Friday, November 18, 2011

Jane Austen and the Marines

With Dr. Motes having been Dr. Motes at the World Orchid Conference and now hunting orchids in Borneo, left alone at home I've pretty much gone to the dogs. I not only watched Fast and Dangerous(Pt III or IV?)) but actually recorded it, as though it were the History of Prohibition. (Note: Ladies, it's fun and there's no torture.)
But then came Netflix with Jane Eyre and we were off on the Heritage trail, land of my fathers. The great house, the starched aprons: the Bronte sisters like Jane Austen, always hit the spot. Their heroines fascinate us, like the military does. Most are basically an army of one: Honor, Duty, Sacrifice, and, unlike the fate of many in the military, it all works out wonderfully in the end.
Back in the mists of time when I was at school, we all stood up, silent when a teacher came into the class room. We all stood up, silent, when the Head Girl came in. (One year, that was me - there's a blog right there.) If we were seen in the street without our hats or berets we served a detention. We wore uniforms and ties. In fact, when Duska and Mirka, my Yugoslav penpals, came one summer term and attended assembly, as they surveyed the uniforms, the po-faced ranks belting out martial hymns, they asked: "Then you learn like us first aid and the rifle?"

So I don't think we are glorifying the military, as some fear (though can't we get rid of that creepy word Homeland?) I think it's a nostalgia for the lost world of order and formality, the world of make your bed and shine your shoes, elbows off the table and, for goodness sake, child, stand up straight.

1 comment:

  1. To some degree this is why I love Singapore so much - no gum, no spitting, and is the world so bad after all?