Monday, November 10, 2008

The Land of the Setting Sun

The miserable sods in the UK House of Commons want to abolish Pub Happy Hours in England and Wales. Reckless drinking is apparently stretching the police force thin. But if pub spawned disorder is suddenly a negative character trait, we're talking not only about the ruin of an Empire but the negation of the British birthright. Brits need their pints to overcome personalities obliged by society stereotyping to be polite. For me the quintessential Victorian pubmate, Harry Paget Flashman has always been the role model for British behavior.

Flashman is an antihero who runs from danger or hides cowering in fear, betrays or abandons acquaintances at at the slightest incentive, bullies and beats servants with gusto, beds every available woman, carries off any loot he can grab, gambles and boozes enthusiastically, and yet, through a combination of luck and cunning, ends acclaimed as a hero.

And despite all Flashman's inherent advantages, I fear he'd be a merely a pedestrian James Bond without the enthusiastic (bargain) boozing of Happy Hour. Drinking is clearly heroic in both cases however. So please MP's, reconsider for the good of the national character. On the other hand, I'm happy to relay that Italy is considering sanctioning the use of vigilantes. A move more holding to the course of tradition than the shortsightedness of the UK's damnable Home Affairs select committee.

1 comment:

flashpan said...

the flashman books are less boring if consumed in conjunction with a martini


the running mule

the running mule