Vivat Elizabeth

Melanie Phillips has written a great tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is the nation, she writes, she must live forever. I’ll admit to having the same feeling about Her Majesty. I was upset to see that she was not able to attend the Remembrance service yesterday in London. You know she isn’t well, if that is the case – we know what these things mean to her. I had also been a bit surprised to see her looking gaunt a few weeks ago, but, as my spouse points out, Elizabeth is 95 and she lost her dear husband earlier this year. Of course, she cannot live forever. We know this. But her vulnerability brings something even more meaningful, more profound, to her relationship with her subjects. Giles Fraser writes about this phenomenon at Unherd.

Indeed, the version of the Queen that we are now seeingĀ isĀ the greatest of her roles as our monarch. It is not important if she misses COP26 or other political talking shops. She is doing something much more important now.

She is showing us what human life is all about when we loosen our grip on power and status and function. Her last act may well be her finest.

Mort Sahl

Mort Sahl died, and, apart from his contributions and life, there is something else noteworthy about his passing: an extraordinary piece of writing about him. It is rare that I say, about the New York Times, “Wow, what excellent journalism,” but I will say it about this obituary. Do read it. I’ll admit to getting tremendously sentimental when I watch clips of Sahl, as my parents were certainly big fans. He was that era’s sophisticate – without being condescending – and he revolutionized comedy – without ever being vulgar. There is a terrific clip of Sahl embedded in the linked-above piece. Watch it and ask yourself who the 2021 equivalent of this man is: I can’t think of anyone. What a shame.

Remembrance Day Links

There are so many stories – I am choosing today to highlight a few.

The story of Roddie Edmonds – courage and humility. Never talked about what he did.

The story of Tommy Prince – would be very happy to see him on one of our bills. I know his name has been suggested as a possibilty for that honour.

Canada’s Cree Code Talkers – I knew little about them until recently.

The story of Jack LaChance, a Canadian who served in Korea.

The story of Adrian Carton de Wiart – has a movie been made about this man?

The story of the women of the 404th Armed Service Forces band.

The story of Hubert Germain – he died a month ago but was officially laid to rest today in Paris.