Date: 2017-06-11 07:11 am (UTC)
peasant: sweet pea (Default)
From: [personal profile] peasant
Interesting. I have not yet had the chance to see the show, but as you say it is also history so that makes less difference than normal.

Sutherland remarks that he saw great pain, and sorrow, a darkness underneath the gold fish pound painting. Churchill wonders, is that a reflection of what is in you or me. Except, Churchill was obviously feeling these emotions when he created the painting.
This is a question that artists and writers of all types have to constantly ask. I don't think there is ever a single simple answer to it. We know that Churchill suffered from depression and that he saw a relationship between his mourning for his daughter and the goldfish pond, so in one sense how could the emotion not come from him as the artist. And yet when Sutherland observes it he is a normal person experiencing emotions both from his own life and from his growing relationship with Churchill and Chartwell as a place, so how could he not bring his own interpretation to colour the painting. I love this vignette that you have described, and am eager to see the show for myself because it strikes me as wonderful to have such an idea discussed openly in a mainstream TV show.

But it is just art, it is not personal.

I think, in an odd, way, Daldry is stating that is true of this miniseries as well.

Oh I like that! And how sensitive of them to include such a thought. I am always slightly uncomfortable when the royal family are used in any film or show because of teh awareness that out there are real people who must constantly have to isolate themselves from popular culture to avoid being driven mad by it. To be public property in the way that they are is inconceivably horrible to my mindset, and yet they have no choice.

I still don't understand why Great Britain still has one. It seems like an anarchism in this age.
Many reasons. And different ones will carry different weights for different people. But overall the monarchy is enormously popular and there is no sign of that changing.

The traditions of a country are an important part of what makes us feel we belong and gives us a stability. The buildings and ceremonies and flags of the USA could also be called 'anachronisms' since doubtless each one would be done differently if you were designing them anew today. Yet if the whole lot was swept away I am willing to bet you would feel an enormous sense of loss and uncertainty. Regret that something had gone needlessly.

Also the monarchy serves an important political role, providing us with a head of state who is above and outside politics. The simplest answer to why keep the monarchy is always 'imagine President XXXX' with XXXX being the name of whichever senior politician you dislike the most. Even republicans can appreciate that.

And finally it is a big money spinner. The monarchy brings in tourists and sells the British brand abroad in a way no elected president could. They can open doors and catch ears and make foreign heads of state just a bit star-struck in our favour. That is well worth having.

Which makes me wonder why they chose this interpretation, as opposed to a less damning one of Church and Country? Maybe because this one provided the most angst and drama? Or it appears this was the most logical reason?
My mother has talked about the emotional consequences of Princess Margaret having to give up Peter Townsend (in relationship to current discussions about how Megan Merkel might or might not fit into the modern royal family if it comes to it - these things are not just in the past). For my mother, the pressure that was put on the couple was unforgivable, so it was clearly an issue that caused great tension in the country at the time.

You perhaps should not put the weight on the Church of England that you do. I am fairly sure the church will have been expressing the mood of the class of society they represent - what is often called 'middle England' (a cultural not a class or geographical description) - rather than just the theological beliefs of the bishops. The CoE is generally very in-tune with the wider culture of the country and adapts as that mood adapts. Nowadays it certainly does not ever set that mood but only can reflect it, I don't think it was much different back then, although church attendance was slightly higher then so it might have been different. But you should not think of the CoE as influential, merely representational.

I think there are certain cultural differences between countries, faiths, etc that are difficult to wrap one's head around?
Two nations divided by a common language. We call the USA and the UK 'cousins', not siblings. Cousins know one another well and have much blood and history in common, but they do not grow up in the same house and there will always be things that are not understood at the unconscious soul level. For example, I do not get the workings of race and immigration in US culture. I can observe it is of huge significance to you all, and I can read about the history of slavery, the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, and the rest, but I will never understand it in a culturally sensitive way because I have not been immersed in it from birth. A few of your remarks about Northern Ireland the other day made me realise that however well informed an American is never really going to 'get' the undercurrents of emotion, trauma and loyalties involved in that issue for any Brit or Irish person. And maybe it isn't even worth trying to explain things like this that are so visceral, so emotional, so bound up with life-long experience and history that stretches back many generations. It is not quite as bleak as they have it in Last of the Mohicans: "Don't try to understand them; and don't try to make them understand you". I do keep trying and I love having conversations like this with people like yourself, but there is a limit to what can be achieved without living for a very long time in the country. And maybe that is as it should be - it would be a dull world if all countries were the same. :D
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