Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Royal Wedding

For the longest time, I thought people were caring too much about the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. It seemed like the media was cramming this "fairy tale" wedding down our throats to the point that it was embarrassing. Then there were the incessant facebook posts made exclusives by females (at least among my friends) that led me to believe that either people genuinely cared or the media had done their job well. Either way it seemed kind of excessive for two people who didn't seem to have any real accomplishments or power.

Anyway, I think this wedding gives everyone a chance to reflect on weddings, marriage and social status. And unfortunately for the House of Windsor this reflection isn't very positive. Here is what I would care about:
  • Diana married Charles when he was 32 and she was only 20 high school dropout. And people celebrated this? Really? 20 is too young to be married, especially when it is to a 32 year old. Is it that much of surprise both people had affairs and the marriage ended in a divorce. This should obviously not be an example for the public.
  • Divorce is a constant theme among the Royal Family. Besides the above I will let Time magazine take it away "William's uncle the Duke of York is divorced. His aunt the Princess Royal is divorced and remarried. The Queen's sister Margaret was also divorced." 
  • Excessive, unearned titles also seem to be a theme among the Royal Family. This is not longer the 15th century, and I think the titles are nothing more than conceited ways of satisfying rich people's egos. 
  • Income and social mobility is poor in England (and the USA), which means it is harder for kids from poor families to become rich compared to other countries. Part of this has to be attributed to the caste system in England that is epitomized by the Royal Family sitting at the top.
  • Doing nothing is one of the most fun things I can think of, but that doesn't make you someone other people should admire. The Royal Family is symbolic and only is around for ceremonial causes, which means they don't actually do anything. One of my favorite quotes is from football coach Barry Switzer, who said "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple." Does that not accurately sum up the Royal Family? It is one thing for them to think so highly of themselves, but why should anybody else care about them?
I think that we should celebrate hardworking people, who make smart choices and help better the world. There is nothing in the past 50 years of the house of Windsor that suggests they should be a positive example or a group of people that should get any attention. The only reason I care about them is because I care about highlighting their faults, and why we should use them as example of what can be wrong with the world.


Jenny said...

Kevin, I agree with *most* of your points. Yes, we got a little carried away with the marriage of two people that "don't matter." But here's the thing, these two royals are bucking - excuse my pun - tradition in many ways.

Both have spent many months volunteering even spending time living in sub-standard huts with just cots to sleep on. In terms of their relationship, they dated for a long time, on and off, and lived together before getting engaged. Kate Middleton is a "commoner" and her family came from nothing, and opened their own business bringing them enough wealth to send their daughter to prestigious schools.

I didn't get up in the morning to watch the ceremony, but I do hope these two have a long happy marriage. They embody a new, more modern royal image that is about service to the country and a little bit more about reality.

Kevin Malphurs said...

Jenny - I appreciate the comment since I think you bring up a lot of valid points that help the discussion. My beef isn't with Kate and Williams, but the whole idea of a royal family. I don't know why they should be considered royals. I can admire certain things they do, and like you I hope they have a long, happy marriage. However, what I can't understand is treating them like Gods, when they are just like you and me.

Kate is an interesting story since it doesn't seem common in England for someone from one social tier to go to another one. Congrats to her. She should hopefully serve as an example to others. Let's see if she can usher in a new era of better social mobility in England.

Final point - It seems like idolizing them is completely at odds with the "all men are created equal" phrase in the Deceleration of Independence. " For me that doesn't really work.

Jenny said...

Okay, then explain the existence of this blog, which celebrates the prominence of one specific sports skill and catapults people into a sphere of reverence and immortality, along with great wealth. While one could argue that sports stars work hard to hone and develop their skills, many of them would be hard pressed to complete the GED exam. Idolizing them would also compete with the "all men are created equal" phrase, as well.

Basically, let the suburban housewives obsess over this once every 30 years, and we'll stay happy enough to let you obsess over your thing all year long, every year. =)

Kevin Malphurs said...

You are wise and bring up a very solid argument. The reason that I can stand behind athletes is that there lot in life is based on their ability to perform. It doesn't matter what your name is but whether or not you can hit a 95 mile fastball.

Also, it is the ultimate in providing rags to riches stories as countless athletes has bettered their lot in life through hard work and determination.

One might argue against the amount they are paid, but really I think the time would be better served complaining about CEO pay. Athletes are compensated based on ability, while CEOs seem to be maid many times that regardless of how the company does.

Good call on keeping the peace. That might be a more valuable lesson than proving a point.

BC said...

I'm all about the Deceleration of Independence.

Kevin Malphurs said...

Sorry - Declaration of independence.

mary said...

I love this banter! I don't really get your comment on social status and people being stuck in their income bracket. I actually think that there are lots of opportunities for people to make it big in the US and England, thanks to the world getting smaller and publicity being accessible via the internet. I think celebrities are the US version of royalty. A small exclusive club where you need talent, looks, or money to succeed is now being over run by Local Joe from reality TV.

Addidtionally, I think there is something to be said for the romantic idea of being royalty. In a world where kings and queens are generally a thing of the past, it's neat to know some of the old world lives on. And who doesn't like the idea of a fairytale wedding in the lap of luxury?

I do agree that the House of Windsor hasn't had a great track record in the last several decades.