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Niall O'Dowd

Niall O'Dowd

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This Royal Wedding Nonsense Cleverly Drowns Out Real Issues

Posted: 04/28/11 06:59 PM ET

As an Irishman, there are many things about Britain that I deeply like. Royalty is not one of them.

The British have a great culture: they gave the world soccer, rugby and much of modern democracy. I love London, their chocolate and the ordinary British bloke or gal. Just not their royal family.

I don't believe in what Warren Buffett has termed the "lucky sperm" club, the notion that because of an accident of birth, you are entitled to great privilege. I'm sure Prince William is a splendid fellow, but his list of real accomplishments is pitifully small. Kate Middleton seems a perfectly nice young woman but has never worked a real day in her life. Yet the world is supposed to believe that the marriage of the two will produce what, exactly? As Princess Diana put it when her two kids were born, "an heir and a spare" is really the only future requirement for Kate and Will. Lie back and think of England, Kate.

I also object to the sectarian nature of British royalty. No Catholic can become king or queen, an archaic ban that should have been done away with generations ago. If Kate had been unlucky enough to be of that faith, she would never have been allowed to set foot in Buckingham Palace -- an inconvenient truth, perhaps, and one that is not widely discussed in the ogling media, who are acting collectively like love-struck teenagers.

The sugary confection of a royal wedding is perfect for our frivolous times. This has been a week of fuss and feathers about birth certificates and royal weddings. Such conceits drown out any real discussion of war, collapsing economies or real suffering.

That great Englishman George Orwell had it right in his novel "1984": we are being fed the equivalent of soma on a weekly basis lest we worry our pretty heads about real issues. We are truly in the Orwellian century. As that great Englishman Shakespeare had Miranda remark, "O brave new world! That has such people in it!"

He was being ironic -- I think.

 

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