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655. Preponderance of the small (XIII)

I have never liked the Victorian era, regarded it as pure boredom—and the other day I realised why this was so: Queen Victoria. This woman was a pain. In the first place, she had a huge sulk when her husband died so that the entire British public began to doubt the monarchy because Victoria refused to come out and play—to do her duty, effectively. So she decided to make everyone else miserable for a prolonged period—and in turn helped promote the Victorian sentimental cult around death.

As if to prove that leftism is feminine, Victoria also spent her later years nagging the men around her to be more “inclusive” of Sepoys/Zulus/Scotsmen—essentially, any nominally persecuted racial minority had to be invited to society balls or be appointed as an officer in the British army. Eventually, Victoria’s post-menopausal crushes on the Scotsman John Brown and an Indian servant would be turned into sentimental multiculti happy-happy films in the mid-1990s and mid-2010s to prove, to an equally post-menopausal audience of white women, how splendidly everyone has always got along. Ahhhh.

Victoria set the tone for the whole century, since it was the British century; and the British century was prudish, moralising, full of cant, conformist, and obsessed with money and respectability—in other words, it was a womanish century; and the same can be said for Elizabeth II, at least one reason, among many, why contemporary Britain is so lame is that it has laboured under decades of feminine domination direct from the throne. No wonder Aleister Crowley cheered when he heard Victoria had died: it was like a great well-upholstered female ass had been removed from your face and you could finally breathe again—those Victorian skirts were vast, they could really cut your air supply (you thought it was a bare ass? Repulsive boy, we are respectable people here).

I always much preferred the 17th and 18th centuries: you know, the masculine imperative to set off in a skiff at midnight with a shaded lamp hung from the mast—the objective being a small Cornish cove; and once you avoided the excise men you could sit in a cosy little cave on an upturned barrel with a smokey pipe and drink grog with ye shipmates and eye up the just landed contraband—the rum barrels and spices; and perhaps there would be a comely wench from The Old Spyglass, the local tavern, into the bargain. A man needs his flintlock pistols and ruffed sleeves—a man needs to be a dandy. My ideal world is Pirates of the Caribbean crossed with Barry Lyndon—either take me there or take me to ancient Greece, but by Christ’s bones never take me to Victorian England!

I will give the Victorians one point: their prisons worked. When Oscar Wilde was caught out in his ridiculous attempt to sue the Marquess of Queensberry (because the latter had accused Wilde of being a sodomite) he ended up in prison—only a narcissist of Wilde’s proportions would have the delusional effrontery to claim it was libel to call him a bugger. Queensberry, who, ironically enough given his son’s pansyish ways, invented the Queensberry rules for boxing, maintained that there was a homosexual plot to subvert the British Empire—when you look at Britain in the 20th century, you have to wonder…it seems that since the 1890s “the love that not dare not speak its name” has never been able to shut up about it.

Confined in a dark grim cell on a diet of gruel and with a daily quantity of oakum to pick, Wilde’s only reading material was the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. Strange to report, within a few months this situation destroyed Wilde’s infatuation with Queensberry’s son, Bosie, and caused him to return to his wife’s affections. Indeed, Wilde cut all contact with Bosie—a man whom he had previously showered with Grecian love poems. So Victorian prison worked—though I bet the Georgians invented it really.


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