If it bends, Alan Alda’s obnoxious character in Crimes and Misdemeanors says, it is comedy, but if it breaks, it is tragedy. What is it called when a nurse who thinks she is giving an update on the Royal Uterus’s condition to the Queen but is actually talking to a couple of Australian DJ’s kills herself out of shame for her mistake? I think I will conduct a poll, along the lines of the Toronto Star’s website, which asked readers on December 9th: ”Who is to blame?”
Blame there must be. Single someone out. Excorciate them. Run them through the world wide web’s mill of moral judgement and grind their chacter to dust. Who to blame, though, and for what transgression? Throw everyone involved into the whirlwind and let them take turns being flayed. First, have a go at the nurse– stupid, unprofessional, etc. However, she rather spectacularly turned the tables on her accusers by killing herself, didn’t she? So next up, vapid gossip mongers/celebrity hounds/virtual busybodies/e-morality police, hang the DJ’s (as The Smith’s once suggested).
INSENSITIVE! BULLIES!! KILLERS!!!
Cue the remorseful tear stained apology. Tune in next week. Will they ask Jesus for forgiveness? Will the Queen absolve them? Will Prince Philip emerge from his Brezhnev-like stupor to offer his take? How about Cate and Wills? Will it complicate her pregnancy?”
What is certain is that no one whose dim-witted obsession with “the Royals” helps to fuel global celebrity industries will do any soul-searching. No interest, no prank call, no inappropriate disclosures, no suicide. Trace the causal chain.
But then, why bother? It is quite impossible to imagine that the death of a mere overworked nurse, just trying to help a colleague who was away from her desk by answering a phone, will turn peoples’ minds back towards reality. The spell these well-manicured layabouts cast is too strong. I was in Glasgow a few days after the death of Diana, the “People’s Princess,” and George’s Square was two feet deep in decaying flowers. A surreal sight (and smell) I assure you, in the centre of a city not known for royalist sympathies. Her death was supposed to make a difference, recall. Just as the First World war was the war to end all wars. Last I looked, wars still blazed around the world and there were more eyes fixed on Kate’s mid-section than on the atrocities in Syria. One might have thought that the Jacobin’s quite material proof of the mere humanity of monarchs would have freed people’s minds once for all from the hold that this garish, obsolete pagentry exercises. Neither the Jacobin coup de tete nor the progress of democracy disrupts the show very much. The answer to the question “why” is beyond my powers of discernment.
So hundreds of millions will no doubt be captivated by second by second monitoring (maybe if we are lucky, we can score real time ultrasounds on Youtube) of the mitosis of his or her highness. Watch its delicate, never to be scarred by labour hands form. Look!! Its fingers curl as if to grip a scepter! Look, it has dropped the scepter and is making vast scooping motions, as if to draw millions of pounds of UK tax dollars into its maw!
Thus is assembled, cell by cell, another anachronistic parasite. I am not insulting the developing little one, as I speak strictly scientifically. The child on its way is a creature who will be kept in stupendous luxury because of its “royalty.” Yet, that “royalty” contributes absolutely nothing of any substance back to the world on which it feeds. And that is the defintion of a parasite- a creature whose nature is to live off the nutrients of its host body and give nothing back.
Why will there be no final turning away from this idiotic spectacularization of the most banal event of all– human reproduction? Because it would spell the end of TMZ and Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight and every boring scripted “talk show” and CNN and all the other 24hour “news channels” and multiple Aegean stables worth of net-based horseshit. And so every trick in their psychological aresnal of the advertisers and promoters and “newscasters” will be brought to bear to sustain the fascination. Was the world really worse off (it was only 20 years ago) when we had to wait twelve hours to find out what was happening? Now, there is no escape, no respite.
No escape, no respite, no where to hide. That is certainly what Jacinda Saldanha must have felt in the seconds before she killed herself.
There is a brilliant Bob Dylan song, “Who Killed Davey Moore?” Davey Moore was a boxer who died after a fight. The song asks the eponymous question over and over to different constituencies that had a stake in the match: the promoters, the fans, the gamblers, the referee, the sportswriter. One by one they declaim their innocence.
As will all of you whose vampire hunger for news about people who do not give a fuck about you, who do not know you exist, who live off your earnings, who holiday in countries in which you could not afford to buy a beer, who live in palaces and castles and command control over yachts and planes and horse drawn carriages, and who speak in accents that it cost more to cultivate than you will make in ten life times. What on earth do you think you can learn about these people? What is your slavish fixation accomplishing for you?
Wake the fuck up!