Saturday, October 27, 2012

Musings about Monarchy

I'm going to take a break this week from Saturday Smorgasbord cause I'm rethinking/reworking it a bit. Plus I really want to talk about a book I'm reading right now. It's called The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm sure you've heard about; it's been made into a movie staring two of my favorite actresses, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. I haven't seen the movie yet because I have to read the book first. It just seems wrong to watch the movie before reading the book...

But I digress...

I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I love the writing and the description that Philippa Gregory gives is like a yummy desert. It's like she's feeding me the story. And after each helping I'm pleasantly full. But I hate the situations the Boleyn sisters were put in. I understand that it was a symptom of the times and all that but to live and not be able to express your feelings or let anyone know who you truly are is such a horrible thought for me.

Sane & Satisfied is about being honest with yourself and others, even if that honesty is ugly. I could not imagine being forced by my own family to smile while the father of my child sleeps with my sister. Horrible.

I like to compare different eras in history with present day. And it got me thinking about what's changed since Monarchy times and what hasn't. Speaking from an American point of view, we don't have a king and queen. Our women are free to do what they want with their life and pick their own mate. We can speak out against our President and government without the fear of being beheaded in the town square.

But we are still just as much ruled by outward appearances as people were back then. Today we have marketing campaigns and "experts" telling us how we should look and behave. We still have a very small group of people making laws for many. And there are a lot of stories and myths that influence our thoughts and actions and beliefs.

For all the faults of a Monarchy system the people or the peasants at least knew how to take care of themselves. They knew how to keep cattle, horses and other animals alive and well. They knew how to raise a garden. Many of them knew blacksmithing and sewing. And they obviously knew how to cook and bake from scratch. Not many people alive today (at least in America) know how to do all that.

Is that just the way it goes? The more political freedom a people gain the more skills they loose? Because it seems to me that most of us don't think that we can do anything at all. And with all the "bigger, better, faster, cheaper" products we can't stop buying we know less and less every year.

Well that's all the rambling for today. I guess I'll get back to devouring my book...

No comments:

Post a Comment