Who Cares about the Royal Family?
|Who Cares about the Royal Family?!|
These are trying times, in the USA and everywhere. A global pandemic has disrupted economies around the world, plunging millions into poverty. In the USA, the bottom half of all households have a negative net worth according to a Bloomberg article -- and that was BEFORE THE PANDEMIC!
Then there's violent crime and mental health crises and deaths from despair. The suicide rate has been rising every year since the new millennium began. BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, in 2019, over 12 million adult Americans felt suicidal. Throughout the American heartland, communities have been destroyed by the opioid epidemic. And the past year has seen a massive rise in homicides and other violent crime.
With disturbing social trends like these, we Americans obviously need to focus more attention and resources on . . . THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY? WTF?!!!
Who cares about the royal family? Wait, let me guess, MORONS and our beneficent corporate overlords who want to keep the idiot masses sedated with more mindless news and entertainment.
Why the hell does ANYBODY in American care about the Queen of England? I thought our country kind of, you know, fought a fucking WAR to be free from all that royal family BULLSHIT!
But apparently a lot of people in America do care about the Crown. And apparently with all the problems going on in our country, we've decided that the most important news is Meghan Markle's discovery that old white upper-crust families and institutions have condescending attitudes about race and about class and about everything else. Who could have guessed?!!!
Ok, so there is something good about Meghan Markle going public with her experiences of British royalty, about how stuffy and stifling the expectations of public decorum are, about how "royal duties" involve so much scripted fakeness, about how the expectations of keeping up appearances at all costs made her feel trapped and alienated from herself, which led to her feeling suicidal -- like life is not worth living if it's not real.
Well, I think that information is good, because it validates how so many people in America feel: modern American culture is an intolerable burden on the human psyche. True, we have more than enough to eat (such that overeating is now the problem, rather than starvation). We have roofs over our heads and more gadgets and apps to entertain us than we know what to do with. But our entire way of life seems to have come at a terrible cost. Our most basic and fundamental needs as human beings are not being met; in fact, they are being exploited and weaponized against us by our beneficent corporate overlords, who track our data and buy and sell our attention like any other cheap commodity.
You ever go to the zoo and notice how horribly depressed the big cats look? The zebras and giraffes look pretty happy: they get all the food they can eat, medical care, protection from predators, etc., and all they do all day is hang out with their friends and graze peacefully, without a thought or care in the world. That is the dream life for stupid herbivores like water buffalo and gazelle. But it is a fucking nightmare for the predators and apes.
It turns out, the intelligent and curious animals, like big cats and orangutans, need more than just physical safety and free food in order to be happy. It turns out they need FREEDOM to explore. They need to live in an environment that somewhat matches the natural environment for which they evolved.
And for the social primates, like chimpanzees and gorillas and HUMANS, it turns out they need meaningful social connection, in addition to the freedom to explore. Free food, stupid palliative gadgets, and physical safety just aren't enough for us to be psychologically healthy.
But of course, our modern American culture doesn't happen to emphasize ANY of those things that we need in order for our brains to thrive. Deep and meaningful social relationships are replaced with one-off business relationships, and our beneficent corporate overlords have learned how to artfully blur the lines between the norms of familial and friendly social relationships, on the one hand, and the norms of marketplace interactions, on the other.
Restaurants tell employees to think of customers as their "guests." Yeah, guests that you didn't invite and that can treat you like shit, leave a huge mess, and then complain about everything in order to try to get something for free.
But in the meantime, those occasions of real social celebration where you actually do invite friends and family as guests -- real guests, not the sort of pretend guests that are better thought of as customers, but real guests whom you'd like to have in your home -- well, those occasions are much rarer in our overworked and underpaid country than in more traditional societies (like the ones most people throughout history have lived in).
Intellectual curiosity? Ha! Have you been to one of our public schools?! They teach you to consume information and thoughtlessly regurgitate it, unprocessed and undigested, on some arbitrary test that bears NO resemblance to the situations in the real world where you might actually use that knowledge.
And why do schools teach kids to memorize information unquestioningly and then spit out the "correct" opinions on tests? Why do schools emphasize the informal curriculum of socialization, rather than intellectual growth and development? Why, in order to prepare you to be a great employee and consumer, of course!
For those people who are not all that intellectually curious and who prefer mere quantity to quality in terms of social relationships, then I suppose this modern way of life is fine. They don't have to think too much. They get to go to a lot of parties and mingle with lots of shiny happy people and get passively entertained by their gadgets and mainstream media, and they don't really notice the absence of little things like their SOUL. True, they are discontented on a deep level, but they can easily avoid dealing with their inner malaise by buying more status symbols and consuming more mindless entertainment.
But for those people who DO want to use their brains creatively and who prefer quality over quantity in their relationships, this modern way of life feels like a psychological straitjacket. They are like the big cats in the zoo, pacing restlessly back and forth, looking for a way out of the madness, or lying listlessly about, their eyes glazed over with the despair of being locked in a manmade cage.
And it's good to see people finally acknowledging the reality of this abstract, psychological prison that our modern culture has created and which seems (at least to anyone with half a brain) to be crushing the life out of the human spirit. True, Caesar Millan has talked about this (albeit in the context of dogs, rather than humans, but the same logic applies), and Christopher Ryan and Johann Hari have written about it; but now that this modern soul-destroying culture has claimed the sanity of a princess -- and an American-born mixed-race/intersectional princess at that! -- people are starting to acknowledge the reality of this form of human suffering.
Here's Johann Hari (on Joe Rogan's podcast) talking about modern despair:
Here's a video of Christopher Ryan (author of Civilized to Death) talking about modern despair:
And here's a video of Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex) talking about her own modern despair:
I guess it takes one of the "popular kids" among the cultural elite to get the conversation about modern despair into the mainstream.
Who cares about the royal family? No one should. The whole thing is an overblown, fake-ass farce. It has its historical roots in the worst forms of human greed, dishonesty, and oppression -- in mediaeval bullshit that our species should have outgrown by now. It's all based on arbitrary social conventions that everyone has to agree to believe in, similar to the royal wardrobe in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale "The Emperor's New Clothes."
The Sex Pistols got it right with their cheeky song "God Save the Queen."
That Sex Pistols song, and maybe The Smith's album and song "The Queen Is Dead," are about the only worthwhile things the British monarchy has inspired.
Fuck the Queen. Fuck Prince Charles and Prince Andrew -- how is Meghan Markle more controversial than Prince "Lolita Express" Andrew and his royal dealings with Jeffrey Epstein? Fuck Buckingham Palace. Fuck the whole concept and institution of aristocracy and royalty and all that bullshit.
Great job, Meghan Markle, getting the hell out of this stupid anachronistic institution. Best of luck to you and your family in the USA. And who cares about the royal family you left behind.