Quest for the Holy Grail

The very top results from Googling “holy grail” are as expected:

  • Monty Python & references to the Queste we know and love (assorted references, from the sublime to the usual ridiculous babbling nonsense, and mixing of sources, and with some bias of assumtion towards the Malory version/rendering). About equal weight: higher ranks for Our Q, but when you add them up, far far more (in the top 100 or so) for the Pythons. Three cheers for my favourite medieval film.


  • Then Tui East India Pale Ale.
  • An Irish pub in Epping, NH; a sports bar in Christchurch, NZ; a Tavern & Grille in Cincinnati, OH; and a restaurant-and-bar in Canberra (awarded “Best Entertainment Venue” by the AHA and the Restaurant and Caterers Association five times in the last six years).
  • A luxury charter yacht in Kona Hawaii. Or a Ford Transit.
  • Lots of IT stuff and applications (we’ll skip rapidly over them).
  • Regrowing finger-tips.
  • Biofuels, fusion, Linux, sweeteners, Gatorade, gravity, eye-tracking, marketing, and the Indiana Jones Holy Grail Paperclip Magnet Desk Accessory.
  • And it’s apparently in Hertford (the English one). And/or Valencia cathedral. Or under the Basilica of San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura in Rome.
  • It’s actually a Hansen typewriter, or a personalized licence plate with a golf acronym, a US Navy laser weapon, pure white light, a universal nucleant, geothermal heating, a Neil Young box set, room-temperature superconductors, and unmarried women (only re. US elections and according to the Huffington Post, mind you).
  • Glass bead games.
  • The Old Time Hockey Stanley Cup Holy Grail Long Sleeve Raglan T-shirt.

No: after all, as we suspected all along (those of us familiar with Chrétien de Troyes and his devious poetical ways): it’s a book. (Well, Fox News says so, so it must be true.)
Or another book (I’m more convinced by an Ur-thingie from India.)
Maybe, though hotly debated, the Amazon Kindle. But definitely not Topshop, reckon Racked.

A special mention to the Black Sheep Brewery for their Holy Grail (“tempered with burning witches”).
And (ranked rather lower) to the AA Holy Grail (no connection): home – final resting-place and reliquary? – of the “Master Copy” a.k.a. “Original Manuscript” of the 1938 multilith copies prior to the 1939 1st proper ed … of the AA book. Why the quotes? are these secret undercover medievalists, with the questioning of the Ur our secret handshake?

Following another linguistic thread – that of usage – here’s the Urban Dictionary entry. Also, the Quest is alive and well; but has moved direction. “HG” these days is often in reference to ladies’ decorative cosmetics (and occasionally other sources of eternal youth). Makeupalley being an excellent source (one needs to sign up; it’s free; Obrienatrix is there under another name). See particularly their Boards, for discussion – a simple search for “hg” is very revealing, and indeed revealing of the State of the Feminine Nation. One does wonder at times – often, indeed – whether various feminism(s) of the last century ever happened or if one was dreaming, imagining things, and erroneously reading too much into what were actually works of fiction. And there’s the whole third-wave / post-feminist / post-post-feminist business. But it is not, as they say, as simple as that.  Reading through the likes of MUA, and other sites online of that ilk, a more subtle and sophisticated image emerges; and these sites are at least as telling of the State of the Feminine Nation as are the feminist blogs that constitute my parallel reading-matter.

Blogdorf Goodman, one of the most marvellous and magnificent of blogs dedicated to make-up, regularly has a long-distance feature. There was the Great Mascara Hunt. Earlier this year, the Line Up Project. It is through them that Obrienatrix first encountred Lipstick Queen Medieval.

Now: 40 Days and 40 Nights of Lip Service. We are currently on

Day 39: Blogdorf Goodman and The Holy Grail


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