According to polls, only about 6 percent of Americans are following with any close attention the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. But that’s not stopping the media fascination on both sides of the Atlantic with American’s supposed fascination with Britain’s royals.
“Royal wedding reminds us why we tossed Brits,” ran one letter to a local paper recently. That exorbitant $80 million spent on a medieval style ritual in time of twenty-first-century austerity. It’s shameful. It’s Old World. It’s just what Americans fought a revolutionary war to throw off.
And then there are the folks like Rupert Cornwall at the UK Independent who argue that people in the US love British royals precisely because they don’t have their own real thing. Gary Younge at The Nation noted that even his liberal friends wanted to know what he, a British citizen, thought of the prince marrying a “commoner.” Please.
The only serious and in fact actually quite insidious part about this is that it reinscribes the notion that the US has no class.
Really? When the top one percent of wealthiest Americans own 34 percent of the country’s wealth and enjoyed 80 percent of the total increase in wealth here between 1980 and 2005? No class?
As for ruling class? In the UK the commoners keep state royals on welfare. Here we do the same with our corporations. Billions in tax dollars keep them afloat and keep CEOs in mansions. Why not just give them palaces? At least we could keep them open for tours.
Since the Supreme Court has given corporations free speech rights and personhood—how about marriage equality next?
Then, we could string up Bunting flags for the next monopolisitic coupling… At the Comcast and NBC nuptials we’d all throw money while they stroll down the aisle. And—with a nod to Jim Hightower—instead of aristocrats in coats of arms, the paid-off politicians would wear their logos on their lapels. At least then we’d know who owns whom.
The trinkets from a corporate marrriage might be dreary. And the offspring, who can say? But at least we’d get a day off and one hell of a party. Plus we’d move out of denial. The more I think about it the more I like it. Monarchies or Megacorps? Why not declare them royal?
The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv and editor of At The Tea Party, out now from OR Books. GRITtv broadcasts weekdays on DISH Network and DIRECTv, on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook.