Monday, June 20, 2011

Ruffians Ruffle Each Other

The Royal Ascot was plagued by tattoos, flesh-baring and old-fashioned brawls, all with the Queen in attendance. It was a black day for horse racing, as the once prestigious affair was marred by these unseemly characters and actions, at what should have been a restrained and classically snooty English affair. The English soccer hooligans can have their sport; but surely, horse racing was meant for a more high-class end of society, one that is fascinated with hats and understands how to get socially tipsy on expensive champagne? You know, the 'honey, have you seen my matching cumberbund?' type crowd?

But alas, it is true, as the article clearly states:

"For 300 years, it has been the highlight of the summer calendar for the well-off and well-connected," said the Daily Mail newspaper.

"But these days, it seems, the enclosures and stands of Royal Ascot are becoming increasingly popular with a much less distinguished breed of racegoer."

Veteran BBC racing commentator Peter O'Sullevan was quoted as saying the tattoos and bare flesh were "disrespectful -- not just to the queen, but to the horses."

(end of quote)

Disrespectful to horses? Heavens, it's one thing to offend one's God-anointed sovereign on earth, it's another thing entirely to thumb one's noses at horses. That most noble of animals, the mightiest of steeds- how could they bear such an offense? With regal quiet, of course, as any animal which feeds primarily off of hay would do.

So the offense is not just for royalty, but for animal royalty as well. Who knew that horses were so sensitive? Personally, I think that if I were that snippish an animal, I wouldn't let some clumsy human get on my back, elite or not. Nor would I spend my days chasing some mechanical bunny around a racetrack for their benefit. How boring. As the top of the animal world, I would want great open fields to picnic in.

And if I were an elegant four legged animal, I would be sorely offended by the sight of tight skirts and fighting. After all, I'm not some alley cat living off garbage cans. I expect the grand public to at least dress decently in buttoned coats and knee length skirts.

Of course, one should maybe question the need for this event to take place at all, now that the horses have been offended. Perhaps this is the time to make this event even more exclusive and make it an invitation only affair where all participants are inspected prior to their arrival? Or on the other hand, perhaps this is an event that has run its course so to speak, and there is no need to have such old-world extravagance in the first place?

With the tide changing in England, and less and less people inclined to provide for traditional ways, maybe the sudden brutish behavior is an indication that the old days are truly gone?

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