Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Downton Abbey Reference

I've enjoyed the show.  Yes, the storylines are so bad that I always say they must have been written by a 7th grade girl ("Uh oh, we're broke and we'll lose Downton--no wait!  One of us just inherited zillions from someone we're not even related to and now we're saved!") but the scenery, the speech, the costumes, I can't help but enjoy it.

It's clear I'm getting old.  My 3 favorite characters are Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes (now Mrs. Carson--yay!), and the Dowager Countess.  I respect the dowager's morality even in those few instances where I disagree with it; and come on, Maggie Smith seems to be truly enjoying herself playing that part!

I didn't expect to see Downton Abbey relate to our political issues of today, but when I saw this article I like the dowager even a little bit more:
For those who don't follow the show, one of the subplots of the current and final season, which takes place in 1925, involves a debate over whether to let the larger Yorkshire hospital absorb a smaller local hospital. Though other characters in the show are in favor of the move, arguing it would bring more modern equipment and treatments to the village, Violet is fighting the idea tooth and nail, warning it would deprive the locals of their autonomy and there would be less individualized care.

On Sunday's episode, Violet (played by the brilliant Maggie Smith) made the case that there was a broader importance to fighting the hospital takeover.

"For years I've watched governments take control of our lives, and their argument is always the same — fewer costs, greater efficiency — but the result is the same too," Violet said. "Less control by the people, more control by the state, until the individual's own wishes count for nothing. That is what I consider my duty to resist."
Hear hear. And it might not hurt to hear from the Gipper himself on the issue:

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