When we were in Scotland last year, we noticed signs in the rural areas reading, “walkers welcome.” Near Kerry’s grandparents house there was a large area of land owned by some Duke. While the signs indicated it was his, they also said you were free to walk about. It was explained to me that there was little sense of private property in Britain, at least not in the North American sense. Stumbling up someone’s estate, you wouldn’t find that person polishing a rifle and yelling “Git off mah laind!” I assume this is done not so much out of generosity but out of a desire to keep the lower classes from going all French Revolution on the collective asses of the gentry.
Now Madonna, who still believes herself to be British, and her husband, Guy Who Is Married to Madonna, are helping to bring the concept of property rights to the U.K. Despite attempting to reclassify the land as a place for shooting game, it appears the local authorities will win out and the land will remain public.
To be sure, there is always the chance the paparazzi would use the land to spy on the famed couple as Madonna works on yet another musically irrelevant album and her husband attempts to salvage what was once a promising directorial career. But as once walker puts it:
“Ramblers are unworldly types who will — unthinkable as it seems — probably never have heard of her, being far more concerned with their maps in little waterproof covers, their flasks of sweet tea and cling-filmed picnics of cheese sandwiches and fruit cake.”
Maybe she’s just pissed that there are people in Europe who couldn’t give a toss who she is.