Monday, August 8, 2011

Queen's Peace

I used this picture to close the preceding post.Because it's rather a powerful image and let me explain why I think so.

The police officer has all the accoutrements of First World riot control circa 2011; helmet, facemask, radio, riot shield, baton, all in police blue, all very modern and urban down to her mascara.

But look at her.

Take the club out of her hand and shove a sword in it and she's 1211, not 2011, facing down Welsh rebels for King John. Or 711, fighting the Moors at Tours. Or 511BC, chasing helots out of Sparta. All our complex learning hasn't changed the simple understanding of one human standing ready to deal out brutal force against another.

For all our inventiveness, and gadgets, and indoor plumbing, for all our "civilization" and "wisdom" and "learning"...Constable Nameless with her club and shield reminds us that we haven't come all THAT far from when we were some damn pithecanthropus scratching our ass wondering whether that thing under that bush is something to eat or something that's going to eat us.

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