Saturday, May 05, 2007


It really annoys me to see Americans making such a fuss over the British monarchy after George Washington went through so much trouble to end such foolishness.


Kal said...

I think it's kind of like your inlaws visiting.

Neat and fun and something new for a couple of days, but I think if we had a King or Queen we'd just get really sick of them.

hammerswing75 said...

It's just another form of celebrity worship. So by definition it's irritating. The question I have for you, is it MORE irritating because they're foreigners?

Gino said...

"we hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..."

these words were a direct slap to the notion that a few are better than the many soley by their blood.

celebrity worship? of a bastardized sort,maybe.

celebrities have usually done something to be famous or infamous. this aged broad, and her brood, have only been born, and exist only to breed and recieve tribute from the born lessors.

as for thier being foriegners: it is even more irritating that they are british.

kr said...

Gino--much as I agree in principal (and perhaps in specifics, as regards her brood), QEII is a pretty fine leader in her own way. I think she deserves some credit for being a respectable world leader, of a relatively "free" country (how free are any of us, really?), from PM Churchill (his 2nd term) through, so far, PM Blair. That's really something.

(What really amazes me, as a concept, is that she has for that entire time, as I understand it, received daily intelligence briefings from what realistically has to be the most connected spy network in the world. Can you IMAGINE what that woman knows???? Crazy stuff.)

She convinced her parents to let her join the armed forces during WWII (obviously, as a woman in that time and place, in only a support capacity). But you do have to give the current royal family that they are honoring their military, their fighting soldiers, and their country's war effort more thoroughly than I've heard any of our US Reps, Senators, or Executives are (but maybe there are some I haven't heard of?)--sending a kid into Iraq, when so clearly they could choose not to! That really is something, too. (And it's not even someone who it might be just as well for the whole royal-family-thing if they killed off, like Charles--it's one of the popular wunderkinder, eh?)

So, yes, "monarchy" is outdated. (PBS did a special last year on the eight remaining monarchies in the world. They are pretty darn outdated. I think two of them have fallen apart since then.) But Elizabeth, as a monarch, has managed to keep herself, personally, fairly pertinent, and has fairly gracefully navigated (and helped her country navigate) the transition from "monarchy of course" to "monarchy questionable," and "British Empire" to a much-reduced (and generally less oppressive) "British Commonwealth." It's been a cultrually tumultuous century; let's give the lady her due.

She took what was handed to her (by her countrypeople and their main church, please note) and really hasn't done such a bad job.

Me, I am more weirded out by the fact that the head of a relatively conservative church visited and I didn't hear ire about it. I think she takes her religious office seriously. I suppose it just doesn't occur to us Americans that political power and religious authority even can mesh (at least not in a non-cynical way), much less that that used to be the norm(/is the norm?) in most places. I mean, essentially, she's sort of technically a pope. Ish. (Given the whole irony of their rejection of papal authority and embrace of ... the monarch's(????) authority ... I'm sure she wouldn't want to be called a pope ;). )

Jade said...

celebrities have usually done something to be famous or infamous.

Well... technically a celebrity is just a famous or well-known person - the royal family is not the only example of people being famous simply for being born.

What did Paris Hilton ever do except be born to a wealthy family and party?

Lisa Marie Presley? Daughter of the King - she was famous as a kid without having "done" anything for the recognition.

Are you assuming that most people believe the Queen to be better than they are simply because she was born to royalty? It could be people are just excited to be near someone who is well recognized in quite a large part of the world. Americans make a fuss over famous people. Did it bother you this much when girls would faint at the sight of The Beatles?

Gino said...

kr and jade:
i am more perturbed that so much fawning is being done by american political leaders.
trying to brush up on royal etiquitte etc... so as not to offend her majesty.
she's little more than CEO of a long held family busness who's stock in trade is tradition and PR.
she is not even head of state.

we dont believe in royalty in our system. to act as we do is hypocrasy. to follow rules of royal etiquitte, as if we are bound by such nonesense, is a big slap to our founders, and the equivilant to pissing on our declaration.

i would love to have dinner with the old lady. she may learn a thing or two about reality when i continue to eat after she is finished, and shake her hand without a glove. she may fool all of britain, but she will get a lesson or two from this dude.

hammerswing75 said...

So when is your dinner date scheduled? Can you ask her for an autograph? Have it signed, "My dearest Ben, I've replaced Charles in my will with you."

Gino said...

Ben: maybe i can do you better.
she's head of church of england after all, and i think i can get you a position in the preisthood.
you wont need to labor in the seminary anymore, and can go right to work.

Jade said...

Gino - You'll probably enjoy this story then... I heard this on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me one day. When Prince Charles came to visit Ronald Reagan they were served tea (boiled water with some tea bags sitting next to the cup) Prince Charles didn't touch his cup for the longest time, finally President Reagan asked him why he wasn't taking his tea, and Charles replied "I'm sorry, I didn't know what to do with the little bag."


I'm not sure that brushing up on royal etiquitte is necessarily slapping the faces of our founding fathers. Whenever anyone of perceived importance comes to visit from another country it's nice to help them feel welcome and brush up on the traditions of their culture. That's what is lovely about living in America, the great Melting Pot as it were. In my years in export we were trained up on how to greet and treat visitors from other countries - in business and politics I think people feel more at ease to see their hosts have gone to some lengths to help them feel comfortable.

kr said...

Man, it just keep coming around ... this ends up directly relating to that education book AGAIN ...

when the economic powers decided what to structure into our "education" systems, they structured in
for poor people, obedience to authority
for rich families, an idealization of hereditary aristocracy

it was their deliberate choice to stop the established disrespect for such authority, and to kill the idealization of individual autonomy

hence also dumb cultural things like white wedding dresses, living up to the Joneses, Captains of the Football Teams "properly" dating Head Cheerleaders--it's all warped aristocracy-worship

I agree with Jade there is a certain extent to which we should honor visiting dignitaries (essentially, business partners of a sort), but I also agree, Gino, that only the people with a legitimate business (political) interest should be catering to her

but we've all been taught to playact knights and princesses, no? How much chance do people get to actually do so? it's kind of inevitable, with the "romantic" expectations and ideals that we've set up, that we would see this sort of thing : P.

I'm just glad that literature teaching is expanding beyond the Olde style dead white (English) males, and that the 20th c saw a slightly more realistic assessment of the "civilized" British and their incredibly brutish history ... talk about a spin job! Hi, we killed so many people we took over half the world ... but really, we are just Too Too, you know ... give us about 40 more years, I think we'll not have this residual belief in the English aristocracy. (Colonies are always slower to change than the mother country ... we are some years behind Britain on this ;). )