I’m going to admit that I’m somewhat fascinated not so much by the wedding, but by how much play it’s getting from the media and people generally. I’d say a majority of NPR’s Morning Editions have had one story on the wedding in the last couple weeks. And the sheer enthusiasm people on both sides of the pond is astounding. But is there anything of real import to any of it?
I’m interested in the wedding because so, so many people are still driven bonkers for it in the twenty-first century. I won’t name names, but I heard a rumor there were people getting up at 4am US Eastern time to watch the damn thing. Now that’s something. I’m not sure what, but it’s something.
Over at The Guardian, commentator Stewart Lee has a more impressive and funny analysis: Prince William has taken one for the royal team in marrying one of the great unwashed. His act has the potential to gloss over continuing social inequalities in a new era of conservative-led cutbacks. A bit conspiratorial perhaps, but the marriage certainly doesn’t hurt the program.
There is an argument to be made I think that theirs is the prince and princess story so many have heard since they were little. And parts of people really want to believe it can come true. And now they know it can. Everything is right with the world. Thanks heavens for royalty. Where would be without them? As Stewart Lee points out, “It’s no coincidence that as genuine social mobility in broken Britain is eroded, so commoners turn to the National Lottery, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Winning them represents the only chance real people have to change their circumstances significantly. It could be you.” It seems to me you could swap Britain with America and X Factor with American Idol.
In any case, spectacle is an amazing thing (pretty much by definition actually) and the West seems unable to get enough. From Gaga wearing meat to Donald Trump’s idiocy, Americans just love to watch glittery-filled, illogical flare. And hats. These Brits at the wedding sure had some sweet headgear.
Thusly, I’ll be the first raise my beer in toasting the millions spent on the wedding of William and Kate as more important thing are pushed off the front pages of the world’s newspapers. At least they gave us something spectacular to distract us from the things crumbling all around. Let’s all hope they’re very happy. Cheers.