May 25, 2011
What if you gave a toast and nobody raised their glass with you, because they were in the middle of a solemn ritual that you had thought was the solemn ritual that is your toast but was their national anthem and the elderly queen was queenly enough to say gently to you "that's very kind"? You would carefully place your glass on the table and stand stiffly like everyone else and hope that the wide frown on your face expressed not your nightmare experience but some simulacrum of the "national anthem face" you should have had there all along, when you were blabbing that Shakespeare — Shakespeare! — to try to butter them up about what a great country they think they have. Oh! The rigidity of this horror!