My colleague over at TIME's Global Spin blog, Ishaan Tharoor, lays out five convincing reasons to hate the royal wedding:
Now's not the time to celebrate a monarchy. To cover this day-long farce, many news organizations will divert their attention and resources away from reporting the world's real news: that is, the struggle against entrenched authoritarian regimes (including a handful of real monarchies) in the Arab world where virtually every Friday has seen a "Day of Rage" and civilian casualties.
Yet the networks in the West that have championed — even, at times, with a degree of condescension — those youth fighting for democracy in the Middle East, will now turn and fawn over a barnacled, anachronistic institution that for centuries professed it had a God-given right to rule over its subjects.
Worse, the British royals extended much coveted invitations to a number of controversial potentates and fellow monarchs, including the Crown Prince of Bahrain, whose government has brutally cracked down on protests calling for political reform in the past two months. The Crown Prince declined the invitation, much to everyone's relief, but don't hold your breath waiting for an Arab democracy activist to be given his spot.
There's no longer an excuse for this sort of Anglophilia. As my colleague Eben Harrell alludes to in a terrific piece on how many in the U.K. don't care about the wedding, the event is likely generating more hysteria outside old Blighty than within. But, at this point, we should know better. Of course, with their comedians and their globally-adored soccer league and cheddar, the Brits have plenty of great cultural exports. But the fascination with the royal family stems from an earlier, fanciful idea of precious, "twee" England — what Joe Queenan writing in our latest issue calls "a demented form of cultural fetishism."
It's particularly demented now in an era of British austerity, when the country's inequities and plans for spending cuts have prompted months of demonstrations and protests. Yet here we are, indulging in this ludicrous spectacle of unearned prestige and privilege, one that's insensible to the realm where most people live, make sacrifices and work hard. Yes, class and social status are distinctly British concerns, but so is merit and there won't be very much of that on display in Westminster Abbey.