excitement over the years has been provided by her children, the book does share worthwhile insights into Elizabeth’s relationship with her prime ministers and how she has straddled – sometimes brilliantly – the fine line between ruling and governing.
(Here is The Daily Dose rating scale: 1- Excellent, the very best the medium can produce; 2 – Very good, well worth your time; 3- Good worth your time; 4 – All right, not completely without merit; 5 – Steaming pile, don’t bother
Final Ranking: Good. There is nothing earth shattering here, but you didn’t expect there to be. However, we’ve always enjoyed reading about people who have or will live down the ages and Smith did her research well and produced an interesting and readable book.
DON’T WORRY, PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL TAKE CARE OF THIS: The Supreme Court declares that segregated busses in Alabama are illegal on this date in 1956. The suit came about following the arrest of Rosa Parks for not giving up her bus seat to a white man, and other incidents that led to the Montgomery bus boycott.
Dry, Technical Matter: The decision came in the case Browder vs Gayle, which challenged Alabama’s segregated bus laws.
Really Dry, Technical Matter: Browder was Aurelia Browder, a Montgomery woman. Gayle was W.A. Gayle, the mayor of Montgomery.
And Justice For All, Even Blacks: A United States District Court had overturned the law in June, but the soreheads in both state and city government appealed.
Even the Supreme Court upholding the District Court decision didn’t immediately desegregate Alabama buses. That didn’t happen until December 20, when federal marshals handed a written order to Mayor Gayle ordering Montgomery busses to be desegregated.
The boycott did its work well. Blacks carpooled and some taxis only charged the ten-cent bus fare for rides and Montgomery’s finances were so impacted city officials were reduced to trying to punish people for enabling this and even putting pressure on insurance companies to cancel policies of those giving blacks rides to and from work.
Till Death Do You Part: Ray Mancini defeats South Korean fighter Kim Duk-Koo in a fight in Las Vegas for the world’s middleweight title on this date in 1982
It was one of the most brutal fights in a sport not lacking in them. Mancini was so beaten up he considered quitting and Kim was beaten so badly he died four days later. He had been taken to the hospital for emergency brain surgery and never recovered.
The fight sparked numerous rule changes, including the lengths of title being limited to twelve rounds and greater pre-fight screenings for fighters.
Great Moments In World Terror: A coordinated series of shootings and explosions occurs in Paris on this date in 2015, resulting in 130 civilian deaths, the deaths of seven attackers and over 350 injured. The Islamic State, seeking revenge for French attacks in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Thought For The Day: …in the midst of an extreme situation, the wise are patient…Healing will follow upheaval. – Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UW-Wherever) are the cheatingest bastards in NCAA Division III football.
Today’s Stumper: According the 1701 Act of Settlement, who are all British monarchs descended from? – Answer next time!