Humiliation of Biblical Proportions

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I don’t remember how many cubits tall Goliath was. In fact I don’t know what a cubit measures … hold on a sec …

Wow! Google and Wiki later … he was called Jalut in Islam and was 4 cubits tall, according to The Dead Sea Scrolls – but within a couple of eons the fable put him at nearer 6 cubits [isn’t that the way though and why doesn’t it occur to many folks that it’s possible various other accounts of that period are, er, slightly exaggerated?].

Anyway cubits are still used in Norfolk for measuring hedge posts. Why am I not surprised by that? Good old Norfolk … hang on guys, colour telly’s coming any day now.

A cubit is 20 inches long. They found lots of cubit rods. So 4 cubits is six foot eight. Tyson Fury [I’ll get back to him later]. Pretty tall you would say and bear in mind the average little squirt [sorry Dave] was about four foot six in them days. Six cubits, on the other hand, is pretty out there.

Anyway, plucky Dave fells him in front of the whole Philistine army. In fact they are referred to as hordes, which to me implies a degree of indiscipline in the battle lines. The Israelites were an army. So one wonders why it all came down to a duel. Anyway, it did and Goliath is felled mid-battlefield. That’s not embarrassing, that’s humiliation of the highest degree. Partly because you can’t be embarrassed and dead I don’t think. Being embarrassed is an attitude. A choice. Being humiliated is a fact.

The first thing I’d like to say is we’ve all been humiliated at one time or another. Mum licking a hankie and wiping the corner of our mouth at the school gate – doesn’t get much worse than that and that’s the tip of the mum iceberg. Discussing how you, age one and a half, spread pooh from your nappy all over the tea table – this brought up at the event when you, age twenty something, are meeting the in-laws with your beloved for the first time seems a fairly routine mum humiliation. Dad dancing at your wedding or, worse, at your eighteenth birthday party [what’s he even doing being there]. Humiliation writ large...

I’ve been humiliated 3 times by a woman. I don’t mean by the same woman, I just gave up trying to construct that last sentence. A passionate crush on my part, love entirely tolerated at first, then dispelled at the hands of a superior suitor.

And every time, the guy was called David! I’m not kidding – the Bible is true! If you get mixed up with a David you’re f...ked.

When I was 15, the new suitor, David [not Dave, mind you, like every David I knew at school, but David] had a car, was an actor and lived in his own flat in Islington. I couldn’t even manage a moped and a duvet. The second David looked like Elvis, played in a west end show and didn’t give a toss whether she – the object of my adoration – liked him or not. Isn’t that the way though?.

The final David was also an actor and made inappropriate remarks in public and was a free spirit. I ask you.

So, on the more general subject of humiliation vs embarrassment, can you tell me something? How is it that there are people clearly humiliated by their behaviour and our reaction to it but they appear impervious to it?

Ty Fury; Boz Johnson; Bill Clinton; Don Trump; Dave Cameron [sorry Dave] and his family; Tony Blair; Zak Goldsmith; the Hungarian premier guy; Geoff Archer [I’m on a roll]; Joe Marinho – the humiliated have their names shortened, the humiliator keeps the full DAVID].

They aren’t dead. They are definitely humiliated – or are they? Have I got that wrong? There can be embarrassment without humiliation but there can’t be humiliation without embarrassment? So if you are living in an imaginary world as a sportsman, celebrity or politician, where nothing you do is anything less than ‘wholly justified’ you’re fine. You are Goliath. You are felled. You get up, dust yourself off, look around with a smug smile and say ‘What?’ Then you become Prime Minister or world champ or manager of Manchester United. Amazing.

Robin Millar

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