Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Flush

(Adapted from a Facebook reply to a friend who wondered: "Not to offend anyone, but why should anyone on this side of the Atlantic give a rat's ass about the royal wedding?")

In a few hours, millions of people --an uncomfortable number of whom reside in the US-- will be rising early from their slumbers to witness the pomp and pageantry of the wedding of Prince what's-his-face with what's-her-name.

The best answer I can give to my friend's query is this: Because Americans have, right from the start, exhibited a deep (and, I submit, deeply unhealthy) obsession with the very sort of aristocracy which, I seem to recall, we kinda fought a war to shake off.

We're always trying to turn our celebrities and politicians and "Robber Barons" into a kind of royalty, while we look on, agog with admiration (and envy) from our serf-tilled fields. The tabloids and tell-all documentaries are our modern guillotines.

It's almost as though we've not ever quite recovered from the collective trauma of eliminating an hereditary gentry from our culture and society, and substituting a truly egalitarian, meritocratic system.

But there's really nothing quite as UN-AMERICAN as the very notion of an aristocracy. Personally, I find the whole thing nauseating in the extreme.

Needless to say, I won't be setting my alarm.

1 comment:

Mr.Hengist said...

I share your strong disdain of monarchy, royalty, and aristocracy, but since the UK has long since stripped its upper classes of political power I’m not so bothered by lamestream media fascination with this wedding. It’s reflective of the interest of their customers, after all, and for a lot of people this qualifies as a world event. I don’t see their interest as being reflective of a desire to return to monarchy; rather, I think it’s the appeal of magnificent pageantry echoing with the storybook themes with which we Westerners are well familiar which resonates with a lot of people. That, and chicks dig weddings.

Anyway, with adults it’s harmless romanticism, although I would prefer and recommend that children not be brought up with storybook tales of royalty… and they should be taught to never, ever bow to them.