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"I think it's a great honour for Scotland,"
July 5, 2000 5:48 PM   Subscribe

"I think it's a great honour for Scotland," he said. Well he sorta served in Her Majesty's Secret Service. He just wasn't very secret about it. He did once say he thought it was alright under certain conditions to "smack a woman" though. I'm not sure if that's a part of the Chivalric Code. I don't know. What do you think?
posted by ZachsMind (12 comments total)

 
Is there anyone anymore that they won't knight? Who's next, Mick Jagger? The mind boggles.

There was a time when a knighthood represented a reward for service to the empire. Winston Churchill was knighted, but was never given any higher honor than that for the minor feat of saving the UK from destruction during WWII.

I never figured out when or why they started knighting show business personalities. Are we supposed to equate the services of Connery's service to that of Churchill, in kind and degree?

You know, sometimes I'm glad that Americans don't participate in that kind of nonsense. (Of course, we've got plenty of nonsense of our own; we don't need this one to have a full boatload.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:25 PM on July 5, 2000


Sir John Gielgud. Sir Alec Guiness. Sir Bob Geldof. I dunno. I think Queenie's made some good choices. =) The thing is with Sir Sean Connery, and I really like the guy don't get me wrong, but back in 1993 he was quoted as saying it's perfectly reasonable under certain situations for a man to slap his woman. I question the chivalry of that. Although you have to admit his honesty there. Also, Bob Geldof has supported some very worthy humanitarian causes in his life. Whether his notoriety deserves a title, his efforts deserved such a high honor. Dunno what Guiness and Gielgud did to deserve merit, other than just perform incredibly well. Sir Connery's a consummate performer as well. I wish I could see him perform the lead in Shakespeare's King Lear someday. But he also is a vocal supporter of the Scottish National Party which seeks independence from Great Britain. Not very english of him, but then he's not English. What has he done for England to warrant this?

But then I'm just a stupid yank on the other side of the Atlantic. I'm sure there's a perfectly rational explanation and I'm just too far away to understand it. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 7:43 PM on July 5, 2000



"I question the chivalry of that. Although you have to admit his honesty there. "

So It's okay to slap your woman? I think not. Not ever. It's not an indication of honesty. It's an indication of saying something really stupid.

posted by y6y6y6 at 9:09 PM on July 5, 2000


I heard this, he said something like it being ok to slap your woman if she goes crazy on you. Such as slapping and hitting you. He said you should maybe smack her to get her to calm down.

posted by FAB4GIRL at 9:50 PM on July 5, 2000


Is knighting people based on 'superficial' achievements (like being a well known actor) any different or worse than knighting people based their lineage or wealth? There's something to be said for leaving Knighthood an element of ephemerelity, but really it's just trading one superficial qualification for another.
posted by bryanboyer at 10:14 PM on July 5, 2000


Oh hell, I thought he was already knighted.

As for the chivalric code... There was indeed provisions for managing one's wife and children, it was derived from the Art of Courtly Love which allows for swift justice for the unfaithful. However, there is an awful lot more about being obedient, caring, and dashingly respectful to women.

Oddly enough, it was written at a time in which these knight type fellows were running about smashing things, raping, burning, etc., a much needed example for behavior evidently. A lot of our modern ideals of the handsome, daring and romantic knights were extracted from these texts. oh, I'm blabbering. Sorry.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 11:49 PM on July 5, 2000


I'm pretty sure that what Sean said was something along the lines of 'If a woman's bloody-minded or a bitch' then it's alright to give her 'an open-handed slap'. Thoughtful guy... As for the selection of people for knighthoods and so on, they're chosen by the political parties. Brenda (as the Queen is known) just signs the forms or whatever. They mostly go to donors to both main political parties. But they give a few out to showbiz people and lollipop ladies for the papers to report on.
posted by Mocata at 2:54 AM on July 6, 2000


What he actually said:

From a Playboy Interview, 1964: "I don't think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman - though I don't recommend doing it in the same way that you'd hit a man. An open-handed slap is justified - if all other alternatives fail and there's been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I do it." Sir Sean claims his comments were taken "out of context".

From a Vanity Fair interview in 1994: "Sometimes there are women who take you to the wire. That's what they are looking for, the ultimate confrontation. They want a smack. It's much more cruel to damage someone psychologically. To slap a woman is not the cruellest thing that you can do to her."

So just how cruel are we allowed to be, Sean? Somewhat cruel?

posted by xiffix at 8:06 AM on July 6, 2000


His views on slapping women aside, he sounds like a really depressing guy - playing golf all the time and doing rubbish flicks for the money. Bring back the heady days of Zardoz.
posted by Mocata at 9:31 AM on July 6, 2000


If there were ever a time when knighthoods were debased, it was under Lloyd George, who gave away 25,000 of various honours in the space of about four years. After that the law was revised and a commission was set up. The commission takes nominations from a multi-level hierarchy of subcommittees who endeavour to suggest likely candidates from various walks of life, e.g. the arts committee will nominate people like Connery, or an education committee will nominate an inspiring teacher.

In fact, there was a row over Mick Jagger this very last New Year's because he wasn't on the list and he'd been rumoured to be. The suggestion was that the PM had tossed him because of his family life or drug use ... and vehemently denied, suggesting that if he were ever nominated he might well be approved.

You do have to have a lifetime record of achievement, and for almost everyone that means that the dodgy stuff is well behind you.

They get around 7500 nominations every year and give out around 700-1000 of various Honours. Clearly the concept has been significantly devalued over the last century, not just recently.

I'm more concerned (as a disinterested reformer) about the issuance of Life Peerages (e.g. barons, lords) that entitle the recipient to sit in the House of Lords. At least under the current system it will over time balance out better than it has in the past (the hereditary peers were overwhelmingly Tory).

posted by dhartung at 4:02 PM on July 6, 2000


dhartund, would you accept a peerage if they offered you one? Mad props to John Snow and John le Carré for turning them down, if you ask me...
posted by Mocata at 4:27 AM on July 7, 2000


As I'm not British I don't have that particular worry. ("If I were made a Baron, what to do, what to do ..." "Henry! Take out the garbage!"). But assuming I were British and somehow eligible (say, having been a Labour contributor for some years :)), I would jump at the chance to be in government, if only to reform it. I think it's a lousy way to choose an upper legislative body.

(That said, I actually believe there's something to be said for repealing the 17th Amendment and returning Senators to their role as representatives of the state government instead of the state electorate. But that's just me.)
posted by dhartung at 11:12 AM on July 7, 2000


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