Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Friday, 1 June 2012

(Underwired) Support for the Jubilee

Oh dear! Typical, somehow, that the seventh decade of the New Elizabethan Age should be ushered in by showers and unseasonal cold.

Still, as you shiver beneath the soggy bunting and tip the rainwater off your patriotic paper plate, you can enjoy a warm sense of national unanimity and fraternity; the nation united in joyous festivity over damp sausage rolls and cake.

That is, at least, according to a certain store renowned as the bell-wether of Britain's high streets. The venerable retailer has gone into what the Spouse cynically calls 'Daily Mail overdrive', getting its usually sensible knickers in a decided twist over the whole affair.

And it's not just knickers; the store has taken to heart its role as underwear purveyor to the nation and produced a range of 1950s-inspired 'Jubilee Lingerie' (Jubilingerie?), lavishly publicised in an article (with pictures - lots of pictures) in - you've guessed it! - the Mail.

Items from the range bear the slightly baffling legend 'Unite the Nation in Celebration' - a sort of updated antithesis to the old advertising slogan 'lifts and separates'. I'm sure it sounded good at the product development meeting, but, given the state of Britain today, it does seem to be asking rather a lot of one's underwear.

Actually, although I'm not usually one for mass jollification (like, I suspect, the ever-cynical Ross at Unenlightened Commentary), I'm rather pleased that Britain is going to town over the Jubilee rather than the upcoming synthetic propaganda spectacle that was once the Olympic games (see this post from Subrosa and its comments).

I happen to be heading back to my native village this weekend - a community so bloody-minded that it held its 1977 Silver Jubilee party on the wrong day because a 400-year-old feud meant that residents refused to celebrate at the same time as the neighbouring town.

What the village has planned this year is anybody's guess - but it's a fair bet no-one there will be wearing Jubilee underwear.

At this rate, we're all more likely to be breaking out the thermals.

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