Even steadfast Anglophiles have long had to admit that the British generally have pretty awful teeth. Here in the New World, thanks to the miracles of fluoridated water and presumably better dentistry, Americans have long enjoyed healthier and more attractive pearly whites.
Let’s not even go into the attacks on reproductive freedom or all the violence against women, or even the Aaron Sorkin characters who set your teeth on edge. Let’s just talk about the ways pop culture can chip away at the soul, the ways a jokey demonstration of a game or an imaginary Twitter fight or yet another celebrity explaining that she believes in equality but don’t call her a feminist or the sound of that song that just wouldn’t go away can make a person realize how far we still have to go. There were truly far too many contenders to choose from this year, but these were the sexist lowlights that raised our blood pressure most.
Wherever you stand on the legitimacy of the Royals, the bright new addition to their family - receiving microscopic media coverage of ludicrous proportions - has brought well wishes from all quarters of the political spectrum. A few commentators have even pointed to Prince Charles' longstanding passion for environmental issues and climate change - manifest in his earnest letters to the government - as evidence of how he intends to fulfill his caring role as grandfather to the little tot.
This week, the British royal family welcomed its newest member, when Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to a baby boy.
On Tuesday, Elizabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times tweetedout, “British royal born in fanciest ward :$15000. Average US birth: billed $30,000; paid $18,000. What’s wrong here?” Rosenthal has her numbers right — and to answer her question, what’s wrong is that the U.S. system of medical care charges patients on a fee-for-service basis without giving consumers transparent pricing information. Worse yet, Americans don’t even receive particularly high-quality maternal care in exchange for their outsized medical bills.
Since it was announced that Prince William, progeny of Diana, had become engaged to his classmate Kate Middleton, both the British and American media have been plastering every minute detail across their front pages, often with exclamation points as though audiences will die if they do not know the up-to-the-minute wedding news. Even as Japan grapples with nuclear disaster, as Western countries become more deeply involved in the Libyan war, as unions and students stage protests across the U.S. and the UK, the media fever pitch about the royal nuptials continues to swell, increasingly frenzied as the April 29 wedding date nears.