Friday, July 08, 2011

Not Feeling It

A pleasant couple, likable, seemingly sound moral fiber, Will and Kate nothing particularly offensive on a personal level. The point, there are about ten couples on my street who share the same attributes. I have a problem with fawning over celebrities, particularly ones who have no talent or skill which has led to their "status". The Monarchy isn't about merit, it's about who's vagina you exited, or who donated sperm to the cause. It's an ancient system, entirely offensive to the notion of a progressive society, elitist, betraying all tenets of egalitarianism. I don't dislike the Royals on a personal level, but I reject everything that swirls around them.

I will never understand how any feminist can support this Royal presentation. As a role model for women, Kate represents the most superficial qualities. Be seen, not heard, this abysmal tour has produced nothing more than a cute ornament, mostly silent and subservient. Outdated protocols, watching Kate meander through the weight of correctness, it's maddening when you detach emotion from the equation. There is no depth here, no inspiration, apart from naked reverence to celebrity and status. I will not apologize for wanting more, aspiring to place such FEVER to a more deserving productive pursuit.

Escapism is something we all engage in on varying levels. However, this isn't a fiction film, these people actually live a life which shows no relationship to anything real or concrete. This fairy tale perception all the more astounding, given how past incarnations have shown themselves to be very ORDINARY in practice, SURELY the ILLUSION we've moved past? Why do people cry when the meet Kate, she's a person, she's not a god, a deity, she's done nothing of consequence, the reaction is confounding.

Last week I went see a band labelled the "gods of grunge". I cheered, I clapped, I hooted, because I loved the music, but not once did I look at Chris Cornell and feel emotion just to be in his presence. Just some guy with a great voice, but full of warts, no different than anyone in the audience, enjoying his talents, but not entertaining his celebrity.

As a society, if we are to PROGRESS, we have to get beyond worshipping superficial distinctions, we can respect talent without this reverence and obsession. When it comes to the Royals- who's celebrity isn't even hinged on some objective talent or skill- the need to reaccess the fascination all the more demanding. I don't dislike Will and Kate as people, but they are not interesting or compelling. I'm not impressed with their carefully choreographed itinerary, used to maximize personal appeal.

There is absolutely nothing about the Monarchy that has appeal for a modern democratic society. The entity is predicated on so many notions that we've strived to evolve from, as a historical artifact relevant, but part of the future, almost unimaginable from where I sit. I will never look at William as "my king", just the notion causes a gag reflex. I don't need a king, a sovereign to "rule" over me from his throne. I share the historical importance, but at some point a society becomes shackled by its inability to shed tradition. I enjoy going to old historic sites, watching people dressed in traditional garb recreating past realities, it's fascinating and important context. The trouble with today's Royals, it's like one of those tours but the actors never take off the costumes, nor does the audience fully digest it's pretend.

As this tour comes to end, from my perspective, it's more a psychology thesis on celebrity and superficiality, rather some terrific statement on why the Monarchy is still relevant in Canada. People are free to disagree, I respect other perspectives, but from here, this tour can't end soon enough :)


fern hill said...

From my point of view, this pageant has been the opposite of escapism. For those with eyes to see, it has been a brutal nose-rubbing into the vapid yet emotion-laden consumerism/celebrity worship that has killed civic engagement.

Sad. And it is particularly sad to see otherwise progressive people buying into the bullshit.

CK said...

Finally, someone who tells it like it is!

However, I am completely anti-monarchist. Besides the fact that it's completely sexist, it's a waste of our tax dollars. These people have more money than Gawd and they have it off the backs of workers.

It would be nice if they earned their keep.

Another thing I don't get? They say these particular royals resonate with average folks? How? Do average folks travel with personal hair stylists, bodyguards and personal valets?

And what is this fascination with big shiny things anyway? Out of all those who flocked to parliament Hill to see them, how many of them actually voted in the last election? How many are actually involved in their communities in some shape or form?

You're right, Steve. This Royal visit couldn't end soon enough.

Dame said...

In My mind the French did the right thing wiped off the myth of Blue Line as some superior brand ... they invented the True democracy where people are start to be PEOPLE
i didn't grow up here and just shrug off this Prince and princesses as atotal nonsense.. and a costly one.
we can start trimming budgets with cut them off ....

Steve V said...

Someone brought up an interesting point for those that see this tour as proof of support for the Monarchy, watch the reaction in America, and you'll see it's all about celebrity.

900ft Jesus said...

I really enjoyed this post, Steve. Completely agree. And I love that little smiley face at the end - not really an apology but more of a: don't hate me because I'm being brutally honest about the socio-political realities surrounding this seemingly nice couple.

I hate Disney. I particularly hated The Lion King. My kids finally understand why.

Tof KW said...

Two solid reasons to retain the monarchy.

First, the debacle that was the 2000 US presidential election. That could never happen in the Westminster parliamentary system. If by some bizarre twist of fate we were to have an election with the following result: CPC – 102, NDP – 102, LPC – 102, Bloc – 2, Green – 1 …there is no need to panic. The Governor General would eventually find someone who could, at least temporarily, hold the confidence of the house and the governing of the Dominion will continue as it always has.

Second, without the monarchy and becoming a republic, it would be Stephen Harper as president and official head of state of Canada. Don’t know about anyone else, but personally I didn’t like any of the PM’s over the past 30 years enough to want them as official head of state.

A die-hard monarchist here, comes with the territory of being an true Tory.

But I will admit a lot of what we are watching with this tour is celebrity worship, I’ll agree with you there Steve.

CK said...

TofKW: I dunno, but already, Canadian Prime ministers, and in particular, Harper, has already been behaving like a King; a head of state. The Governor General is a joke, I mean, he or she is appointed, by the PM, and after reading Lawrence Martin's "Harperland", even GG can be expendable if they don't acquiesce to Harper's whims.

There are other Republican styles of governments besides the US, and lord knows the US system is far from perfect and I won't pretend to understand it fully. However, from where I'm sitting, there are some aspects that do seem more appealing than our system of gov't.

For one, an American president appears to have less power than a Canadian PM does these days. They can't get their agenda put forward so fast without approval from the House of representatives and the elected senate. Plus, a president can't prorogue.

They have elected senators, for one, not media hacks whose only skill is brown nosing, bagmen, loser candidates and other friends of the PM.

Anyway, here's a site from a group, Citizens for a Canadian Republic. They, in fact, don't suggest an American government system. They have some pretty interesting ideas. Worth taking a look.

What I've said before: Why must we be either like the British or the Americans? Why can't we just be our own designer original?

Omar said...

Not feeling it and haven't felt it for quite sometime now. I think monarchy sentimentality is something people grow up and away from. Hopefully.

Tof KW said...

So because Harper's perverted the system, we trash over 400 years of progressive and stable governance under the Westminster parliamentary system?

CK, yes, agreed that Harper has continued to concentrate the powers of the prime-ministership to dangerous new levels. I very much doubt the Bing-King affair would have the same outcome now versus 75 years ago.

However then you must blame Chretien, Mulroney and Trudeau for this situation. It was P.E.T. who began the transition of the PMO from nothing more than a secretarial pool of less than a dozen, into the juggernaut of over 100 partisans it has become under Harper's control.

Shall I now, for the hundredth time, state that the Liberals should get behind REAL parliamentary reform that reduces the power of the PM, and returns some of it to individual MPs? I doubt we can ever get back to the way the House worked back in the 1960's, but lets at least try to point things back in that direction.

Oh, and of all things, the Reform party used to campaign on this very theme. For all the crackpot ideas Manning had, at least some good party policies there too.

Omar said...

Throw that man a life preserver, he's drowning ;-)

WILLY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WILLY said...

The talent or skill set is being the prince or princess. He's been trained for years, she is relatively new to it.

What I found interesting is that the media are pushing the Future King line and they wouldn't be doing that without the Monarchy's permission. We are watching very professional brand management here. After all they have centuries of experience here.

It looks like Will's dad blew it big time by running around on the now sainted Diana and this young couple is being promoted to keep the whole thing together.

Quite impressive really.

WILLY said...

Oh and a really good post Steve. Thankyou.

Oemissions said...

all the military ritual is ridiculous

croghan27 said...

"....400 years of progressive and stable governance under the Westminster parliamentary system? "

Who's 400 years of history are you speaking about? Not Britain's - discuss that with the Irish and the Scots.

Omar said...

..and the people of India, and the Americans, and the North American indigenous peoples, and the African victims of the slave trade, and the..