A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘celtic

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Anthro{dendum} features an essay examining trauma and resiliency as encountered in ethnographic fieldwork.
  • Architectuul highlights a new project seeking to promote historic churches built in the United Kingdom in the 20th century.
  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait examines Ahuna Mons, a muddy and icy volcano on Ceres, and looks at the nebula Westerhout 40.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the recent mass release of data from a SETI project, and notes the discovery of two vaguely Earth-like worlds orbiting the very dim Teegarden’s Star, just 12 light-years away.
  • Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber notes that having universities as a safe space for trans people does not infringe upon academic freedom.
  • The Crux looks at the phenomenon of microsleep.
  • D-Brief notes evidence that the Milky Way Galaxy was warped a billion years ago by a collision with dark matter-heavy dwarf galaxy Antlia 2, and notes a robotic fish powered by a blood analogue.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that India plans on building its own space station.
  • Earther notes the recording of the song of the endangered North Pacific right whale.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the role of emotional labour in leisure activities.
  • Far Outliers looks at how Japan prepared for the Battle of the Leyte Gulf in 1944.
  • Gizmodo looks at astronomers’ analysis of B14-65666, an ancient galactic collision thirteen billion light-years away, and notes that the European Space Agency has a planned comet interception mission.
  • io9 notes how the plan for Star Trek in the near future is to not only have more Star Trek, but to have many different kinds of Star Trek for different audiences.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the observation of Pete Buttigieg that the US has probably already had a gay president.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the many ways in which the rhetoric of Celtic identity has been used, and notes that the archerfish uses water ejected from its eyes to hunt.
  • Language Hat looks at why Chinese is such a hard language to learn for second-language learners, and looks at the Suso monastery in Spain, which played a key role in the coalescence of the Spanish language.
  • Language Log looks at the complexities of katakana.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the death of deposed Egypt president Mohammed Morsi looks like a slow-motion assassination, and notes collapse of industrial jobs in the Ohio town of Lordstown, as indicative of broader trends.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the death of Mohamed Morsi.
  • The Map Rom Blog shares a new British Antarctic Survey map of Greenland and the European Arctic.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how non-religious people are becoming much more common in the Middle East, and makes the point that the laying of cable for the transatlantic telegraph is noteworthy technologically.
  • Noah Smith at Noahpionion takes the idea of the Middle East going through its own version of the Thirty Years War seriously. What does this imply?
  • The NYR Daily takes a look at a Lebanon balanced somehow on the edge, and looks at the concentration camp system of the United States.
  • The Planetary Society Blog explains what people should expect from LightSail 2, noting that the LightSail 2 has launched.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw points readers to his stories on Australian spy Harry Freame.
  • Rocky Planet explains, in the year of the Apollo 50th anniversary, why the Moon matters.
  • Drew Rowsome reviews, and praises, South African film Kanarie, a gay romp in the apartheid era.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper examining the relationship between childcare and fertility in Belgium, and looks at the nature of statistical data from Turkmenistan.
  • The Strange Maps Blog shares a map highlighting different famous people in the United States.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains why different galaxies have different amounts of dark matter, and shares proof that the Apollo moon landings actually did happen.
  • Towleroad notes the new evidence that poppers, in fact, are not addictive.
  • Window on Eurasia warns about the parlous state of the Volga River.
  • Arnold Zwicky takes an extended look at the mid-20th century gay poet Frank O’Hara.

[LINK] “Cornish identity: why Cornwall has always been a separate place”

Philip Marsden had an article published in The Guardian responding to the recent recognition by the British government of the Cornish as a distinct ethnicity. Cornwall, as Marsden argues, is a region of England that is not just a region of England, but rather a place with its own distinctive ethnic identity.

Why did the resurgence come so late? It might just be a matter of numbers. Only a few hundred people claim the (revived) Cornish language as their main language. The population of all Cornwall is comparable to the number of people in Wales who actively speak Welsh, and the population of Wales is six times that of Cornwall. I do wonder how long this effort can be sustained, but if Cornish wish it, why not?

When I first drove down to live in Cornwall more than 20 years ago, I was met by a graffiti message on a railway bridge near Truro: “Go home, English!” I should have taken it personally. I should have politely turned around to head back across the Tamar. I was exactly the sort of incomer who was swamping the last little islands of Cornishness. But in fact, I found it heartening. Cornwall was not England – that was why I’d come.

Since then, Cornwall’s distinctiveness has, rather than being smothered, become resurgent. In those days, the monochrome simplicity of St Piran’s flag was an unusual sight, confined to places of nationalist fervour like Hellfire Corner at Redruth rugby ground. Now it is everywhere – in the logos of Cornish companies, on car stickers (usually with some jokey tag like “Pasty on Board”), or fluttering importantly from Cornwall council buildings. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the Cornish language was likewise invisible, a barbarous and long-vanished practice, like piracy and smuggling. Now it receives government funding to be taught in schools and appears on the bilingual signs at the Cornish “border” on the A30, and on street signs for every new housing development.

It is tempting to regard such reinventions as quaint, like Morris dancing or beating the bounds; some of the most vigorous St Piran’s flag-waving comes from English, or even American, settlers. But Cornwall’s separateness runs deeper than that. It is less folksy and more physical, something from the soil itself, like the radon gas that seeps out of the granite of Carnmenellis or West Penwith.

The survival of Cornish identity can be traced, on one level, to the quirk of geomorphology and tectonics that placed the sea on three sides and made most of the fourth out of the river Tamar. The shape is reflected in the name: the “Corn-” comes from the Cornish “kern”, or “horn” ( the Cornish name for Cornwall, Kernow, is now as ubiquitous as St Piran’s flag, and has the same root). Trying to identify Cornwall’s appeal, Jacquetta Hawkes reached for its shape: “Cornwall is England’s horn, its point thrust out into the sea.”

Such a position has always made Cornwall tricky to administer. The Romans didn’t bother trying, as long as their supply of tin was secure. Saxon villagisation did not extend far into Cornwall. When the Tudors tried to unite the realm, the Cornish proved unbiddable. Two of the fiercest rebellions of the time came from the far south-west. In 1497, a revolt against taxation began in the village of St Keverne on the Lizard; within months, 15,000 restive Cornishmen had reached London, where they were soundly routed. In 1997, the Keskerdh Kernow 500 commemorated the revolt tracing the original route from St Keverne to Blackheath. The smaller, more benign band of flag-waving Cornish that wound through the market towns of southern England helped to re-establish the sense of Cornish identity, at least for those who took part.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 30, 2014 at 1:04 am