Mankind's only alternative 25   SEP.   18  
Mankind's only alternative
Vlad's Daily Gloat - The eXile Blog
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Book Review November 25, 2003
 
Nostalgia for the Whip-Hand
By John Dolan Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 4
 
But his most worshipped ancestor fought against the Maori: "Between the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War, Britain fought twenty-nine small colonial wars...My family fought and perished in a great many of them. One warrior sums up all of them. He was great-great grandfather Colonel Surgeon William Temple, who fought against the Maoris in New Zealand. In 1863, during the Waikato War on North Island [sic], Temple won a Victoria Cross, the Empire's highest military decoration for courage. This was recognition for his bravery while tending his wounded comrades under a hail of intense fire from the ramparts of Rangiriri Pa, a fort of the tattooed Maori rebels."

Hartley's reasons for choosing this particular ancestor are clear. The role of surgeon puts his ancestor in sacrificial position, tending a poor wounded comrade before the fortifications of "tattooed Maori rebels." It never ceases to amaze me, the way anyone who opposes English-speaking armies is a "rebel." How did the Maori get to be "rebels" against British invaders? And what exactly do their tattoos have to do with it? And isn't it a bit disingenuous to cut directly to the fight without mentioning why the Maori were driven to rebellion to hold onto a small part of their country?

In fact, the Maori, like the Irish who were trying to take back "Londonderry," are not human beings for Hartley. He doesn't even bother to discover that it's "the North Island," not "North Island." let along worry how the "London" got into what was once simply "Derry."

And so it goes, across the centuries. The Boer War, one of the last and most unjust of Britain's land-grab wars, enters the Hartley family album via "great-grandfather Gerhadt [sic] L'Honneur Sanders, who was to fight in the Boer War siege of Ladysmith...."

Note Hartley's fondness for ancestors who endured "sieges" by "rebels." It's a classic way of casting invaders as victims. I had to go over the book again and again to find any description of British aggression, and when I did, it was this brief allusion to a war which interests Hartley only because it launched his employer, Reuters: "In 1867, a [Reuters] correspondent journeyed with General Napier on the expedition into the mountains of Abyssinia to defeat the [Ethiopian] Emperor Theodore and sack his fort with its priceless library at Magdala." When Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, it was inhuman aggression. When General Napier sacked their cities, that was simply family history.

And the Hartleys did very well in the next phase of conquest: "[W]hen the colonial peoples had been conquered, we were the rulers, the civil servants, the collectors, the engineers, the planters." Such were the concrete advantages of what Hartley elsewhere calls "...my ancestors[']...selfless service to monarch and country."

To be specific, Hartley's parents gained from Britain's Africa conquests the ownership of a gigantic cattle ranch in Kenya. All was bliss for the settlers until the Mau-Mau "rebellion" started--another "rebellion" by people who were there first. The dispossessed Kikuyu started out just the way my ancestors did in Cavan: by hamstringing the Squire's cattle on good dark nights. Again, only the violence committed at this point in the Imperial narrative is dramatized, with "...a [Mau-Mau] gang chop[ping] their neighbor into little pieces while he was taking his bath."

If the sacredness of the bath is to be violated, what's left? The Hartleys had to "up sticks and move to Tangyanika." Yet there too, the pesky Africans get out of hand. Nyerere comes to power, announcing a policy which "...was less a creed than a way of justifying national theft and vandalism." In other words, they wanted their country back, so the Hartleys had to "up sticks" yet again.

It's their ranchouse in the Tanzanian highlands Hartley misses most. This too is a standby of Imperial rhetoric: buildings are mourned far more intensely than people. And so, little Aidan (named for the colony, but with a timely Celtic spelling) "...grew up feeling that I had been born too late to be part of our greatest adventure." It's difficult for him to feel at home among Africans, who, as he states in one of the book's most stunning understatements, "...associated us with an imperialist past they wanted to put behind them."


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit

Browse author
dolan@exile.ru
 
 
FROM THE VAULT

Bleak House :
Toxoplasma, the Brain Bug
TOXOPLASMA : The obscure cat-shit parasite that explains Europe

iPafos with the iBook :
Cold War Bullshit
Cold Bullshit : Ten Piles of "New Cold War" Crap
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru