Saturday, 23 April 2011

What's in a (day) name?

Yesterday was Good Friday, the day Christians - whether they are believers or simply subscribe to the traditions - commemorate the day Jesus Christ died on the cross for us. Southampton marked this in a splendid way with an outdoor passion play. We couldn't get to see it since a stupid decision to fight to get onto a cold beach brought back my cough. Instead we sat in the garden and listened to Bob "Warm up man for Jesus" Pearce from a mile away and heard loud Hosannas as the procession went to Jerusalem. It was a wonderful moment I will not forget in a long time. As readers might gather, I am one of the believers.

I was stunned and actually offended when some companies and individuals on Facebook decided to wish people happy Earth Day and ignore Easter entirely. Some silly decision makers in the marketing field thought this was wise. That way they wouldn't offend those who don't celebrate Easter. Is this some kind of sick joke or something more sinister? Birmingham City Council tried to remove Christmas a few years ago and the public were outraged. They also got in trouble with every religious leader in the city.

Why is it that no religious group is to be offended in any way and yet the Christians are fair game? Maybe it's because we're supposed to turn the other cheek. Well, Easter is the time to stand up and be counted, folks! No-one takes that away from us.

Today is St George's Day. St George is the patron saint of England. England is that small country not allowed to have its own National Assembly and its citizens are meant to be meek and quiet and call themselves British and not show national pride.

Sod that for a lark, to use a time honoured English phrase. You can see my English page from my 2011 UK Census scrapbook HERE.

The Daily Telegraph, in its customary tedious and joy killing manner, tells us today is NOT St George's Day in this article. I don't care. That all looks like a good way to lose St George's Day despite the opposite intentions expressed. I'm celebrating St George's Day, along with Shakespeare's birthday, today.

There are, naturally, those who protest that there were no birth records at the time and Shakespeare (Shakspere?) was probably baptised on 23 April and therefore born earlier. No matter. He also died on 23 April. Is it cool or weird to die on your birthday? Cool, I think.

I see that the Lands End Facebook page neatly avoided Good Friday altogether but is celebrating Shakespeare's equally neat Hatch and Despatch. They ask for our favourite work of Shakespeare. I don't have a favourite work, as such, but my favourite words are from Romeo and Juliet:

"Night's candles are burn't out,
and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain top".

English to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

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