I am not only on Dror Bar Natan’s side i also admire him for taking the brave stance he did. Mr, Natan, you may recall, was the Israeli-born mathematics professor who reneged on giving an oath to the Queen when he was recently accorded his Canadian citizenship.
For fear of alienating those who persist in sucking up to a foreign monarch and hanging on to a vestige of the glory days of Empah, I only wish I were able to do the same thing. But I was born in Canada so don’t have that option.
Yet I was amazed at the numbers (especially and predictably in the Victoria Times-Colonist) who, if it had been in their power, would have called for Natan’s public beheading. It was deemed an ‘insult’ to the Queen (oh come on, she’s a tough old boot, she’ll suck it up) and hence to Canada. Huh? Canada? Wait, the Queen is a foreign lady so how is this an insult to Canada. Oh, right. We still have the Senate and Governor General bullshit, don’t we. Those colonial vestiges filled with Land of Hope and Glory palaver that is still subscribed to by far too many of my compatriots.
Now this is not intended as and insult to the UK and British institutions. I love England as much as I love bangers-and-mash and the music of Adele – or Lonnie Donegan. I have lived in England and enjoyed living there. I have many English friends and a few rellies. I have traced extensively in the UK and am always happy to call. But, my point is, it is the UK. It is not Canada. I live in Canada, which is not the UK.
But wait, those anglophilic Canadians will attest, we are members of the Commonwealth, she is ‘our’ Queen. That being the case, it is an unfortunate one and should be shucked so we as a nation can grow up. Commonwealth? What does that mean? It’s a colonial hangover, a testament to Imperialism. Not something to extol.
I will grant that as an imperial power the Brits were much more benevolent than other Europeans like the Dutch, the French, the Belgians and especially the Germans who were complete shits, though the Dutch weren’t much better. If you think of the Boers in South Africa or Dutch behavior in the former Batavia (now Indonesia) the Brits were pretty darn decent.
Except they weren’t. They were ‘decenter’ than those other guys, but that is hardly a compliment. The other imperial nations were truly despicable in the most racist sense of the world. No wonder the people in many outlying lands hate our guts.
Of late we have been watching Indian Summers on PBS. Beautifully done and shows the ‘glory’ days of the Raj in the subcontinent. What a trip. A society that was only a fraction as old as this conquered turf treating the inhabitants therein as some sort of inferior indentured servants. This was a cultured and enlightened place that gave birth to Buddhism amongst other attainments but the folks there, to their overlords, were merely ‘wogs’ to be quelled with a brandished stick if needs must.
Yet there are still Canadians who cling to the mythology that all was hopeful and glorious and Wolfe the “dauntless hero” died for our sins and therefore we must adhere as did the colonial borne cannon fodder in two world wars who died in trenches to keep life good for crowned heads and the Downton Abbey folk.
I say fie on all of this and kudos to Professor Naton. Maybe it’s time we grew up as a nation and stopped paying fealty to a nice lady who lives many thousand miles away.