American Royalty

Cinderella_1Sunday already?
So then I must be Edith.

Yes, we Cinderellas are going to party like it’s 1799!

Well, everyone’s off at the ball (the RWA National in Atlanta), and we stay-at-homes do feel left out, because we are left out, even though some of us chose to be left out due to a multiplicity of good reasons.

But instead of sulking or drinking myself under the Hepplewhite, I think I’ll just expand upon what my fellow Cinderella, the clever Loretta, said about Royalty. Specifically, the failure of some royals to get dates right, or do addition, etc.

Funny, because I was just thinking about it the other morning in the shower. (From whence come my best thoughts. If I could only write underwater!)

These days, we Americans mostly pay attention to foreign royalty if they make asses of themselves, which they are prone to do. Or if they wear really ugly hats, which they are also fond of doing. Or if they cheat on each other in spectacular fashion, or marry people who look like thoroughbreds – of the racing track. Otherwise, the general American attitude towards royalty seems to be “what’s it to me?”

But for centuries, the peasants of every land filled their hardworking, joyless days with gossip about their royalty. It enlivened their lives and enthralled them completely. Thinking about all that money and fame and all those lives of lechery and privilege made them envious, but also gave them something to dream about, and in a way, made them feel better about their own lot in life too.

As in: “Aye, she’s got jewels and money, but look ‘ow ‘er ‘usband treated ‘er. ‘e took ‘er ‘ead off, din’t ‘e?”

Seeing royalty suffering or acting like idiots in spite of their power and position somehow made pulling up beets and hauling dung easier. People needed royalty for a sense of direction as well as entertainment and lessons in morality.

(I’ve always thought the bright cry: “The King Is Dead, Long Live the King” that goes up when a king dies pretty much sums it up. Sorta like, “OK, enough of that, bring on the next act!”

And in those days royals were shrewder, more vicious and clever than their well born relatives. Breeding, or inbreeding, however, will tell. These days most of their royals can’t find their posteriors with both hands.

We don’t have royals here in America. So what did we do instead?

Us_weeklyWe create our royalty out of nothing.

We make royalty of actors and singers, musicians, sports figures, chefs and dancers, starlets and hunks, and even some famous people who are famous because they say so.

They don’t even have to be talented. Only eye-catching and present.

We talk about them. We have newspaper articles and TV shows and magazines devoted to them. They have money! They have mansions and jewels and lovers and live as licentiously as any depraved duke of old ever did.

Most of these people come from humble origins, so that gives up hope for ourselves. And they’re better than European Royalty because any old body can become one of them. Not just marrying into an inbred family, or being born into one.

To be American royalty you can even just win a talent show on TV, or be a winsome runner-up. Or eat more slugs and bugs than your competitors. Then get a bucket for the money that will come rolling in, and prepare to bask in public adoration.

The best part about it? We dispose our Royalty when they bore us. And eventually, they always do.

We did it over two hundred years ago, after all. I guess we sort of got the hang of it.

So if a member of the English royal family can’t count without taking off her shoes, who cares?

We’ve got heaps of royals. And if any one of them stops amusing us – off with their heads! Or at least, their incomes.

That, I think, is as it should be.

And not just because I’m not going to the ball or meeting Prince Charming there or anything like that!

(Now where did I put that bucket of soap suds? The Wenches will be furious if the kitchen floor isn’t just sparkling when they return, y’know.)Cindy_broom

18 thoughts on “American Royalty”

  1. If you start to see tiny mice sewing, I would worry. and if there’s anything you can do to dispatch a certain cadre of very skinny fame-lets, I’d be ever so grateful.

    Reply
  2. If you start to see tiny mice sewing, I would worry. and if there’s anything you can do to dispatch a certain cadre of very skinny fame-lets, I’d be ever so grateful.

    Reply
  3. If you start to see tiny mice sewing, I would worry. and if there’s anything you can do to dispatch a certain cadre of very skinny fame-lets, I’d be ever so grateful.

    Reply
  4. Or, as Mr. Rogers would have put it, “Can you say “schadenfreude”?
    Remember the famous quotation from former Librarian of Congress and historian Daniel J. Boorstin in THE IMAGE: OR WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AMERICAN DREAM: “The celebrity is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness”?
    The difference between us and those medieval peasants is that we don’t get to march on the palaces with torches and pitchforks and chop off the heads of the aristos (or hang them from the lampposts); we have to watch it on television, with commentary, on COURT TV.
    Liz, the mice aren’t even going to START on her dress till she’s finished separating the millet from the rice.
    Over on the Crusie/Mayer blog, we’re planning a big pity party for those who can’t go to RWA–chocolate, tequila, and Barry Manilow till hell won’t have it. So come on down!
    And now for something completely different: Edith, I’ve loved your stories in the Signet Regency holiday specials–is there any chance that they will be published together in a collection? And I want the Victorian ones, too!

    Reply
  5. Or, as Mr. Rogers would have put it, “Can you say “schadenfreude”?
    Remember the famous quotation from former Librarian of Congress and historian Daniel J. Boorstin in THE IMAGE: OR WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AMERICAN DREAM: “The celebrity is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness”?
    The difference between us and those medieval peasants is that we don’t get to march on the palaces with torches and pitchforks and chop off the heads of the aristos (or hang them from the lampposts); we have to watch it on television, with commentary, on COURT TV.
    Liz, the mice aren’t even going to START on her dress till she’s finished separating the millet from the rice.
    Over on the Crusie/Mayer blog, we’re planning a big pity party for those who can’t go to RWA–chocolate, tequila, and Barry Manilow till hell won’t have it. So come on down!
    And now for something completely different: Edith, I’ve loved your stories in the Signet Regency holiday specials–is there any chance that they will be published together in a collection? And I want the Victorian ones, too!

    Reply
  6. Or, as Mr. Rogers would have put it, “Can you say “schadenfreude”?
    Remember the famous quotation from former Librarian of Congress and historian Daniel J. Boorstin in THE IMAGE: OR WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AMERICAN DREAM: “The celebrity is a person who is well-known for his well-knownness”?
    The difference between us and those medieval peasants is that we don’t get to march on the palaces with torches and pitchforks and chop off the heads of the aristos (or hang them from the lampposts); we have to watch it on television, with commentary, on COURT TV.
    Liz, the mice aren’t even going to START on her dress till she’s finished separating the millet from the rice.
    Over on the Crusie/Mayer blog, we’re planning a big pity party for those who can’t go to RWA–chocolate, tequila, and Barry Manilow till hell won’t have it. So come on down!
    And now for something completely different: Edith, I’ve loved your stories in the Signet Regency holiday specials–is there any chance that they will be published together in a collection? And I want the Victorian ones, too!

    Reply
  7. LOL!
    I like the idea we can chop off the heads of our royalty any old time we like, but they do such a good job of it themselves, that’s equally fun to watch!
    Pat

    Reply
  8. LOL!
    I like the idea we can chop off the heads of our royalty any old time we like, but they do such a good job of it themselves, that’s equally fun to watch!
    Pat

    Reply
  9. LOL!
    I like the idea we can chop off the heads of our royalty any old time we like, but they do such a good job of it themselves, that’s equally fun to watch!
    Pat

    Reply

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