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A couple of old queens dis each other

16 May 2012

¡Ai carumba… faith and begorra!  Greetings to the Irish Politics forum readers that are pouring in here (or, all 30 or so of you, but that’s quite a few to what one of your readers called “an obscure Mexican website”).    While focused mostly on Mexico (and not quite unknown within the small field of English-language Latin American cultural/historical/political sites), The MexFiles occasionally (admittedly usually only on 17 March) mention Ireland:  besides the importance in our history of various  Irish-Mexicans, the two cultures have similarities — agrarian, Catholic nations overshadowed by large English-speaking Protestant neighbor which appropriated about a third of our respective territory — that sometimes make analogies worth exploring.

While the Malvinas and Gibraltar are rather peripheral to my usual concerns, I’ve been considering, as my next book, a study of the beliefs and attitudes of English speaking writers towards Mexico.  My thesis is that these are an extension of the “black legend” that painted the Spanish particularly loathsome colonial rulers compared to the English.  The “Black Legend” appears to be rooted in the struggles and ambitions (and unhappy alliances) between the royal families of what were in the late 16th century “emerging superpowers”.  I was rather amused to read in The Guardian an article that to my mind shows that 16th century family drama is still having its effects today.   

It’s something of a side issue (more a footnote) that English-language commentary on Peronism (and Eva Peron) is an example of the modern manifestation of the “black legend”… portraying the Perons as fascists (they supported Mussolini, but mostly because he was anti-British) which sought to economically liberate Argentina from British corporate dominance… or, as it’s known in our part of the world, “neo-colonialism”.

Ill-will between the British and the Spanish goes back to Henry VIII’s unhappy marriage to Ferdinand and Isabella’s daughter, Catherine of Aragon, but it seems any place they can find a rock (or a couple of rocks) near some Spanish-speaking country, you’ll find a little corner that is — against all common sense — not quite forever England.

Those guys really know how to hold a grudge.  While Britain had no problem dumping Hong Kong and didn’t make any pretense that they were at all concerned with the democratic rights or anything else of the people left behind, it wasn’t as if Mao and the gang had much to do with the British Royal Family.

The Malvinas, of course, were inherited by Argentina from Spain.  I don’t think the British concern for the fate of 3000 some residents has as much to do with democracy or oil or anything really… other that the fact that when the Perons finally got tired of the British treating their country as a colony (and one needs to remember that the often repeated shibboleth that Argentina was the wealthiest country in the world in the early 20th century conveniently overlooks that the money was in the hands of British residents, not Argentine citizens, who got squat for the most part), Eva just didn’t take the British monarchy very seriously.

And Gibraltar?… what better way to rub it in that, after occupying the place just because the  heirs of Ferdinand and Isabella preferred their French relations to their pro-British German ones when it came time to replace the worn-out Hapsburg line on the throne in 1700, than to hang onto an otherwise anachronistic fortress on the Iberian Peninsula?

Eva Peron is long dead, and Cristiana Fernandez is be unlikely to be invited, but it seems Queen Elizabeth of England is having a big “do” coming up and is inviting the entire family.  Although her cousin, Queen Sophia of Spain had made a big “do” herself by saying she wouldn’t go.

Seems that even though Sophia is Prince Philip’s first cousin (and they’re both Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburgs (though Philip for some reason changed his name to Montbatten-Windsor), and the family ties to the Trastámaras and Tudors are pretty tenuous after 500 years, Royals are not like you and I.  Besides being even more inbred than your average hillbilly clan, they have a lot more practice with family feuds.  And they really know how to hold a grudge:

And, of course, they´re a couple of old queens… nasty by definition:

They’re part of a scene, where being nice is a radical act… They’re negative queens, they’re negative queens. *

*Apologies to Pansy Division.

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