The Feed Protests Too Much

My Twitter feed is filled with people repeating that they don’t care about the royal family. Unless the Queen died (and I hope she didn’t, obviously), I don’t want to know what’s provoking this round of insistent and repetitive not caring. But it’s certain that nobody declares such a lack of caring unless they really care.

20 thoughts on “The Feed Protests Too Much”

  1. Well, since I’m fairly certain that nobody declares they don’t have any interest in knowing unless they actually want to know…it’s because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (or whatever non-royal and married names they go by these days) did an interview with Oprah that was airing this evening. (And I only knew that because my Twitter feed was full of people asking why they should care about it)

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  2. I couldn’t name 3 living British royals to save my life. I’m embarrassed as an American that any American who isn’t a diplomat could. Why in the world would we care? Our ancestors fought a war just so we would be able to ignore British royalty and their endless shenanigans, and I plan to continue to do so.

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    1. ” I’m embarrassed as an American that any American who isn’t a diplomat could. Why in the world would we care?”

      Once it became more of a constitutional monarchy (and then especially in Victoria’s reign) the British Royal Family became the world’s first reality TV show (decades before there was actual TV so they’re that far ahead the curve).

      And since her coronation was televized you could make the argument that ER is the world’s longest running TV star.
      It’s not about royalty as an institution but about celebrity…

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      1. The emotional investment people have in Megan Markle’s marriage is bizarre. They appointed her their bad mommy and are dumping a million projections on her.

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        1. “emotional investment people have in Megan Markle’s marriage is bizarre”

          Think of it in telenovela terms… she’s Marión in Cristal (famous 1980s Venezuelan telenovela) the conniving villainess who deceives and marries the hero and prevents him (for a time) from being with his true love.
          I’m sure there are similar characters in other telenovelas but I haven’t seen enough of them…

          https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristal_(telenovela)

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          1. Telenovela stars are at least very beautiful, so I can understand getting emotionally attached.

            What I don’t get is the scandal over Harry siding with his wife over his relatives. That’s a normal adult thing to do. It’s even in the Bible. It’s the idea that is at the core of the Western family structure and a gigantic civilizational achievement. In my part of the world, we are very familiar with the issues caused by people being “married to Mom” and never assuming the role of pater et mater familias.

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            1. “my part of the world, we are very familiar with the issues caused by people being “married to Mom””

              Oh yeah, that used to be a very bid deal in Poland, one of the common sources of marital collapse was interference by in-laws who were bound and determined to not let the couple work out their problems on their own.
              It’s lessened now for a number of reasons (mostly people get married later and are less likely to have to share an apartment with whichever set of parents has more room).

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              1. The war between my mother and grandmothers colored my entire childhood. I’ll never forget how my mother had to hide the new trash bin she had bought with her own money for our apartment. She literally emptied it and hid it whenever grandma came by because we couldn’t have a bin that wasn’t authorized by her.

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              2. Wow. A sweet old churchlady told me a story once– the ladies were all chatting about how easily people get divorced these days etc. She said when she was a newlywed back in Lebanon, she got in a fight with her husband. She called her parents and said she was packing her bags and coming home. They said “Oh, you poor baby, just wait and we’ll be right over to pick you up!” So her parents came by and her mom was like “no hurry, you’re upset, go take a bath and we’ll pack your bags for you”, so she did. While she was in the bath, they packed up every stitch of clothing she owned, and all the towels, too, and took them out of the house. When she got out of the bath, she called piteously for a towel, or clothes, to no avail. Her dad stood outside the house and told her “So? Now you’re naked and you have nothing. Who will you go to? Your husband, or your parents? She opted to stay, they gave her clothes back, and she had a long and happy marriage.

                I wonder if the meddling in-laws problem hinges on whether the in-laws in question are the wife’s parents, or the husband’s parents, or how different/similar that is in different cultures.

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  3. I was puzzled, in Latin America, at how the tabloids were all wall-to-wall coverage of obscure scions of European royalty. I parsed my way through a few of them to work on my Spanish and they were all about what Spanish prince had a new baby, or which Dutch princess was vacationing where… baffling. But I guess no more baffling than the entertainment-celebrity obsession of American tabloids.

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  4. “how the tabloids were all wall-to-wall coverage of obscure scions of European royalty”

    I remember ¡Hola! (famous Spanish magazine) is all about that… when I was reading it half of them didn’t even have their positions anymore but that didn’t stop the breathless coverage. A few years ago they gave masses of coverage to Cayetana the Dutchess of Alba who was over 80 (okay, she was entertaining marrying a guy 40 or so years younger and publicly entertaining the idea of children with him….)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayetana_Fitz-James_Stuart,_18th_Duchess_of_Alba

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  5. In general, Americans have a difficult time understanding that the Crown is not a bug in a Westminster liberal democracy but a feature.

    Following a series of constitutional conventions that flow from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Crown is a symbolic entity representing the collective nation. It is an idea designed to separate the possession of national political power from its temporary use by politicians.

    In direct contrast to a Presidential republic, the Prime Minister does not draw her/his power from direct election to their post. By constitutional convention, following a general election, the political leader who can command support of a majority in the House of Commons is asked by the Crown to form a government and they can hold that power only as long as their majority support is maintained or the normal term 4 or 5 year term of the government runs out. The Crown does not rule but it plays an essential role in legitimizing democratic governance through “lending” its power on a temporary basis to the government of the day.

    For this system to operate properly, the Crown must remain completely, totally, above politics. The job of the royal family is to cultivate excellence and achievement within the national collective and to build/reinforce social and cultural consensus within the nation.

    With their own founding constitutional myths at play, Americans understandably focus on the titillating interpersonal dynamics of the royals. No doubt there are lots of deeply flawed personalities involved. (That being said, the Queen herself is to be much admired having performed her constitutional role without serious blemish over seven decades.)

    But the stakes are far higher than the personalities. To increase their own power and wealth, Markle et al are destructively pulling as hard as they can at the strings of British/Westminster liberal democracy. They are a part of an international war of the most privileged against the rest of us. And, they are employing the exact same “you’re a racist” playbook.

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    1. “They are part of an international war of the most privileged against the rest of us.”

      Brendan O’Neill nails this point:

      “The atmosphere in the wake of that Oprah interview is taking a dark turn. It’s like the hysteria that followed the death of Princess Diana mashed together with the weird BLM events in the summer of last year. ‘Yes, Britain IS a racist country’, the Meghan cult dutifully intones. ‘Yes, the royals are racist. Yes, the media are racist. Yes, white people are racist.’ Meghan’s confessional has further empowered the self-hatreds and censorious vengeance of the woke elites, who will now see racism in more and more areas of life, even where it doesn’t exist, and cancel anyone who dares to say: ‘Isn’t it possible Meghan is talking shit?’

      It took a very long time for Brits to win the right to criticise royalty. To blaspheme against gods, to speak freely. Yet now a woke form of treason is being rehabilitated on the back of the veneration of Holy Meghan, with the threat of cancellation hanging over anyone who doesn’t think Britain is racist, doesn’t think taking the mick out of Meghan for eating avocados is racist, and doesn’t think we all need to supplicate ourselves before St Meghan and the cleansing rituals of critical race theory.”

      https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/03/09/thou-shalt-not-criticise-st-meghan/

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      1. I had no idea anybody in GB took this ridiculous interview seriously. It’s trashy gossip TV with trashy characters for. . . erm. . . underprivileged people. But when I saw Piers Morgan (whom I don’t like but it’s not the point) had to resign over it, I realized people are dead serious about this. American insanity is spreading, and that’s disturbing.

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        1. “American insanity is spreading…”

          I would rather put it that the legitimacy of all the anglosphere liberal democracies have been under serious attack for the last decade. The UK has been a major front in this war since the ingrate plebs voted for Brexit.

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  6. // She literally emptied it and hid it whenever grandma came by because we couldn’t have a bin that wasn’t authorized by her.

    Which grandma? Your mother’s mother or your father’s?

    There is a difference somewhat imo.

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    1. It was the paternal grandmother. My maternal grandmother died young so I don’t remember her but she’s the one who didn’t let my mother breastfeed me at night when I was an infant. Because it had to be her decision, of course, when the adult daughter breastfeeds her child.

      So we’ve had the issue on both sides. The paternal great-grandmother tyrannized her daughter who in turn tyrannized her son, and so on.

      What do you think the 200 hours of psychoanalysis were for if not to dig out from under all this?

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      1. N’s mother refuses to be in touch with him but she’s all over her daughter’s life. The daughter’s marriage ended because the husband said, you aren’t married to me. You are married to your mom. Now she’s dating some married guy who doesn’t have the energy to care about the ever-present mommy. Obviously, she has no children because the mom isn’t into grandkids. She still hasn’t forgiven her son for procreating.

        Nobody who isn’t from our part of the world believes these stories, they are so insane.

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