Paul V. Coates -- Confidential File, July 6, 1959
July 6, 2009 | 2:00 pm
Fourth Shenanigans Shock Monarchist
I trust this raucous celebration can be considered at an end until next July the Fourth.
Now then, if the parades have run their routes, the Elks' bands have laid up their wind instruments, the bunting has been swept away, the lemonade jugs have been drunk dry and the din of the last cherry bomb has faded, I can tell you.
I can tell you that I have little patience with all this unrestrained enthusiasm.
To me, it represents a shocking display.
Well, if you must know, old man, I'm a monarchist.
Not a militant one. Just a rather wistful, sentimental one.
And it pains me deeply, every year at this time, to note the extraordinary behavior of the colonists.
Really, it is quite bad form to make such a public spectacle of one's feelings over an unfortunate misunderstanding that happened so long ago.
It just isn't the sort of thing one does.
At least, this one doesn't.
I spend my Fourth of July feeling rather sad that we were unable or unwilling to find some gentlemanly course for agreement with our ruler, George III.
Grant you, he was a stuffy old duck. But he was not unapproachable.
And the whole ugly mess might have been resolved to everyone's satisfaction if we had been guided by calmer heads. Instead we engaged in that atrociously ill-mannered Boston Tea Party and allowed ourselves to be swayed by the histrionics of such malcontents as Patrick Henry.
However, that's all water under the bridge, as the saying goes. I suppose there really isn't much we can do about it now. Unless, of course, there are enough of us and we all band together.
My dedication to the crown is not totally free of emotional entanglement. The fact is, I am secretly in love with the queen.
And I hope she's happy with Philip. Although, frankly, I fail to see how anyone could be happy married to a man whose idea of a ruddy good joke is to turn the lawn sprinklers on unsuspecting newspaper photogs.
While it may be presumptuous of me to say so, Her Royal Highness is my kind of a girl.
She's got -- how shall I put it? Real class!
I love the way she looks, the way she walks and the way she talks.
And the way she talks, incidentally, is another reason that I am an Anglophile.
Lost Our Language
It is my sincere belief that when we won our independence, we lost our language.
A people who once paid solemn homage to the King's English have been miserably reduced to speaking in a slack-jawed drawl.
It didn't happen immediately, you understand. It has been a gradual, insidious process. But over the years our speech has become infected by an epidemic of double negatives and worse which crept stealthily up from the bayous, down from the Ozarks, in from the Panhandle and out from the Bronx.
The carrier has been the popular song. And the sickness first came over us, at least in my time, with a grammatical abortion called "I Ain't Got Nobody."
This was followed in quick succession with "Yes, We Have No Bananas," "Ain't She sweet?" "Them There Eyes," "Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby?" "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More" and, recently, a sloppily insensible ballad called "Throw Mamma From the Train a Kiss."
You see my point, I'm sure. If we were still part of the empire such things could never happen.
And that peculiar Tennessee Teddy Boy, Elvis Presley, would be obliged to sing it, "You Aren't Anything but a Hound Dog."
"It may not have much of a beat that way, but it's proper, by gad.