Tuesday, July 23, 2013

There’s a new royal baby. Can we all calm the hell down, please?

Kate Middleton and whichever actual British Prince she is married to (I’m guessing William?) had a baby yesterday. I’m sure they’re thrilled. The American press sure is!

Huffington Post - by most accounts now a major news source - is leading this with ridiculous headline:

Boy King! I’m serious right now. An American news source is leading with the birth of the newest incarnation of an institution we oppose as a nation on principle. And what’s worse, we only do it for that royal family. There are royal families in Belgium and Spain. Where was all this press for Infanta Sofia of Spain or Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant? We don’t celebrate them. Why? Partially because they don’t speak English and we like that, but mostly because Americans are under this insane impression that we are somehow linked to Great Britain because the majority of the founding population was Anglo-Saxon. Nevermind that we aren’t anymore, or that they consciously made the decision to no longer be British and specifically avoided establishing an American royal family.

Meanwhile, under the fold on HP, we have stories about how LaGuardia Airport was temporarily closed due to a plane crash and how it is very likely that some guy is putting his dick in your food. It’s hard to argue that both of these stories are not immeasurably more important to your day-to-day life. 

And HuffPo wasn’t alone in its coverage of Britain-Goes-Baby-Crazy. NBCNews.com led with the story about one baby who is really no different from other babies, too. Boston.com gave the big spot to Ed Markey basking in Liz Warren’s senatorial spotlight and gave a big image to the Red Sox losing, but worry not, royal readers! Baby coverage is still in full force, above the fold with a live blog! Somebody at Boston.com is being paid to tell you about spit-up rumors. FoxNews.com didn’t lead with it. That real estate is reserved for Obama-bashing and Republican proposals to defund stuff. It’s still above the fold though, declaring that the “World Awaits First Look At Britain’s New Prince.” The whole world, guys!

This whole ordeal reminds me of some criticism of the Boston Bomber and Trayvon Martin cases. In those cases, folks brought up murders that went uncovered, in some instances of as many or more people, after these incidents took place, and the sensationalism of focusing coverage on these specific cases when there’s so much evil in the world. In some Bizarro-World parallel universe, we’re doing the same thing with the royal baby. There are over 10,000 American babies born each day. Sometimes they’re even born to people we’ve heard of and all of them are capable of being a more powerful person in world affairs than a British prince by pure virtue of their eligibility to be the president of a much more powerful country.

The British royal family does not matter, and it really shouldn’t matter to us. It is an antiquated relic of a dead system that we helped to destroy. Getting excited about there being a new one is pretty similar to rushing out to Best Buy because you heard all your favorite new movies are being released on VHS. Celebrating royalty is essentially saying you’d prefer it if some people were born “better” than you. Since you probably don’t believe that, make a little “good for them” sound in your head (mine sounds like a very upbeat “hmph!”) and then go be nice to your kids or go crazy about the babies of your friends and neighbors. Their proximity and abilities are much more important to your life than any archaic birthright.

1 comment:

gmwaite said...

Boy King!! Wonder what they will name him. George? James? Spencer? Will he call Camilla Grandmum? Will he have a nanny? This is all part of our girlhood fantasy of growing up to be a Princess someday. Granted, none of us do, and accordingly our Prince Charmings are less than storybook quality, but the twilighty, fairytale lives on in our grownup girl heads and it is a harmless fantasy, so lighten up! You, too, were a Boy King once in your own circle and were celebrated as such.