Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Royal Baby

Judging by the amount of likes I got to my recent facebook post consisting of a picture of Walter Sobchak from The Big Lebwoski surrounded by the words 'AM I THE ONLY ONE AROUND HERE WHO DOESN'T GIVE A FUCKING FUCK ABOUT THE ROYAL BABY', I assume the answer to the question is yes. Or perhaps I care, but in the opposite way to how most people I've met seem to care, viz. I dislike that it is so popular. Why? Read on, dear friends, read on.

Firstly, and most importantly, I dislike the implication in terms of the massive amount of news coverage, in the sense that though thousands of babies are born every day, this one is somehow massively more important than any of them (even those of Posh and Becks). It reinforces the belief that status (and wealth) are the attributes that make a person worthwhile. This human being has achieved sweet fuck all in its life, and yet it is already being put on a pedestal for the world to see.

You see, I am more of an admirer of people being valued for what they have done. I am not a royalist, but I appreciate that the current royal family, with odd exception, do their jobs very well. (And let's be clear, they are jobs.) They generate a lot of wealth, both in trade and tourism, and their community and charity efforts are many and varied. But should the day come when this is not the case, the day the royals become a burden or a hindrance to the country, their last claim to being worthy of public support will, in my eyes, vanish.

The baby may grow up to become a great king in his own right, and a great friend of the people, but the fact that he automatically gets the chance to rule over people (even in the limited modern sense), without being elected, sits uncomfortably with me, as does the fact that there would be no easy way to get rid of him. A king is for life, not just four more years. And I think if you cleared away the bullshit romanticism and Disney crap that fills the heads of so many supporters of the monarchy, perhaps they would feel uncomfortable too.

Again, I reiterate the the current royals seem, as far as I can tell, to be good people, with a genuine concern for their subjects (do you like being subjectified?), and Wills and Kate are probably very nice people. But this alone doesn't guarantee you an automatic right to rule, and to rule for life, at the expense of the people you're ruling.

The other thing I dislike is the constant media harrying of people, who probably just want to me left alone to life their lives for a while. I can't think of anything worse than being hounded like that, except being hounded like that and not having a taxpayer-funded police squad to warn the media off you every now and then.

All this is very well and good, I hear you say, but the pricks in the Houses of Parliament are much, much worse. True, but at least with them there is an inbuilt sense of accountability, and we get to get rid of them every now and then. Maybe a democratic choice means choosing between the lesser of two evils, but I'll always be glad to have the choice.