January 09, 2004
Thinking Things Through
Colby Cosh thinks the Democratic presidential nomination will go to a "man on horseback", since the current field of nine "is just waiting around to be swept away by a late-arriving saviour". He suggests Ted Kennedy as a plausible candidate for this particular saddle. I wish he had used a different metaphor, for two reasons:
Posted by Dr. Weevil at January 09, 2004 05:16 PM
- The description of Ted Kennedy as a "man on horseback" summons up unwanted images of Kennedy's enormous butt planted on the huge back of a Clydesdale or Pomeranian. Any other breed would have the ASPCA up in arms.
- Even then, I can't shake the further and preceding image of Kennedy being lifted onto his enormous horse with a crane, like a Mediaeval knight. And my unfortunate mental film-clip does not include any armor.
On the subject of 'who is going to save the Democrats', I thought you might like this, from an interview I did with Ron Kling recently -
-So, any predictions for 2004 and beyond? You did fairly well for 2003.
Well, I've been saying for a few years that Hillary Clinton will be our next president.
-You're a Clinton supporter?!
-And she's not even running.
Oh, she's running alright. The Washington Post has started calling her a 'shadow candidate'. I really feel she'll win in November, but if not then it'll be four more years of Bush & Company, and THEN it'll be Hillary. Four more years of Bush is the real longshot, though. Right now the oddsmakers are giving Hillary 9 to 1. That's a better place for your money than a 401k. Until recently they had her at 12 to 1, so you'd better hurry and get your bets down.
-Why do you think it will be Hillary?
She's the one who will bring the US more under the UN's control. Very soon the tide of public opinion is going to decisively turn against the present regime and people will be clamoring for investigations and more oversight. The logical entity to provide the kind of oversight people will want is the United Nations. And Hillary is positioned to be the social savior.
-But you're not a UN supporter, are you? I've heard you talk against the UN and the concept of world government.
Yes. I'm not saying I like it. And I don't know if it's all a grand conspiracy, or just a collection of smaller conspiracies going in the same general direction, or whether it's just some kind of natural societal drift, but it's happening.
Is he crazy, or not? I guess we'll find out ....
Even then, I can't shake the further and preceding image of Kennedy being lifted onto his enormous horse with a crane, like a Mediaeval knight. And my unfortunate mental film-clip does not include any armor.
And add the sound track: "Sancho! My armour!"
We are still a nation enthralled with the old west. I can explain most presidential elections since WWII, by which person would look better on a horse. Try it, it will work but sometimes you have to squint real hard.
The description of Ted Kennedy as a "man on horseback" summons up unwanted images of Kennedy's enormous butt planted on the huge back of a Clydesdale or Pomeranian. Any other breed would have the ASPCA up in arms.
I'm thinking you meant "Percheron" rather than "Pomeranian". A Pomeranian is a rather small dog, and although the image of that is rather grotesquely amusing, I don't think it'd be very functional as a mount.
I think I read somewhere in Solzhenitsyn's autobiographical works that the Germans used Pomeranian horses to pull their artillery in World War II, and that he felt sorry for the poor dumb animals that were wounded and dying and had no clue why. Artillery horses would naturally be the largest available. A quick web search suggests that Pomeranians are at least largish horses. This site lists Pomeranians as one of many breeds midway between the light and heavy (= draft?) horses, while the West Pomeranian Horse Breeding Association site links to only six other sites whose titles are not in Polish: Breton, Le Chewal Perchron (sic), The Clydesdale Horse Society, The Shire Horse Society, Heavy Horse World, and Draft Horse Journal Online. Even if 'Pomeranian' is not a recognized breed of horse, or not a particularly large breed of horse, it appears that the people of Pomerania like big horses.
Of course, there's no reason why a particular province can't be known for very small dogs and very large horses simultaneously, as long as the dogs are smart enough not to get stepped on by the horses.
However, you're right that 'Percheron' would have been more perspicuous.
Heh. Just when I think I've got you, I find that it's the other way around. Thanks for the link; I'd not heard of that breed. Percherons, were also (no surprise) used for hauling guns.
After digging a bit, perhaps the Shire horse would be a better choice than Percheron. The Shires can top out near a ton and a half in weight and nineteen hands in height. Odd that hobbits would choose to breed them so large...
Fie! Medieval knights were NOT lifted into the saddle by crane -- that's Victorian hokum. In fact, any knight worth his spurs should have been able to vault into the saddle in full armor without using his stirrups. The amount of weight carried into battle has changed remarkably little over the centuries, at least as a percentage of body weight. If anything, the weight went up with the advent of firearms.
Note that very heavy armor WAS used for sporting events, such as certain specialized jousts.
Another myth that never seems to die is that knights rode giant horses that are the ancestors of modern draft animals. Preferred mounts were strong but agile -- supposedly the Lippizaners are one line that can be traced back to Spanish mounts favored by the knights of old.