My apologies for late to the game today. Tech issues on top of the editorial transition. I knew this day would come. It’s been harder and harder to start up taking two then three then five minutes and more. I’ve gotten so I can just feel when a short delay of the cursor will resolve and when it means a 20 minute restart. I’m holding out just one more day for those long-delayed updated IMacs. I can’t complain about this machine. We’ve been through a lot since 2015. I’m OK. You’ll be OK. An overnight order and we’ll be resolved. [Writers, please see note at end.]
On this, International Women’s Day , however, reactions to Oprah’s interview with Harry and Meghan gives some voice to the lived experience of many women. It’s not just the royal family in which women don’t control their destinies, have vital medical care withheld, and are held to unreasonable ideas of beauty while working for less and are set up for emotional cat fights as distraction from the real issues. Meghan is truthing.
Not so for the royal family. [Washington Post]
The Queen and the lads in waiting across the pond got out of bed and had their coffee, but it’s clear that none of the lot is yet woke. And it’s going to be a long time, if ever. After the Oprah interview, (And, who doubts the truth of what the couple had to say?) The only discussions around Meghan and Harry should be which huge house they end up with in Los Angeles and their various deals. They’ve done their country the service of not being complicit. And while professional public relations folks might quibble about words and venue and clothing and whatever, none of it matters. And if it matters then it only matters in the shadow of how it contributes to the decline of the monarchy.
I am decidedly not a royal watcher. I have never seen a royal wedding. I’m also not a practicing Baptist and can easily call baloney. A privilege i recognize was parents who worked to temper the romantic allure of colonial images and the fairy tales that some should not have to work while being catered to in beautiful settings. For every “Room With A View” I’d find myself enamored with as a homosexual coming of age, I was nudged toward a “Midnight’s Children” and “Ghandi”.
10 Films About the Atrocities of the British Empire [Dirty Movies]
We are talking about imperfect Disney characters, that represent a country’s long ago crimes like Confederate flag flyers. They might be a combination. Imagine animatronic Confederate war “heroes” in the Capitol Rotunda greeting visitors but just for marketing, as they say about the function of the royals. They could welcome tourists at our airports and look down from framed pictures at the DMV.
Everyone wants to be Oprah now. She made quick work of the only competition.
It really doesn’t matter how much charity they do or how fascinating their inner dramas. And we now know that the life of a real life princess isn’t all that.The allegations about who made who cry and speculations about a detente and resumption of relations, could fall away in favor of a conversation about the role and future of the monarchy. But the royal industrial complex is already trying to draw the attention back to the realm of good fun and gossip.
Tina Brown, described by the Washington Post as “Princess Diana’s biographer,” also relevantly spent decades in the United States understanding our society and experiment as much as anyone while reinventing Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker. With great clarity she told the Washington Post “this interview is “kryptonite” to the royal family. “It’s a hand grenade that’s been thrown into the heart of the institution…it’s extremely hard for them to refute a lot of things that were said.” Let’s all bow down to the real queen here: Oprah,” she said. “I think we will be talking about this interview for 20 years.”
Still due to air Monday night in the UK, there still was no comment from the Palace on the accusations of royal racism.
The Royals work hard. They are very well paid. And we deserve a break today. Every day. They have been offered up for that purpose. And the good moments we know of the Queen and Dian and others are without question. How about Prince Andrews moments? Are the UK beancounters figuring all the costs in their ROI of this marketing channel?
We have no stones to throw. Our sins and inability to face them should urge caution. But isn’t it possible that a crowd will put it all together, the guardians at the palace will finally blink and the Elgin marbles and Indian revolt violence and all the other liberties taken will connect up with current realities? We keep taking down our Confederate statues, beloved by some, and making that such a powerful action.
And we’re getting complicit. We have been. Our love of an arm’s length monarchy has contributed to holding it up, though the scaffolding has been rotten to the core for while. Disney princesses are a whole lot more fun than it sounds like the reality is. And won’t it be easier to enjoy the Disney fantasies without the louder and louder interruption of reality?
Breaking glass ceilings does’t always put more people in a better place. Sometimes it’s a good start at smashing the rest.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Urge Britain to “Acknowledge the Past” and Address Colonialism [Vogue]
I’m sure Harry and Meghan will make compelling programming, and this isn’t likely the last teaching moment they will bring us.
And for our own Towleroad angle on all this, let’s follow along with how today is going for former Towleroad staffer who went on to become the royals expert on TMZ. I give you our beloved Sean Mandell’s unvarnished Twitter feed:Tweets by SeanMandell