Saturday, 12 November 2011

Rebel Without A Cause

Last week I had a dream that I was Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey. I was all set to abandon the aristocracy and run away with Branson, the politically radical Irish chauffeur, when, regrettably, I woke up.

Ever since then I've had a slight feeling of dissatisfaction. This is partly as I'm not actually about to elope with a fictional character portrayed by a man voted the sexiest in Ireland, and partly because it is very hard to rebel against anything nowadays. My views (men and women are equal, gay people should be able to get married, we should narrow the gap between the rich and the poor) were radical in 1912, but not so much now. This is, of course, a good thing; it shows that the world has generally improved.

Rebellion nowadays is a bit...lame. It's completely impossible to rebel against open-minded, liberal parents who I completely agree with on all major issues. I wouldn't want to. I like to think if I were actually a member of the Edwardian aristocracy I would be a bit radical, but you never can tell. If I wanted the disapproval of my parents, I would get an offensive tattoo, date someone from The Only Way is Essex, a programme I have mercifully never watched, and join the BNP.
Reading 'How To Be A Woman' by Caitlin Moran, hilarious and insightful though it may be, is not going to cut it. My mum wants to read it after me.

In the good ol' days they could rebel with style. Please take a moment to do a Wikipedia search for Jessica Mitford. She was, in my opinion, the coolest person of the 20th century. Her family were aristocrats, and they were all completely and delightfully mental. One of her sisters married Oswald Moseley, the head of the British Union of Fascists, another sister fell in love with Hitler and then killed herself when Britain declared war with Germany, while Jessica became a communist and ran away to join the Spanish Civil War at the age of nineteen. There's a picture of her (which I have in a book but can't find on the internet) as an old lady playing boggle with Maya Angelou. What a badass.

It seems the way to cause controversy nowadays is to go backwards. This can only be another sign that the world is improving. My cousin's fundamentalist, homophobic, majorly conservative views are met with far more concern from my grandparents than anything I believe ever could be.

Because I can't think of a sufficient way to finish this blog, here's a picture of Caitlin Moran with Sybil and Branson from Downton Abbey (Jessica Brown-Findlay and Allen Leech, because there is no point pretending that I don't always remember actor names)


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