Friday, 18 December 2015
Towards a third Wessex Renaissance
The Last Kingdom TV series. Don't laugh - the goggle box has its benefits and Peter Pan spawned a girls name! How many today (with a new hero in Uhtred) are now googling 'Wessex' and pledging allegiance?!
More people today, from across the political spectrum, are searching for alternatives to Globalism and centralist ways of doing things. The political elites may have 'left' and 'right' labels, but when it comes to the nitty gritty, they are one and the same.
As a National Anarchist and radical tribalist I support all alternatives to the narratives of our Globalist betters. Regionalism is one alternative I back, and as a Wessexman it's Wessex regionalism that I embrace. Regionalist movements can take 'leftist' or 'rightist' hues, but it matters not - they all go against the global grain.
Many will know of the Kingdom (and later Earldom) of Wessex, perhaps from their schooldays (that's where I fell in love the land). But it's fair to say that the Wessex meme - once the mighty and real 'Cradle of England' - gradually dwindled into the faintest of folk memories. However, cultural revival is episodic, often appearing out of nowhere during times of great socio-economic change in reaction to, in spite of and as an antidote. The great Celtic revivals were a reaction to industrialisation, urbanisation and of empire.
Though not on the same scale, Wessex has had two revivals of note. The first arrived with Thomas Hardy and Dorset dialect poet William Barnes - and there is suggestion that the name Wessex was being used in a contemporary way before them. The 'idea' of Wessex subtly rippled on through the twentieth century until the second explosion of the Wessex brand in the 1970s with the emergence of the Wessex Regionalist Party.
Now that the millennium has turned and we witness uncertain, rootless times with entrenched cosmopolitanism, we are ripe for a third Wessex resurgence. I'll further argue that it should take a predominantly cultural dimension. The Wessex Regionalists and Wessex Society have been working away, punching way above their collective weight, achieving impressive victories like the growing recognition, acceptance and adoption of the Wessex flag, yet so much more is possible. We need to reinvent Wessex through spectacle - much like our Celtic friends. Commemorations utilising the Wessex calendar, pageants, dramatic and visual arts, music, song and and story (The Welsh do it). We should lobby to get plaques and monuments erected at significant sites in Wessex history (and make sure the whole world knows about it while we're at it) We need to celebrate Old English and popularise Zexysch*. We need to nurture Wessex sports teams (some already use the name). In all spheres of life we need to assert a Wessex identity. I'm not suggesting all this will happen in a day, but Wessex boys and girls need to think hard about what they can do to accelerate the pace. Maybe in time a Wessex welfare organisation will emerge, active in our communities, aiding our old folk and others who may need our help. The effects of the global system on Wessex's rural economy is one area where such an organisation could work.
The time is right for Wessex and for all regions (how about Wessex twinning with other regions and the opportunities arising?) Some nationalists will argue that nation-states are the best defence against globalism, but I just can't follow the logic - demand the full programme! There are signs that the Empire is teetering - it's time for a Wessex Renaissance.
*Zexysch is a Wessex linguistic form created by Robert Craig. I found this example on an internet forum:
"O Zghort Hystory Of Zexysch"
"Won þe Roman admynystration wyþdrew vrom þe Brytayns back yn þe vyft century A.D., þei left behynd am on assortment of Germanyk soldiers, most of wutch wur Zaxons.
Þe Zaxons (Zeaxes) quyklych toke over þe provynce of Upper Brytayn wyþ hys ancient capytal at Cyrencester. At þe zame tyme, þe Engle (Angles), wo wur o volk vrom þe Zouth of Jutland, wur zettlyng an Lower Brytayn (þe Norþern provynce, wyþ hys capytal at Iork).
Yn þe urlyest dais, þare wur zum zufven cunedoms, zuch as Kent and Deyra. Over tyme, þese zufven wur reduced to dree - Northumbrya, Mercya and Wesseax. Northumbrya and Mercya wur vounded by Engles, wyle Wesseax had as hys vurst cunyng, þe Bryton, Cerdic, i.e., Caradoc, probably þe natyve commander of Zaxon soldiers stationed at Cyrencester, or Carleon.
Northumbrya was þe most ymportant of þe dree. Ac, yn þe menetyme, Wesseax contynued to grow at þe expense of þe Mercyans and þe Brytons of Zomerset, Devon and Dorset. Kent came under hys zwai. Mercya vound ytzulve squeezed by hys powervol neyibours.
Northumbryan supremacy dyd noit last, as Vykyng armyes zwept across þe land, and Northumbrya and Mercya vel to am. Onlych Wesseax zdood aienst am. Cunyng Alvred reeched on agreement wutch partytioned Mercya and created Greeter Wesseax and þe Dane-law.
Vrom þan up to þe Norman Conquest West Zaxon was offyciallych þe Englysch language. Vollowyng þe unyfycation of England, þe Anglyan dyalects came under þe ynfluence of þe West Zaxon language. However, wyþ þe deth of Cunyng Harold at Hastyngs, and þe passyng of þe crown to Wyllyam, eal þe dyalects wur put an on equal votyng aien.
West Zaxon (also known as Old English [O.E.]) was now eclypsed by Chancery Englysch, developed vrom þe East Mydland dyalect zboken yn London. Zeth þun, Zexysch hath been yn retreat, wyþ dyalect myxyng contynuyng apace.
Noit onlych hath Chancery Englysch iufven us dyalect myxyng, but also language myxyng, zdartyng wyþ Norman Vrench, goyng an to Latyn and Greek, and now ever each language under þe zunne hath been brouit yn to make Englysch as we know yt.
Under Norþern ynfluence, hath hath becum has, chycken hath been replaced by chicks, chyldren is beyng replaced by kids, father hath replaced vader, eggs hath replaced eyeren, shoes hath replaced zghoen, cows hath replaced cuen/kyen/ kine. Even þe eald words vor she, they, them, their have been lost. Wel, we can do zumþyng about bryngyng zum back."