April 15, 2005


Itneverfails.I starta post(oneachofmysites)that'smultipart andsomethingonmy computerbreaks. Bynow youshouldhavefiguredoutwhatitis thatbroke.Itbrokea few days after myfirstpost (rightaboutthe timeIwasready todo mynextpost). Itriedfixingit,butthat didntwork(obviously)andamonaweirdenoughschedulenow that Ihavenot yet been able to get anewone.Ifiguredenoughtimehaspassed though thatyoudeserveanexplanationofwhy you'regoingto have to wait stilllonger.Sorry. In the meantime ifyou'rebored,check outmy latest addiction(which I blameon Meredith). It'scalled In Passing. ReadMeredith's review foran explanation so youdon'thavetosufferanymoreofthis

April 02, 2005

The British Lion, part I

There is some confusion regarding the lions of England. To most people today, the phrase “British lion” refers to a symbol: the royal crest or, in a more contemporary fashion, the caricature device most often used to represent Great Britain in political cartoons. The royal symbol is old as is the caricature, both have existed for long enough that Britain thinks of itself as a lion, much the way Russia thinks of itself as a bear and the United States of America considers itself an eagle.

But why? In each of the other two examples, the animals so chosen are native to the land they represent. As far as the world of today is aware, the lions of Britain are found only in her zoos and upon her shields. This is where the confusion begins. Did Henry I, the first English monarch known to use a lion, choose the lion because it was “the king of beasts?” If so, why choose a foreign king?

The answer, as would have been more obvious in that era, is that he did not choose a foreign king, he chose a native king.

This is where my essay will lose the attention of narrow minds and conventional thinkers, here in the claim that there is such a thing as the British Lion. “Why,” they will say, “that is as ridiculous as claiming the Scottish unicorn.” To them I say, “Unicorns are one thing, lions are quite another.” While I would indeed lose the attention of even the most credible reader were I to pursue a course that insisted upon the existence of unicorns, I do not believe British lions to be so farfetched.

It is understandable, however, that there should be some reluctance to accept their existence. A creature such as the British lion that has journeyed so far beyond myth as to reach the borders of obscurity should expect some difficulties on its return voyage.