Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Thingstead

Crick asked the questions like this: "Do ideals influence history. Should politics be seen as an attempt to achieve values.  Are ideals a product of circumstance."   His answer to these questions was not an easy yes or no. Instead, he'd point to the minds who might have made an attempt to answered these questions, and he suggested that basically such minds were messianic, power hungry, bad tempered, crotchety, and more likely wrong.  Crick's field of interest was politics, and he might just as well have been referring to the Vegetable Garden and it's Gardener. My own view of course is that all members of the Political Class should spend at least twenty years growing vegetables without access to the products of hardware stores, before ever being allowed to stand in the hustings. And I say this because despite the rumors, we are and always will be primarily wild creatures.

 I mention all this for two reasons. The first has to do with a crick in my neck that must have happened in the night. Which is strange indeed because even though I was under covers in darkness I don't actually remember sleeping last night.  The second reason has to do with the word "Husting." Amongst Norse and Germanic Tribes, some of whom became English Tribes, a husting was an assembly during which speeches were made. More specifically, amongst English Tribes, a husting was the assembly of the household of powerful people, such as chiefs and clan leaders.  A more defining word for husting is "Thing."  A "Thingstead" in the old English, was when hustings of  free people, those not enslaved or indentured or chained to Vegetable Gardens, would come together to talk about stuff and try to answer Crick's three questions.  And why the US Congress or the English Parliament isn't called a "Thingstead" I don't know.

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