Saturday, 10 April 2021

Saying Goodbye to Prince Philip

Such a problem in a post-modern worship paradigm, is marking traditional "establishment" type events such as the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.  A hard-working and devoted servant of our nation, so it was concluded we should do something.

It all started when the Beaker Folk heard that the Church of England churches were ringing bells "half-muffled" to mark his leaving this mortal coil. Why couldn't we do that, they asked. Well, we don't have church bells.

We have Tibetan singing bowls, they said. Why can't we ring them half-muffled? But it's not easy to find a Tibetan singing bowl player, and would they agree to being half-muffled? It's not easy in a pandemic. 

Then someone wondered whether Prince Philip might have offended Tibetans at some point in his life, and whether our using their sacred instruments to mark his going might offend them again.

And once we'd realised that, the French Horn section had to be taken out of the planned fanfare.

So we realised pretty much any ritual we could appropriate was probably invented by a nation that Philip had insulted over the years. Albeit always in a good-mannered, well meaning way. Not like the modern professional racists we've had the last five. You always got the impression with Prince Philip that if people from one of the nations he insulted had just said, "naff off big ears" he would have laughed. Obviously, being the husband of a reigning monarch, people mostly didn't.

Anyway. People started saying - why be all sad about it? Why muffle things? What about fireworks? A group of showgirls in memory of his nightclubbing years? A band of accordionists playing Gary Moore's back-catalogue for no apparent reason? Smashing a load of plates to celebrate his Greek heritage? A massive bacon sandwich world record attempt to celebrate his Danish heritage? Let's liven it up, they said. Why not a thirty-foot-high icon of Philip in flowers like we did for Diana?

So we've decided to go out and shoot a few pheasants in memory of Prince Philip. It's what he would have liked.

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