Posts filed under ‘Just Fun’
Krstić posted on his blog, “After a great deal of deliberation, I moved to California and joined the local fruit vendor. Today was my first day on the job, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
The terms Left and Right have been used to refer to political affiliation since the early part of the French Revolutionary era. They originally referred to the seating arrangements in the various legislative bodies of France, specifically in the French Legislative Assembly of 1791, when the king was still the formal head of state, and the moderate royalist Feuillants sat on the right side of the chamber, while the radical Montagnards sat on the left.
“This breed possesses a lot of energy, so without training or a job to do, the dog may entertain itself by running full-speed down the West Wing or barking at Republicans,” said animal behaviorist Mary Burch of the American Kennel Club.
“all comedians are secretly hugely depressed”
“It’s hard work for people who don’t really want to work.”
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April 2, 2009
By HELENE COOPER
LONDON — Finally, an answer to the question consuming protocol watchers and tabloid reporters here: What did the Obamas give Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday when they arrived at Buckingham Palace?
An Obama aide reported the queen was given an iPod loaded with video and photos of her 2007 trip to the United States, as well as songs and accessories. She also received a rare songbook signed by the composer Richard Rodgers.
The gift issue had come up after Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited the White House last month. Mr. Brown gave Mr. Obama a pen holder carved from the timber of an anti-slave ship, receiving in return a DVD box set of American movies, igniting a torrent of criticism in the British press.
According to news reports here, the queen gave the Obamas a silver-framed signed photograph — a gift she gives to all visiting dignitaries.
There was no word on whether the songbook included the “Sound of Music” classic, “My Favorite Things.”
But one thing is certain: that iPod better have some good songs, because if past is prologue, the British papers will be examining this gift for a while.
Wednesday, Apr. 01, 2009
By Howard Chua-Eoan
The rules are set in stone, and so the eagerly watching British media sputtered when the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, briefly put her hand on the back of Queen Elizabeth II as the two chatted at a reception. Etiquette is quite stern about this (“Whatever you do, don’t touch the Queen!”). In 2007 John Howard, then Prime Minister of Australia, got plenty of criticism for apparently putting his arm around the Queen to direct her through a crowd. He denied actually touching her, but photographs suggest that he came quite close. (Another former Australian Prime Minister did put his hand on the Queen in a similar circumstance and was later branded “the Lizard of Oz.”)
Of course, there are corollaries to this. One must certainly touch the Queen if the monarch offers her hand (though you should return this not with a firm handshake but just a touch). On Wednesday, Michelle Obama put her hand on the Queen only after the Queen had placed her own hand on the First Lady’s back as part of their conversation. So there is room for theological argument as to whether the American reciprocity of touch was allowable given the social dynamics of the situation. (Less explicable was when President George W. Bush winked at the Queen.) Still, the sight of anyone apparently touching the Queen with anything more than a limp handshake is enough to send the British (or traditionalists in the old Commonwealth) twittering. (See pictures of the Obamas’ travels in Europe.)
Another defense for Michelle Obama, of course, is that she is not a subject of the Queen. (Australians, despite referendums attempting to turn themselves into a republic, still recognize the Queen as their head of state.) The First Lady of the United States is not required to curtsey before her or any other crowned head. In any case, the touch lasted just a second or two, and the Queen did not seem particularly perturbed — though she appeared slightly surprised as she drew away. (See how Barack Obama is connected to the Queen via TIME’s Person of the Year.)
So where does this rule about not touching the Queen come from? The sovereigns of England and France at some point in their nations’ long histories claimed a divine right to rule, a right often amplified by titles bestowed by the Pope in Rome. (The Queen, in fact, still has the title Defender of the Faith, an honor given to Henry VIII before he broke with the Catholic Church and established the Church of England.) That touch of holiness once gave the occupant of the throne the supposed ability to cure certain diseases — most famously, scrofula, a terrible skin ailment that was called “the king’s evil.” Thus, the miraculous contact had to be conserved. And so, whether a touch or a nod or a gaze, royal favor, like that of God, is not a subject’s on demand; it is dispensed by kingly prerogative. (See pictures from the 2006 celebration of the Queen’s birthday.)
— With reporting by Simon Robinson / London
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