Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Babies are great....I just can't eat a whole one

If you type "Royal Baby" into Google you get "About 2,100,000,000 results (0.30 seconds)".  It is a headlining story on ABC, CBS, NBC, USA Today, Washington Post, etc...  Everyone is royal baby crazy.  My friend Kells Hildebrandt had one of the best reactions that I have seen:

"I mean, I know it's exciting when people have babies, but are we really celebrating that a university educated woman gave up a career to become a welfare recipient, and spend the rest of her life dependent on public criticism of what she wears and what offspring her uterus produces? Indeed, let's fucking reinforce the patriarchy a little more. And also, we should wait with baited breath until the baby's name is released after christening, a tradition that dates back to days when individuals actually didn't have names until the Church recorded them. What century are we in?"

Yet, as we are judging and wondering why it's all over the news and why people care, we're talking about it too.  Sure, I really don't care what the name is, unless it's something crazy like Obadiah, Ishmael, or Eleazar...really there are any number of awesome old Biblical boys names that would be interesting.  However, I think that we as America care about the Royal Family because there's part of this country that will always be connected to England because it wasn't that long ago that we were a colony and it was part of our culture.  We're barely over 200 years old as a country, we're young.  We moved out of the house and we're living on our own, but as a country we still not really adults yet.  It's like we're occasionally calling home to hear what the old gang is up to while we're finding ourselves at college.

We don't have a royal family in America.  We've elevated celebrities to this status because we want to believe that there are people out there who are better and more interesting than we are and traditionally this role was filled by the monarchy.  It's in our nature to want to believe that there is something better and that getting a glimpse of it makes us connected to the objects of our obsession.  And yes, I just called people objects because that's what we turn them into when we believe we have the right to know every detail of their lives and to judge them for it, because the rest of us are obviously perfect.  We relate through faults because it makes us feel like the people we idolize for their talents are just as human as the rest of us.  We judge and make fun of them because we're jealous that they're lives seem better then ours.  If we were secure and happy in our lives we'd leave them alone, but we're not.  No one is contented and that's why we watch Jerry Springer, why we read tabloids, why we care that a woman that we have never met, thousands of miles away has just had a baby just like thousands of other women did at the exact same time, but since this one's going to be a Prince and may someday be King, we care.

Me, I'm just going to keep reading the only tabloid I ever had a subscription to, Weekly World News!