KABUL, Afghanistan— I wish I was rendered speechless by the advanced TV coverage of the royal wedding between Prince what’s his name and his fiancée, Kate the commoner, by the breathless “news” teams of BBC World News and their anglophile brethren on CNN International News. But my response rushes from disgust to disbelief.
A few days ago, one these talking heads was stunned that someone from the guest list of royals elsewhere in world, a prince from a southeastern Asian country, said he would not attend. Apparently he has something more important to tend to, the reporter hissed.
Monarchies are vestigial organs in modern society, the social equivalent of the coccyx, or the human tailbone. They provide some insight into our evolutionary past but serve no useful function in the present. Yet the fact remains that many, perhaps million of people, care about young Willie and his blushing princess bhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifride to be. What desire is being addressed by this spectacle? Is this, for Brits, simply a nostalgic means to deny the U.K.’s position as a third-rate economic power more than a century after the death of the British Empire?
My countrymen and women, on the other hand, are no better. While the U.S. economy is collapsing, one of the leading presidential candidates for 2012, you know, the fat cat sporting the worst comb-over in recent history, claims he has “accomplished something really, really important” by finally shaming Obama, the do-nothing president, into producing a copy of his birth certificate almost two and a half years after taking office.
Slap me. Tell me this is just a bad dream.