Queen Elizabeth and I have something very special in common: “Midsomer Murders.”
“Midsomer Murders” is a weekly British detective series that has run for 20 years…hopefully it’s still going strong. For about 13 seasons it starred John Nettles as Tom Barnaby, a very convincing chief detective inspector dealing, usually, with serial murders (it’s a good thing Midsomer is a county, else we’d run out of dead bodies!).
Cleverly, when Mr. Nettles decided to retire his cousin, John Barnaby, was brought in from another district to replace him, leading one of the villagers to ask, “Is EVERY CSI named Barnaby?”
Neil Dudgeon was introduced as Tom’s cousin John in a show midway between changes so we, the viewers, could adjust to his eventually taking over. I’m sure the Queen was as sad at losing Tom as I was, but we both looked forward to building an affinity with John.
One of the reasons we enjoy the program so much is because the sleuths are middle aged and the women are not ‘Barbies’.
I guess I’m a part-time Anglophile. I don’t love everything English, but I do enjoy many of their intricate dramas like “Upstairs, Downstairs”, “Downton Abby”, “Call The Midwife”, “Inspector Lewis”, because they’re well conceived, well written, and well acted.
Truly, I’ve never been impressed by so called ‘royalty’, but I remember as a child, seeing movie news about the princess and her family. It was really only by a fluke that her father became king, leaving Elizabeth his heir to the throne. They were a pretty normal family until the Duke of Windsor embraced Hitler and Wallis Simpson. He was an embarrassment to his country’s government and marrying Wallis gave Great Britain a reason to have him resign without admitting his political indiscretions.
Soon we would watch how the new royal family stood by their country during the utter devastation of World War 2, and it made us feel an affinity for them and a strong loyalty to our own country. Princess Elizabeth, as a child, spoke on radio to and for the children of a country in dire distress. She helped raise their spirits and ours.
I wonder why it takes a war to make us feel patriotic. We live in the freest country in the world and, until recently, haven’t felt how it is to be under attack. The World Trade Center tragedy took away our safety net and showed us first hand what happens in other countries, sometimes on a daily basis. It made us realize that in this shrinking world we were as vulnerable as any other far away land.
I believe we panicked. Instead of pulling together we started blaming each other; instead of consolidating, we morphed into different groups, each finding fault with the others. The infighting in our government has descended to gang warfare and rather than accentuate our sameness, we exaggerate our differences. We have become our own worst enemies. Do we really need another world war to open our eyes? If we do it won’t be ‘over there’ any more, it will be here.
Queen Elizabeth and I have much more than just “Midsomer Murders” in common. We both love our countries and care very much for future generations. We want to see them grow up in peace and enjoy fictional murder mysteries and not the horrors of another world wide holocaust, so, let’s hear it for the Queen, “Midsomer Murders”, and the world as it should be.
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