02/14/2005: Thought for the Day:
"I am pleased," said Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, in reply to a reporter's question about the news that Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, is engaged and will marry Camilla Parker-Bowles in a civil ceremony at Windsor Castle at the beginning of April. The sons of Charles say they are "very happy" with the news (the children of Camilla have yet to speak publicly). Queen Elizabeth and her consort-husband, Prince Philip, are as well. "I am very, very pleased," said Nicholas Soames, a Conservative Party member of Parliament and a Churchill grandson. "I am delighted," said Prime Minister Tony Blair. "We're absolutely delighted," said Charles, of himself and his wife-to-be.
Many Britons, on the other hand, said they didn't give a damn about the forthcoming marriage. "Who cares," wrote one on a newspaper message board; "WHO CARES!!!" another. The largest group of respondents to a BBC poll, around 40 percent, agreed with that sentiment, while another two percent expressed "indifference" to the marriage. The oddly precise distinction between the groups—the non-caring and the indifferent—itself points to a curious characteristic of British public life.
When someone says "who cares?" what they often mean is "WHO CARES?" as in "I care very much and I'm not going to stop telling you that I don't care until you tell me you care as little about this as I do." Many Britons, you could say, live according to various adaptations of Descartes' formulation on human consciousness: "I don't care, therefore I am."
Len on 02.14.05 @ 06:52 AM CST