Bad Queen Bess
Tell me, will you.
What is it about about Elizabeth II which provokes such comically implausible ideas about her person?
If she's not accused of plotting to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, she's running the biggest drug cartel one day, or she is accused of being the West's mastermind of evil the next. I mean, WTF.
It must be awful to know that your namesake has such monikers as Good Queen Bess and Gloriana, whereas you'll go down in history as Badass Liz.
I don't know.
Maybe you see some dastardly Svengali figure in the official Lucien Freud painting above, but all I see is a ragged old lady wearing too chunky pearls, with hints of a five o'clock shadow.
This is hardly the stuff of world domination.
It's barely the stuff of an Agatha Christie whodunit. Sheesh.
Trust Al-Qaeda to come out with a video, revealed in the Sunday Times, calling her "one of the severest enemies of Islam".
In this video, one of the London bomber terrorists, Mohammad Sidique Khan, spoke in his broad Leeds accent about "Western atrocities against Islam" being the motive for his murdering ways.
At the end of the video, although not in the same frame as Khan, Jordan's Most Wanted listee, number 2 Al-Qaeda man Ayman al-Zawahiri, was heard threatening the life of the British monarch, who turns 80 next year.
His motivation is quite simple. She's the top Crusader, being the Head of the Church of England.
You couldn't make this up if you held a hundred Hollywood power lunches.
But wait, as Ron Popeil says, there's more!
He also levelled a threat to Muslims in Britain, who follow British laws.
Al-Zawahiri also warns Muslim leaders in Britain who "work for the pleasure of Elizabeth, the head of the Church of England".
He said those who followed her were saying: "We are British citizens, subject to Britain's crusader laws, and we are proud of our submission."
And this, in a nutshell, is the problem with this particular brand of this particular religion, and which poses a threat to all people who live in the countries where their co-religionists have settled.
That these poor immigrants are targets just as much as the non-Muslims, with even worse consequences because they are apostates if they submit to non-Islamic ways.
I'm not sure what they were expecting, if the countries they settled in where not Muslim to begin with, except maybe that the spirit of their religion would convert en masse all good peoples of the country.
But even more disgustingly than that, it is proof positive to all the nay-sayers who would suggest that the invasion of Iraq, is the main motivation for Britain's 7/7 Tube attacks.
It is not.
These people are not waging war against the UK because it toppled Saddam Hussein. They are doing it because they hate the West, made manifest through its "impure" laws and religion, full stop.
Such a mindset would never be satisfied, even if the Coalition could leave tomorrow.
For people who have been twisted to think this way, religion is the only determinant factor in life. It trumps national sovereignty, national mores, customs, and history, and non-Muslim laws of moral conduct.
Let's face it.
In our cultures, religion plays a very small role publicly. Whatever role it plays, it is because we infuse it with relevance, each of us, ourselves.
This is due to the separation of Church and State, which if not de jure, is de facto in many European countries. It is certainly true in North America.
But in their version of their religion, that is the sole determinant of whether a person lives or dies, since they are either worthy of life or death based solely on this idea, confirmed in their statement of guilt by association above.
I have no doubt that the Queen, because she is a Christian sovereign, and leader of her faith, plays an outsized role in their minds.
(Not because she's a woman though. Al-Qaeda have also levelled threats against the Vatican, and the person of the current Pope, Benedict XVI -- proving yet again, to everyone but the thickest-headed, that it's not about persons, or countries' acts; it's about religions and cultures, which are beyond our control)
In their warped imagination, she would tell her people "You must fight against Muslims everywhere!", and her subjects would put down their shepherd pies at once, following her lead.
This shows almost an abnormal rationale of how the West works, and how the Western mind has been shaped since the Enlightenment.
How perverse is it to imagine an 80-year old woman would follow a pregnant Eleanor of Aquitaine's steps, and mount her allegorical horse to lead her kingdom into battle against Islam?
No, I take that back. It's not an Agatha Christie whodunit. It's a Monty Python skit.
Instead of the Queen Victoria Handicap, it's the Queen Elizabeth Derby with Mecca as the gate prize.
Here is she, knighting one of her trusted Lieutenants for the upcoming battle.
Note the self-satisfied grin on his face, as he holds aloft his decoration, The Order of the Most Ancient Monopoly of the Sucky Operating Systems, First Class.
Of course, the Queen is no pushover herself.
Back in the day, she woke up to find a man seated on her bed, and to her relief, it wasn't Prince Philip.
It was a would-be assassin lunatic, who had sauntered past the "extensive" Buckingham Palace security system, making himself comfy for a few days in its cavernous rooms, before showing up unannounced in the sovereign's bedroom.
Keeping her wits about herself, she calmly spoke to him, and when he asked her if she had a cigarette on her (no doubt confusing her for Princess Margaret), with great presence of mind, she said, "No, but I know where I can get them, wait here", and in her Victoria's Secret negligée, opened the door to raise the alarm to her guard.
If it had been Charles, he would've lectured him on the evils of fags, and bored him to death.
So you see, Al-Qaeda are messing with the wrong Windsor.
Anyway, I can't see a suicide bomber getting past the corgis.
That's, right-to-left, royal corgis Emma, Linnet, Monty, Willow and Holly.
Then there are the dorgis, that special mix of dachshund and corgi, of which there are 4: Cider, Berry, Vulcan and Candy.
Not to mention the Queen's five cocker spaniels called Bisto, Oxo, Flash, Spick and Span.
See! You just can't murder an elderly woman who names her pets after Star Trek and household products -- you just CAN'T.
Take Anne instead.
IN THE COMMENTS: Commenter Benning asks incredulously if that really is an official portrait of the Queen. I think it's a remark that passed through everyone's mind, including my own, when first you see it. I don't know WHAT the Queen or the Palace officials who hired him were thinking, as Lucian Freud, the grandson of Sigmund, is infamous for his "warts and all" paintings, some of which, like the one above of the Queen, hang in the National Portrait Gallery. In the interest of fairness, here is a Freud self-portrait, a lesser-known one of the many he's done of himself. It is no less brutally frank than the others, and certainly, than the grotesque Goya-like one of Elizabeth II.
Here is a more conventionally acceptable recent portrait of the Queen.
I suppose to some people, you show your disdain or sophistication by not being very starry-eyed about those in power.
Well and good.
But give us a nice rosy-cheeked Queen, not a transvestite trucker, to look at in our embassies, for goodness' sakes. Staring at that Freud painting for 4 hours as you wait for your passport to be emitted is absolute murder.