Following are letters in response to the December 7 perspective, “The American establishment and the British royal pregnancy,” by David Walsh.
David’s phrase “unseemly squeals of delight” and his very relevant historical examples represent a much needed critical response to this nonsense. Another factor motivating this drivel that could have been mentioned is tabloid culture that has dominated UK popular consciousness (thanks to Murdoch and the Sun) as it has in America.
I remember the time when the shooting of J.R. Ewing was the first news item on the 9.0 p.m. BBC News. The whole affair is another distracting and nauseating soap opera episode often alternating from reverence (the marriage of William and Kate to the future heir to the throne who resembled a chocolate box toy soldier) to disdain (the adventures of Naked Harry, the Nazi armband-wearing Prince to topless Kate, a page three Sun type exposé making mountains out of two molehills). This dismal saga will drag on and it is not surprising that the two features of royal ideology today are militarism (both Di’s lads “are in the Army now” doing their duty rather than protest against land mines and support the cause of AIDS victims as their late mother did) and the “love ’em one day/hate ’em the next” regressive tendencies of Murdoch’s tabloid culture.
Unfortunately, we will not hear the last of these “unseemly squeals” attempting to drown out the huge poverty in the UK, cuts in social services, forcing cancer victims and disabled people to look for work, and suggesting that aged retired people find work to “earn their keep” as Lady Astor once said about seaman who should not expect any wages but be thankful for that maritime roof over their heads in the midst of bad labor conditions. If only the Royal Ship of Windsor could sink without a trace!
I was so glad to read David Walsh’s article about the pregnancy of Kate Middleton. Who cares? It has been on TV so often it makes me sick. Let alone her. With all the wars and pain and strife going on in the world it doesn’t help to see this wealthy elite in and out of the hospital with her Royal husband Off with their heads, that’s what I say. We don’t need them anymore.
Very pertinent article on the media. I could see similar trends in the media of my country, India. Unusual excitement and fervour was created among the urban elite over the news of pregnancy of Aishwarya Rai, a 38-year old high-profile model, actress and former “Miss World,” whatever it means. The news of the “coronation” ceremony of a 12-year-old descendent of a former king in the present state Rajsthan was given a wide coverage and appreciation by the elite in a country that was declared a republic by removing royalty using diplomacy and force of wars.
David Walsh is absolutely correct in his wonderment at the American media’s infatuation with British royalty. Even when young, I wondered why British royalty were so often on the cover of all those magazines at the supermarket checkout line?? Why, when they were the mortal enemies of this country from day one?