April 28th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

5 reasons to hate the royal wedding

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.

Read the other 3 reasons over at TIME.

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Topics: Culture • Europe • Global

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. archmuse

    What a buzz kill. It seems to me having something in the news that isn't bloodshed, corruption, or birth certificates is a nice change of pace that does no one any harm. It's a touch of history and celebration that two people are in love. Yeah who wants to see that? Lighten up.

    April 29, 2011 at 9:32 am | Reply
  2. krishna Ghimire

    Any rule or system is not bad as long as the majority of the people accept to live with it. The world is a set of different systems. One system doesn’t fit to every nation. Some tribe countries may need some strong rulers to combine its disparity to guide and to force people to follow the rule to maintain the civility. Some countries, which are used to democratic system, may feel fine with a cool smile and gentleness of their leader. But in some countries Monarch is like the obedience to God, for the guidance in the difficult time. It is just like that nation and its subjects belong to them to care about and to give strength in times of strain. In some country people cover head to toe, and in some other people are almost like bare. So where does the freedom stand? It is all about how people of that country and culture in majority like to live, and understand. That is the bottom-line.
    One nation, one system, always looks at the other as being an incompetent. Without the willingness of a majority or a grass root work if few people try to imitate other system, it will only create chaos, as we are witnessing in human tragedy in the Middle East. Because these uprising countries even don’t have matured leaders in democracy, therefore a sudden change with the help of outside force is not resulting in much fruitful than it would have been if it were from within. Until the time and people are ready for that change, it is better to enjoy such celebration sharing with people than to criticize.

    April 29, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  3. S. Cornett

    I am sorry that you and the author of this blog found it useful. All the so-called "...good reasons to hate..." the royal wedding are little more than whining complaints about the press changing or diluting its focus on the social and political events the author believes should be consuming the press cycles most or all of the time. In other words, the royal wedding is irrelevant to the complaints. The royal or any other family is doing nothing strange in making its own decisions about invitations. The facts that the author doesn't like the invitees and has some justifiable resentment about monarchies in general are very poor reasons to advocate "hatred" of an event that was clearly of immense and very temporary importance to Britain. Beware advocating such "hatred" of the things others celebrate. What goes around comes around.

    May 1, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
  4. william stratton

    what new they been haching each to death fof ever now there are among us

    May 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  5. Paddy

    Oh my, it's easy to see why you Americans are so jealous about the Royal wedding.

    You haven't had a first family worth a damn since 1776 ....

    May 28, 2011 at 8:25 am | Reply
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    September 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Reply

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