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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Mag 145





My throne

In this seat I do sit
With my thoughts
My life and
All my regrets
The minor detritus of a life Gone astray
Line the walls
These walls stand sentry
To this wasted gift you did give to me
And that charge you placed
You see I’ve wasted it
Oh the trees
The trees they have kept me company
These many long years
Their leaves a testament
To my life and where it went
With my thoughts
My life and
All my regrets
You see I still sit
On this my
Throne of solitude

Chris McQueeney    11/26/12    1:01 P.M.


I was involved in a discussion with an author the other day who was upset with Americans and their lack of understanding that there is a British form of English as well as the American version. Supposedly an American corrected her spelling on a word that was spelled using the British version of English. 

While I can understand her frustration I had a hard time with the fact that the post in a way was about how horrible Americans were, and how the few of us that weren't ignorant hillbillies should rightfully rest under the cloud of negativity those others created. 

There are 315,000,000 Americans currently living in America...and all of those Americans have the freedom of speech. They also have the freedom to chose where they spend their dollars and if they prefer books that are written in the American style of English, well, more power to them. 

I guess what bothered me is that if you took the word American out and replaced it with Black, or Chink or Whop or Fag or any other derogatory word they would have fit. Why is it OK to be a bigot if it is directed at another country? And when has the argument It's ok that I do it because everyone else does it held water?

Now had you asked a question like "why would America or a good portion of Americans not want to learn the Queens own version of English?" you might have gotten a response like: from the time of the revolutionary war America has striven to separate itself from its colonial roots. And while I have no problem acknowledging that there are two different forms of English, there may be a portion of Americans that will never acknowledge the validity of your form of English because of the revolutionary war and the scars it left behind. 

Chris McQueeney  

This is Being linked to The Mag 145 where Tess brings image for us to go all poetic on.


14 comments:

Berowne said...

Nice poem - but, "could have went"?

Brian Miller said...

solitude can sit pretty heavy man....i like the ackowledgement to squandering gifts....true of many man....the trees are not bad company though....smiles.

Other Mary said...

Hey, I saw this pic as a throne too. And I love that you use the word 'detritus' :o) It adds to the forlorn feel of the piece. And as a fellow American I know those big oceans can make us a bit insular... I think we just do our best to prove that opinion wrong in our writing and speech Chris. :o)

Natasha Head said...

Awesome weave, Chris...and imagine me, a Canadian...my blog is rather colourful (note red line below) with a nice mesh of English and American...yup...going back to MY chair of solitude to ponder this one further. I've also been ridiculed for the spelling of my Parlour as well...whoops, another red line there ;) The way I see it, no matter how I spell it, I'm pretty sure we've enough clues combined to figure out the intent...in most cases ;)

Indigo said...

I find solitude among the trees the more peaceful choice. I'm so not a people person. In any case, I've always tried to abide by the rule if you have nothing worthy to say, say nothing. More people could use that advice over trading insults. Everything has "its" place. (Hugs)Indy

Ben Ditty said...

Trees are great company.

I understand the right people have to spell English in their own fashion but I do think it would be easier if we conformed a little more to the rest of the world with that and measurement.

JustinBog said...

Love solitude as a writer and abhor it when caught in The Chair. Is Superman involved? Nice and I also take aggravation from others (The Rant) with a grain of salt. The British versus American post I read once and laughed at the hubris circling every thought within as if I was in on the joke. I like your response.

christopher said...

Just about the time you think you understand the Brits they will come up with something indecipherable. They have the same trouble with us.

At least some of the spelling variations are the Brits still keeping their French roots - colour and parlour and like that - and you must admit that they had the King's English first. I can't help feeling that referring to the Revolution and linking it to language is a crock. An ocean between us and no access to the British public schools for several hundred years is enough to allow the great American English drift even among the educated.

A final point. There are Indian English and Australian English too. They both have variants in spelling and meaning so there are four versions of English on the planet. Standardized English lies somewhere in amongst the four.

Carrie Burtt said...

Solitude among the trees....yes I love that as well.....a beautiful and strong write Chris!

Wander said...

Chris...I didn't claim that that was the only reason...but living in america it is hard to claim that the revolutionary war didn't shape our society to an extent that conforming to the english ideal is frowned upon not by everyone but some...for christ sakes we still have a national holiday celebrating our stance about brittish rule...we are independent...

christopher said...

Chris, I have no doubt that some of us do bristle but I doubt it is about the Revolution. Bristling about authority is also adolescent in its sentiment. It far more likely comes from growing up (or not) than it does some long ago political action.

Forgive me. I have almost no patriotism in me. I have been formed as strongly by my life as you have yours.

She Writes said...

I like what you did with the trees and the solitude. For some reason they work well together.

As for the rant, I sort of get it. It is ignorant of an American to correct the English spelling of an English writer. When I see British English spelling versus American English I recognize the writer is not writing Americanized English. That said, I have traveled to England, stayed with friends for 3 weeks, and love the people, but they are in their won way every bit as proud as Americans. They are proud of the power they have had at times though their country is small. Colonialism by the British has much to be embarrassed about and yet they are every bit as proud of that power as we are as a nation, and there are just as many backwards people in England as here. Th Americans have earned their reputation abroad, as have the English!!

Wayne Pitchko said...

I like where you went wwioth this....thanks for sharing

Tess Kincaid said...

Trees keep me company...