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Author Topic: Royal Spam, Royal Gibberish  (Read 677 times)
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« on: January 13, 2013, 07:06:34 pm »

It is more or less traditional and wise for people to wait for the first trimester to be over before they make a public statement of pregnancy, but, even just days after the Leveson Inquiry on the conduct of the press and media reported and called for much tougher oversight for newspapers following the scandals that shut down the News of the World, the Palace knew there wasn’t any chance of keeping the Duchess’s condition out of the news. The following morning the Daily Mail had fourteen pages on the subject of the royal fœtus, including, in especially good taste, a forensic artist’s mock up of what the putative royal prince or princess, currently not much more than a handful of dividing cells, will look like when he or she is older. On the morning after the Leveson report calling for firmer regulation was published, the Mail – who is virulently against any kind of legislative press regulation – produced fifteen pages of vituperation, so Leveson wins the popularity poll by a whisker. It’s unlikely, however, that Duchess Kate will ever be referred to in the sort of terms the Mail described Lord Justice Leveson leaving the press conference: ‘Old liverspot waddled off with his hands behind his bottom.’
Perhaps, you think, they represent a steadiness in this turbulent time. But our royal family hasn’t been functioning calmly and distantly enough to ignore for centuries. Even these days, when they are supposed to be political ciphers, they make idiots or worse of themselves, interfere with politicians, city planning, and, it turns out, have a right of veto in laws where their own private financial interests might be affected. The Windsors hardly represent the ideal family, consisting as they do, of divorcees and catastrophic marriages in the last three generations. They don’t offer wisdom, (though the Queen’s long experience is said to be useful to Prime Ministers) having notoriously no interest in anything intellectual, the arts or philosophy, while the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, believes in a horrible right wing mixed-up mysticism about spiritual spirals ruling nature, and a feudal faith in the ‘right’ order of things. But if they’re not the perfect family, neither are they Everyfamily. They have no idea how the world really is, having never actually lived in it. A friend of mine was given a medal by the Queen for services to the arts. During the audience with the Queen, my friend told her about a mentally ill woman she had come across who was the basis for something she wrote. There was a silence, and then the Queen replied, ‘But how do you meet such people?’ It was a real and baffled question, and genuine, because it’s unlikely that Her Majesty has met anyone accidentally, since, years ago, a mentally ill man broke into the palace and sat on the end of her bed.

So the British royal family seem to serve no other purpose than to fill the tabloid newspapers and magazines when hard news is either lacking or not attractive enough to sell papers. After a brief explanation of the Latin name for her unwellness, Kate’s and Will’s baby will give us nine full months of babble and nonsense, with no real content. It is like some crazy town crier walking around, ringing his bell and shouting incomprehensible gibberish, filling the air with noise, because silence is unacceptable and frightening. Or, if you want to be more modern, it is spam, filling our inboxes, so we don’t have to notice that no one emails us except for debt collectors.
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