Saturday, April 23, 2011

THAT Wedding, Those Royals, Lawrence O'Donnell and RJ's Rant

A long-time blog buddy of mine, R.J. Adams of Sparrow Chat, needed to let off steam this week (and rightly so) about some remarks of MSNBC's talking head Lawrence O'Donnell on coverage in the US media of Prince William's wedding, due to take place in Britain shortly. I'm not a fan of the royals myself, nor am I a fan of weddings in general, obscene waste of money in most cases, I reckon! Both of my own were absolute shoestring affairs. So I have not followed any royal wedding story, and am not even sure of the wedding date. Even though I'm no royalist myself, and could care less about their weddings and other doings, I draw the line at the kind of things O'Donnell said - and said with such clear venom!

During the 1970s I'd guess that O'Donnell (right) was one of the Americans (and there were many) cheering on the IRA as they bombed English cities and Northern Irish towns, killing and maiming innocent the name of....what? A 200-year old grudge.

Here's a link to RJ's wonderful rant:

In case the video doesn't run in the UK or countries other than the USA (sometimes vids are blocked) here's a quick rundown of what O'Donnell said:
O'Donnell started out by sarcastically noting that on April 29th, "nothing more important will be occurring that day in this country or the world than a wedding in England." He then reminded his audience that America came into existence by actually overthrowing the British, and accused the American media of being way too friendly to our allies across the Atlantic.

"It's a good thing our television networks weren't covering our Revolutionary War because they obviously would have been on the side of the British."
That might seem a little harsh, but O'Donnell was just getting warmed up. Here is the rest of his rant, in it's entirety.

"The British crown has spilt more blood around the world and caused more oppression and suffering in the world than any other regime still standing. If your people were among the tortured or the starved or the murdered or the oppressed victims of the crown, then you may not be so welcoming of the British Royal Family in your home, even on your television screen.

If you are the forgiving sort, the type that doesn't hold a grudge for
hundreds of years or decades, depending on when violence was last visited upon your people in the name of the British crown, perhaps you can look at the current crowd of hapless, harmless royals as something other than an indelible bloody stain on your people's history.

If you are good natured and light of heart, perhaps you could see in them the most noble status they could ever achieve, a joke. We all need a laugh, and if the British crown can give the world a laugh after having delivered centuries of pain, then some of us will take that laugh. In the meantime, let's hope the British media continues to make the mistake that the American media's weak-kneed fawning over the Royals represents all of us in the colonies and how we feel about the Royal wedding."

Another link to the video at MSNBC's site

A look at O'Donnell's natal chart, data from Astrodatabank:

Sun and Mercury in Scorpio - that fits his venomous attitude well - Scorpio's dark side: venom and inability to forgive, a classic Scorpio trait.

Moon in Aquarius ought to know better! Here though Moon is opposed by Pluto in Leo, and Pluto is ruler of Scorpio, so Aquarian humanitarian ideals (O'Donnell professes to being a socialist by the way) are infected - or balanced - by Pluto and its connection to Scorpio as his natal Sun's ruler.

He has Libra rising, if time of birth is accurate. I'm quite surprised that he was this outspoken, in public, on these matters. Libra rising would usually bring forth a more tactful attitude.


Jefferson's Guardian said...

Good Easter morning to you, Twilight. Although I'm not a devoted viewer of Lawrence O'Donnell's show, The last Word, and I didn't see this particular segment, I have to admit that in many respects I agree with his commentary. Looking beyond his accusations that the British monarchy, throughout its long history, has been the instigator and purveyor of much violence and carnage around the world (empires do that, you know), I'm mostly in-step with Mr. O'Donnell's underlying message (and Mr. Seinfeld's not so subtle words) that this wedding is just another faux and hyped event promulgated by the American media. It's just more bread and circuses for the masses -- to keep them distracted and pacified.

In the same vein, Nero played while Rome burned.

By the way, I've been meaning to ask but I don't know how to contact you. Do you conduct astrological profiles for a fee? Please contact me at my e-mail address.

Wisewebwoman said...

I hesitated before commenting, T, as this is rather a sticky wicket for me, 800 years of subjugation and the Irish holocaust (I refuse to call it a "Famine") behind me.
However, and I hasten to add this, I bear no grudges towards the monarchy, they are simply tools of the government and perform as such and have since (I would think) the time of Henry VIII. It is a rather well paid job and they know it - "The Firm" as they so rightly call it. And they do it rather well. These upcoming nuptuals will add a load of swag to the treasury and I for one don't fault them for a job well done.
PS And it is good to be back and able to comment again!

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian~~

"Empires do that you know" - yes indeed! As RJ Adams pointed out it's unwise to throw stones from the shelter of a glass house, as O'Donnell delighted in doing with much emphasis.

As I commented at Sparrow Chat, the wedding fever here in the US is just another example of the complacent couch-potato/glued to cellphone/Blackberry mentality prevalent today.... There's money in it for the corporations via TV and online adverts. Follow the $$$$$$$$$$$$ - and O'Donnell makes his living by working for one of those corporations - GE.

Perhaps RJ and I feel most keenly the venom of O'Donnell's words and probable IRA support. We lived in England through times when we were constantly in fear of being bombed. My place of work - a government office above a mall had to be evacuated regularly due to bomb threats - real and hoax from the IRA over a period of several years. Our city avoided the worst of the conflict- possibly because it had a high Irish population. Other cities were not as lucky and many deaths and injuries were suffered.

My late partner of 33 years was born in Northern Ireland, near Belfast. His father had been killed by an IRA bomb while on his way to a union meeting; that bitter loss affected his life - and my own.

Whatever wrongs were perpetrated on Ireland by Britain in the the past mind you, not by anyone living during the 1970s, or today... does not warrant the kind of outrage the IRA visited upon England in the 1970s, nor the venom of O'Donnell - watched and taken in by millions.

I've lost all respect for O'Donnell. It's sad, because he's one of very few who dare to profess to socialist leanings.

PS regarding your other question. No, I don't do astrology for money. I'd be glad to look at a chart and give my interpretation for you - as a friend though. I'll get your address from your website.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Welcome back !

I understand your position.
thing is - those alive today had nothing to do with any of it.
These kinds of feuds must end somethwhere. If not, there's no hope at all for us.

Im anti-royal, but pro peaceful co-existence.

Gian Paul said...

Jefferson's Guardian comment made me think of an experience I had in a British cinema in Bedford in 1963.

Being Swiss I was surprised, at the end of the movie (Porgie and Bess), that instead of rushing to the exit, everybody stood up and waited for the "God save the Queen" anthem to be played. It had started playing, but a technical hitch interrupted the procedure, for minutes (which to me appeared hours, anxious to carry my girl-friend to other endevours...).

She insisted that it was improper (first time I heard that word - but I was in England for 3 month to learn English after all), that we had to wait for the anthem to finish. It took an ethernity for that.

And the girl (Jenny) never understood my disregard/impatience for British Royal stuff. But in Switzerland we HATE oppressors. In 1291 we managed to get rid of the Habsburg, and still now we are suspicious of the EC. Imagine being governed by Van Rompuy or that Portuguese Baroso. Or Merkel or Sarkosy. Even not by his chanting and starring Italian wife!

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~ I shared your impatience - having to stand for the national anthem after a movie show.....I think that custom faded long ago. :-)

The British are far, far less nationalistic/patriotic these days than Americans are. That is one of the first differences I noticed when I came to live in the USA.

We all hate oppressors, GP.
There have been oppressors and empire builders throughout the history of has to be part of human DNA I guess. We are what we are.

Jefferson's Guardian said...


"Glass house"...indeed.

Of course, General Electric being the mother ship for MSNBC, and the largest defense contractor that feeds off the flesh and treasure of a perpetual and permanent war economy, Mr. O'Donnell certainly has to toe-the-line when exercising his expression in these matters.

As you know, there are certain words and phrases that highly compensated personalities, working for major media, dare not utter, lest they find themselves in the same predicament as Bill Maher, for example, or, more recently, Keith Olbermann.

Twilight said...

Jefferson's Guardian ~~~

Following your observation on MSNBC's talking heads being hamstrung by demands of their master, General Electric, I had another thought.

O'Donnell's outburst about the historic evils of the British Empire, not normally a prominent feature in American viewers' consciousness, I'd guess, could serve as a useful distraction from some equally evil goings on perpetrated by their own leaders.

Perhaps he was egged on by his masters to provide a new/old target for their disgust thus taking the heat off current activity.

I may be letting him off the hook here though.

Anonymous said...

"in Switzerland we hate oppressors"
But you like their money though or rather the money they've stolen from their oppressed people. That's why every single corrupt tyrant from Mubarek to Gadaffi and every African or South American tinpot dictator likes to stash their stolen billions in Swiss bank accounts guaranteed to be safe from prying eyes or any troublesome moral principles or ethics.

Alex said...

Hi Twilight,
Just letting you know that I had to change the addresses of a few of my articles--I hate it when I check my links and discover they no longer exist. The updated links are now on my blog, if you want to update.
With regards to your post--I was thinking that a lot of people who now live in England were not even born in this country. Globalisation has changed a lot of the way we live and "tribal" warfare should certainly be a thing of the past. Now more than ever, we should be concentrating on working together to save our planet.
Best wishes to you and your family on this glorious bank holiday.

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~~ When responding to another commenter's comment (as against the day's post itself) it's wise to include that commenter's name.

It appears you are directing your remarks to Gian Paul - I'll leave it to him to respond therefore.

Twilight said...

Alex ~~~ Hi there! Thanks for the heads up. I'll pop over to yours later on.

You are so right about the need to stop tribal squabbling. I wish I thought this was going to come about anytime soon - but I fear it's an inbuilt part of "us".
Maybe we'll learn though - where there's life there's hope (as my Grandma used to say.)

Gian Paul said...

To "Courageous Anonymus": Your observation is absolutely correct in as far as the Swiss banking system is one of the main culprits for many dictators hanging onto power (quick review: Some Nazis, Marcos, Suharto, Duvallier, Champions of Apartheit, Argentinan and Brazilian military, Franco, Salazar etc. etc.)

UBS, the country's biggest bank (recently bailed out by public funds) is very big in that business, they call it wealth management, sounds good, doesn't it? They are being helped by the Swiss army (guaranteeing the country's neutrality) and providing a large chunk of executives to the bank. All very serious, but there start appearing some serious cracks in the bunker's walls. It's slow though. That type of money tends to stick around in those deep cellars for generations...

R J Adams said...

First, thank you for linking to my article. Like you, I've lost all respect for a man who, for a while, seemed to be one we might trust to fight on our side.
Everyone has a right, of course, to their opinion of the monarchy. I just happen to believe its infinitely preferable, in its present state, to the political farce enacted in Washington. How much more damage could Tony Blair or Maggie Thatcher have done if they'd been the British president?
Also, as I pointed out in the article, it's totally wrong to hold the British monarch of the day responsible for the Irish sufferings of 1840-7. The British government ran things by that time. Victoria was conveniently used as a figurehead for hatred by those opposed to British rule in Ireland, just as the IRA used the royal family in later years. (The killing of Mountbatten was the closest they got to exterminating a member of the British royal family).
I hold strong views about the culpability of British actions in Ireland, as elsewhere in the world, but let's place the blame squarely where it belongs. George IV was the last king of Britain to exercise any control over parliament. His successor, William IV (1830-37) famously said, "I have my view of things, and I tell them to my ministers. If they do not adopt them, I cannot help it. I have done my duty."
On the subject of the human species ever learning to coexist in harmony, Twilight, I have to disagree with you. Our genus, Homo, has been around for 2.5 million years. Modern man has walked the earth for 200,000 years. In that time, all we've managed to achieve as a species are more sophisticated ways to kill each other. We are the only species on the planet to invent vast industries dedicated to the wholesale slaughter of our own kind. There's not one shred of evidence to suggest a reversal of that trend. I only wish I could share your optimism.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Thank you for your further observations on this topic RJ.

Re your remarks about peaceful co-existance - well, I'm not too optimistic either - as my penultimate sentence to Alex confirms. But I was earnestly looking for that crack - the one that lets a bit of light get in.

Twilight said...

peaceful co-existence is the correct non-butter-fingered spelling

Vanilla Rose said...

To be fair, much as I didn't like being a potential target of the IRA, the Nationalist community had current reasons to be angry at the time the Troubles started. I don't think bombing civilians was a good way to deal with their grievances, of course.

Cinemas had abandoned their National Anthem habit before my time, but I do recall in 1984 getting up in the middle of the night to watch Torvill and Dean, Winter Olympics, "Bolero". And "God Save the Queen" was played after the programme, before the BBC shut down till morning.

Royals are everywhere, on stamps, on coins and banknotes, archaic, pointless. They are tools/puppets in an archaic system, but their enthusiasm for hunting and shooting does not endear them, as individuals, to me.

I am part-way through embroidering an anti-Monarchist T-shirt, but that is all I am saying for now.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~~~ Hi! thank you for your observations - it's good to have thoughts from another who lived through that nasty period of time in England.

As you say there were some reasons for "The Troubles" erupting, even stretching into the 1970s. Many in England had troubles too though - and had had through the centuries. The Irish were not the only ones under the yoke of the aristocracy. My own forebears, for instance, were little more than serfs under Lords of the Manor, the aristocracy.

All of that is in the past, and I am now falling into the trap of resentment. We all do it, and Lawrence O'Donnell did it on TV !

Your T-shirt should cause a stir, when finished. You might let us have a peek?

Vanilla Rose said...

A picture of the front of the T-shirt is now visible illustrating my post "All Equal" dated 28 April. I think that in the 1960s, they had some gerrymandering scheme in NI where they had one household, one vote rather than one person, one vote. If this is incorrect, I am sure somebody will point that out.

I don't think it made much difference that Thatcher and Blair were not Presidents.

Twilight said...

Vanilla Rose ~~~ Nice one!

I don't know about a vote manipulation in NI. There was horrendously bad feeling growing on BOTH sides of "The Troubles".
I'd not be surprised at anything.

I was so pleased that, after years of tragedy, in the end, sanity prevailed (more or less).