Raining on the Royal Baby Parade

Behind the kitschy, optimistic euphoria surrounding the newborn and his princely parents hides a dark threat by the democratic rabble.

One by one and unseen by anyone, the world has been swept clean of all the bores who might have objected to the general idiocy and joy that descended upon it due to the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s firstborn son.

Where, for example, is the late TV critic Hedda Boshes, who, were she still among us would have exhausted her throat screaming out against the optimistic kitsch that draws tens of thousands, if not millions, throughout the world? And what would Prof. Yeshayahu Leibowitz have said about all this?

With all modesty, I feel I remain the sole bore in the battle. And for a moment a heretical thought sneaks into my heart: Maybe I should be fashionable for a change, less snobbish and pompous, and maybe I ought to give in and join the masses that cheered the royal family as it left the maternity hospital en route to its London palace?

I would have to set aside so very many principles on which my angry world is based to bring myself to cheer for this pink-faced and blue-eyed family. And foremost among those principles is my profound contempt for the masses, for any masses, even if they be British and European. Even if they topple the Bastille a second time or break into a dance to celebrate the legalization of gay weddings. Masses cannot be anything but bad. The ease with which they can be mustered these days for anything − good or bad − scares me. In the case at hand, they enlisted to cheer on the birth and continuity of their royal dynasty. Oh well.

Another thing the last bore has difficulty understanding is how it is possible that in the 21st century, privileges are still being granted to people by birth. Did we not learn in the history books, and were tested on it in the matriculation exams, that granting privileges to people by birth is reactionary − a legacy of the Middle Ages, something destined to disappear from the world because it is unjust?

And here are the ignorant masses, the same ones that will pursue to the end anyone suspected of public corruption, and demand that he be brought to justice, accepting with understanding the greatest corruption of all: One German family, which due to some constellation inherited the British crown, holds in its possession an unimaginable fortune, which it made at the people’s expense, but mainly at the expense of other peoples it ruled in the past. And in return for smiles and hand waving once in a blue moon, and the release of a few pieces of family gossip, the masses are willing to bankroll this economic empire forever after. Is it not imbecilic?

The curmudgeon in me whispers this to me as well: It isn’t humane, all this harassment of the royal couple and their offspring. Now it will take quite a long time before the masses tire of them and move on to the next victim. In the meantime, every move they make, every stumble, will be reported to the world, along with every hiccup, burp and fart of the poor miserable baby. The social networks will be his prison from which he will never be released. He will have to be perfect. The masses are not prepared to accept someone who is less than perfect.

In other words, behind the kitschy, optimistic euphoria surrounding the newborn and his princely parents hides a dark threat by the democratic rabble, or the ostensibly democratic one: “Don’t think you’ll get away from our watchful eyes. You are supposed to perform for us constantly, without a single vacation, including weekends and holidays, the ultimate reality play. And as in a reality show, the final word belongs to us, the mob.”

What dehumanization! And if I were a disciple of gender theory, I would say: What objectification of the baby!

So many plays and other works of art created in the 20th century mocked this transformation of the institution of monarchy into an empty shell of museum-like manners for the people’s amusement and warned against it, whether humorously or seriously. And I ask: Where are all the spectators who were supposed to be influenced by the acclaimed classics of the last century? Does the riffraffian adoration of the young couple and its royal baby not truly express the total bankruptcy of the fairy tale regarding art’s ability to change man and make him better?

You see plainly that in all these respects, and in many others, I have, as the last remnant of the world-class bores, just cause to be angry and cantankerous and not join in the general happiness. But then I ponder the state of the world, and the fact that people have, to counter the reasons I’ve presented above, so many reasons to pine for anachronistic things like the British institution of monarchy. I mean, all those who cheered the princely family last night have already gone back to their daily grind, and to the sad and sealed faces they see on the Tube that are nothing like the faces − gleaming with happiness − of the queen’s grandson and his wife. Britain as it comes across in the royally festive moments is nothing but a dream.

Which is to say, it is possible that the royal-kitsch-loving riffraff longs so to escape into the past, out of its disgust with the present and the unpleasant rabble that populates it. The riffraff from the Underground, and all those hordes seen on television rioting and murdering each other in countries where the British crown once ruled, which now will do no better than to put on a reality show.

I am the same as you, then. Just as you miss the glory days of the British Empire, so I too miss days gone by − the days when being a preacher at the gate was a respected profession whose practitioners influenced the public and were awarded with appreciation and attention, and not a clownish profession as in our day. I too am captivated by the past as you are, and think as you do that we used to be much better off. Therefore, I can almost understand your attraction to the kitschy rituals of adoring the royal family.

Oh, how I would like to be naive and optimistic for a brief time. But if I were to cease being a bore for even a second, I might be tempted to become one of you. Oh no! I shall never join you, a bunch of imbecilic, infantile, foolish, colossal idiots!

AP