29 April 2011

A Royal Wedding

Thank goodness its over. After months of endless media build-up and breathless commentary, Prince William and his new bride are hopefully enjoying themselves and looking forward to a happy life together. I'm not so jaded and bitter that I'm going to make snide comments about the newlyweds or the lavish ceremony that sent them on their way. I'll save those comments for my fellow Americans.

While watching coverage over the past few weeks, I needed to smack myself in the head a few times and remember that my ancestors fought a revolution which ejected this inbred bunch of Germans from our political system. Even the English seem bemused with the American fascination with all things royal- would we have been happier if we lost at Yorktown ? By its very definition, royalty should clash against the deeply held American beliefs in success by hard work, not by birth, and a rejection of a class system comprised of Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses ruling by divine right. These people belong in Disney World, not in positions of authority.

My favorite rejection of the concept of royalty spoken by Michael Palin in Monty Python's Holy Grail-

"Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony."

Farcical indeed. The Royals are a remnant of a not so pretty time in history when generations of men and women, with the implied and direct support of the church, subjugated the majority of humanity in a system that transferred the labor and production of the many to benefit the few (things having only improved slightly over the past couple of centuries.) For some reason, many Americans are attracted to the fairy tale veneer of royalty with little thought to the system of brutality and subjugation that it represents. In the absence of our own royal family sponging off the public dole, we are eager to elect substitutes in their place- the best example being a bunch of Bog Irish from Massachusetts that briefly held the Presidency and numerous other state and federal offices.

Then again, perhaps my assumption that Americans hold the values of hard work and self determination is fundamentally flawed. Perhaps the vast majority of Americans would prefer to be governed by a royal family- the majority of eligible Americans don't vote anyway and a government based on primogeniture would enable us to spend less time worrying about how we are governed and more time on important subjects like "American Idol." Maybe the British royal family never went away- they are just biding their time as generations of welfare, poor education and PlayStation imposed laziness make us ripe for them to take back what was once theirs.

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