Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Snooty French V. Sensible English

It all started when I was thinking about John Calvin's name. Now I won't chase
all the convoluted twists and turns of a deranged mind to explain how I came to
be thinking of Calvin at all, except to say that I was reading something written by him.

You might remember that Calvin was a Frenchman born 401 years ago with the name
Jean Cauvin. Pretty snooty, huh? I mean you can just hear him forcing the words up
the back of his throat and out his nose the way they do, right?

So what happened was Jean got religion. What I mean to say is: the Protestant Reformation was just getting cranked up real good, and ole Jean became a Protestant.
Of course, he got chased out of France, it being Roman Catholic and all. He ended up in Switzerland.

Here comes the cool part: somehow (and I'm not sure how this came about) his name was changed to John Calvin!! Is that a really great English-sounding name or what?

The point is that once he changed his name, even though he was a shy, retiring,
bookish sort, he pretty much came to RUN Geneva and the Protestant church there and wrote who knows how many books and actually had this whole theology (mistakenly) named after him; all in spite of only living til he was fifty-five or six or so.

Which brings me (somehow) to the conclusion that the English are sensible people.
Of course, I'm talking about the PEOPLE, not their goofy government which is basically socialist. I mean let's be fair here; what would you be able to say good about Americans if you judged us by OUR government? See what I mean?

A great example of English sensibleness is their celebrity worship, which is the art and science of paying an inordinate amount of attention to famous people and their doings and a sad fact of modern life in the so-called Western world.

The English are mad about "The Royals." This includes the queen and her vast brood of kinfolk, though it is mostly the younger ones who cause all the fuss. These are REAL people, not manufactured ones like the movie and tv stars our entertainment biz cranks out over here and seem to fade in and out of the public eye using a literal version of Andy Warhol's "fifteen minute" time frame.

The Royals are a real English family with an extensive history. They've gone mad, engaged in love affairs, had their heads chopped off and other interesting things, all quite publicly and all while keeping a stiff upper lip. Can you imagine Paris Hilton facing the headsman's block?

The thing is: the English train these celebrities for the job. Over here, it's just have one hit record and "you're famous, son." No wonder our celebrities behave poorly in the spotlight, pitching tantrums and paparrazzi and all. It's too much pressure being famous. I couldn't do it. Could you?

So, to sum up: good job. John Calvin. You made the right choice!

1 comment:

  1. Actually Calvin was born in 1509, which would
    make him 501 yrs old, but still a pretty cool
    old dude, which is a not-too-bad goal to
    aspire to.