Monday, February 03, 2014


When I was very young, the little old ladies still, believe it or not, wore flowered hats and white gloves when they went out to do the shopping and meet their friends in Victoria's tearooms. They were the daughters, often spinsters, of the men who had built the town in the late 19th and early 20th century. Until the 1980s, Victoria really was not only an English colonial town, but an Edwardian English colony.

What is now only a conceit of the tourist industry, with its tawdry "Ye bitte of olde Englande" tourist traps and double-decker buses that take you to the Butchart Gardens, was then simply the cultural reality. Nearly all the kids in my school had parents with native English accents, usually from the southeast. The Home Counties.

Those little old ladies were a town treasure, living, usually alone, in the sprawling Edwardian houses their fathers built, looking after their gardens, keeping watch over the fin de siecle. Everyone deferred to them. As kids, we used to fight over who got to stand up and offer them our seats on the bus.

Between these ladies and my grandma, the ladies in grandma's neighbourhood and some of my friends' grandmas, I grew up thinking very highly of little old ladies and littleoldlady-hood in general.

Then one day, I looked around and noticed something quite different. The LOLs had morphed into something new, and not so admirable. I realised then that I had been taking it for granted that somehow, no matter what sort of person on started out as, one would ultimately mature into one of these treasure-ladies, that this was the natural process of life. But it finally dawned on me, sometime about 1983, that the little old ladies I had known were the products of a particular cultural millieu, one that had died with them. The difference in manner that I started seeing with the next generation was not encouraging.

Then the horrible thought occurred, what kind of old ladies are my mother's generation going to produce? And what about mine?

I think this question is what the Congregation for Religious should be asking themselves right now.

What kind of old lady is the current world producing? Well, the sort that their children aren't going to find too difficult to suggest euthanasia to, is my guess.



BillyHW said...

Boy you've hit the nail on the head. I've recently had some encounters with modern LOLs and I couldn't help but wish to myself that they'd pass on and make the world a better place by their absence.

Unknown said...

The cleric who is interviewed blames "the secular culture" for the decline in religious life. How much longer do we have to hear such rubbish? What kind of Church blames the non-Christian world for its own lack of heroic witnesses? It's a secularized CHURCH that is to blame. There must be something about having a position of influence in the Church that blinds people to obvious truths.

Unknown said...

It is interesting to watch the generation that overthrew the establishment become the establishment.