Screw the Royal Wedding: 6 Reasons Pomp and Circumstance Are Bad for America and Britain
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‘The April 29 wedding is now said to be the most expensive security event staged in Britain. Because of government-imposed budget cuts, The Met is so hard up it has sent a 'begging letter' to the Home Office asking for help in meeting the extra costs, which were piled on when David Cameron declared the wedding day a bank holiday.’ In a perfect synergy of symbolism, Middleton will roll up to the proceedings in a 1979 Rolls Royce that was damaged last year by student protesters. In 2009, a similar model went for $2.5 million at auction.
4. Royal wedding coverage is siphoning budgets and reporters from actual newsgathering.
On April Fool’s Day, The Guardian published a joke piece saying it would bring home all its foreign journalists in order to contribute to a 24-hour-a-day liveblog leading up to the nuptials. It even launched an accompanying site. But four days later, the prank hit home when the newspaper published a truthful follow-up about the media coverage: not only are 2 billion viewers expected to tune into the live television broadcast of the event, but coverage is in fact decimating resources for foreign reportage. ‘Despite the severe strain placed on newsgathering budgets by the recent glut of major foreign news stories, UK and overseas broadcasters have committed considerable manpower and resources in one of the world's most expensive cities to cover the Westminster Abbey wedding,’ wrote The Guardian. ‘"This will almost certainly be the biggest team of broadcast crew and reporters ever assembled for an outside broadcast in London," says a senior BBC source.’
5. And it's siphoning eyes from actual news.
See above... Japanese radiation is draining into the Pacific Ocean, and corporations are gobbling up everything in sight... meanwhile, otherwise useful outlets are speculating on what Middleton might wear.
6. Gawking at such a thing contributes to a dehumanizing, hierarchical culture.
Vapid celebrity culture is bad enough for myriad reasons – i.e. misogyny, addiction-gawkery, the normalization of schadenfreude, to name a few. But further elevating the royals and all that they stand for – imbalanced concentration of wealth and power, pedestalized whiteness and the concept that those things somehow render certain people superior to others – is bad for society. The royal family might be comprised of fantastic people – certainly Princess Diana’s work in charity around the world was irreproachable – but continuing to act like such profound wealth and isolation from ‘commoners’ contributes to the notion that severe wealth gaps are normal, acceptable and desirable. And that keeps the power structure we're protesting intact.
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is an associate editor at AlterNet and a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. Formerly the executive editor of The FADER, her work has appeared in VIBE, SPIN, New York Times and various other magazines and websites.