Sunday 11 September 2022

Nerd Church - National Mourning Is Not The Same As Private Mourning

A reporter approaches someone laying flowers outside Buckingham Palace...

"...I'm just devastated!" they howl. There are genuine tears on this random person's face.

The reporter says something about the whole country feeling the loss deeply, being in mourning, grieving, everyone's lives being touched by the late Queen - really laying it on thick - and... nah.

Just, no.

National Mourning Is Not The Same As Private Mourning

The Queen died.

That's not a happy thing. And my thoughts are with her family and those who knew and loved her.

They lost someone they loved, so yeah, I feel for them.

But I am not mourning. Not personally, as an individual.

I saw her once, when I was a kid, and strangely pro-Royal (but then, I was like nine or ten, and she was an actual Queen,) - I was one of those kids they bus in to line the route and wave flags as she passes in her car, y'know?

Yes, they actually bus local kids in for that - I got selected and everything, check me out! Lol. 

And we got Welsh flags as well as British ones, because dragons rock.

Most British people, I would argue, are not mourning. 

Not in a private, personal, way. 

We are officially in a legal period of national mourning. 

As a sign of respect, I can totally accept that, especially when it comes to public institutions and organisations etc.

Although there's been a lot of confusion with some sporting events going ahead and some halted entirely and... it's a bit of a mess.

The government eventually got around to putting out some guidelines, but even those are kind of vague.

But, as individual people, many are not mourning.

A moment of sadness, or dismay, maybe, but we're not mourning.

We're not filled with grief, we're not devastated that we'll never see the Queen again, we're not crying profusely and wailing like this is a time for primal lamentations.

Some people are mourning... 

I don't understand it, unless you knew her personally, but you do you. I'm really not here to tell anyone how to feel.

Most of us, though?

We did not know her. She was not a part of our lives beyond gossip and pageantry.

And she was a woman - a person. Not a saint, not a god. 

Not even a leader beyond said pageantry; she wasn't 'in charge' of anything, after all.

So the sanctimonious preaching of the media in what is honestly a disproportionate attempt to guilt us into being sad is, I hope understandably, really getting on my nerves.

(And the flag-wavers are out in force. *sigh* British nationalism can be pretty obnoxious.)

The breath of relief, for me, has come from S4C - the Welsh language TV channel - who are, quietly, calmly, and respectfully, keen to separate the symbol and the person. 

And are also discussing whether there is any place for a monarchy in a democratic society. (See? It's not just me. I am nothing if not a good Welsh girl 😅)

There is a lot of mixed feelings here in Wales over the monarchy.

But that's why it's so important to separate the institution, the symbol, from the people who fulfil those roles.

Welsh nationalists and/or republicans (not that kind of Republican: it just means people who don't want a monarchy,) don't have a problem, for the most part, with the individual person. 

The symbol? Well, I, personally, am not a fan of the belief that people have a fundamental right to rule over others.

When you add in the multi-layered issues surrounding sovereignty and nationhood with regards to the Celtic nations of the UK, especially Wales, which was never unified so much as annexed... well, that's a lot to get into, and I don't really have the energy.

(...For now. I may revisit the subject in another post - it depends how salty I get about the continued use of the stolen title 'Prince of Wales,' and if Prince William gets a big 'we own you' investiture ceremony like Charles did.)

The truth is that the vision of Britain as full of monocled English gentlemen who are obsessed with the monarchy is not a true one.

That's only ever described a tiny handful of powerful people from a past that only ever partially existed.

And Jacob Rees-Mogg. But... he is one of a tiny handful of powerful people from a past that only ever partially existed. One of his nicknames is the minister for the 18th Century... amongst other things 😅.

A lot of us are apathetic - the monarchy simply does not affect our daily lives.

Yes, there are die-hard royalists out there - especially from the older generations. 

And the younger staunch royalists make a lot of noise, so it makes it seem like there are more of them than there actually are.

I appreciate that the Queen gave years of service to this country - that is, she did the job, and she did it well.

I genuinely feel for her family, who are hurting.

But that is it.

And I am by no means the only person who feels that way.

I - as an individual person, me, myself - am not mourning. 

Not for a woman I once saw waving from a car when I was nine.

Why would I be?

Nerd Church is taking a break next week and will be back on 25th September 2022

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  1. Well put, Cee! Here in Canada, there will now be a national day of mourning on Monday for her funeral. However, her death didn't exactly impact me like it has others. For me, I can't quite get passed the monarchy's history of colonialism, racism, and of course the drain having a monarchy has on taxpayers both in the UK and in Canada. While she seemed like a lovely lady, she did ultimately represent an institution I'm not quite too fond of.

    1. Monday is our last day of national mourning - we've been in said national mourning since she died. (No one really knows what that's supposed to look like, tbh.)

      Some of the people crying and wailing on the TV - and I say this honestly, genuinely, and hopefully without a trace of Ableism - need help. Like, I'm actually concerned about some of these people's mental health, and the news presenter's out here acting like this is a completely proportional response. One girl, who said Charles would make a good Queen - yes, Queen, but then, maybe he would, who knows? - was clearly high as a kite on some sort of substance. And it's like... maybe don't air this interview? It wasn't like it was live or anything!

      ...Sorry, I've gone off one.

      Yes, symbol + institution of inherited monarchy = archaic and fundamentally flawed.


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