This weekend the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton will command enormous attention here in the United States. The Hangover asks, “Why?”
It’s easy to understand why the entirety of the United Kingdom will be enthralled by the proceedings. After all, this is their heritage, from King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table to Queen Victoria to Roger the Shrubber. But even the most dim-witted of Americans must realize that the revolution that formed our country was an attempt to rid us of fops like King George and the Royal Family. Despite saying goodbye to all that back in 1783 and then again in 1812, modern Americans seem smitten with English Royalty—this despite two hundred-plus years of “All men are created equal.”
When Prince Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981, United States media coverage would have suggested it was the third biggest event of the last century, following only the moon landing and OJ and Al Cowlings in the white Bronco. Americans continued to adore Diana, even after she became, in the words of Mojo Nixon, a “drunk-divorced floozie.” (Before you take offense, consider what you would call your neighbor’s ex-wife if she ran off with your town’s handsome local hero and sped around night-clubbing, drinking, and snorting blow. “Your Highness” isn’t it; well, not unless you’re fond of ironic puns.)
In the coming days, America will be again drowned in Katrina-like coverage of the upcoming Royal wedding. The Hangover wishes the happy couple well.
But what does our fascination with the event tell us about ourselves?
Is it that:
a) We no longer need to value “all men being equal” now that just about every American can afford high definition television.
b) We’ve become so ingrained with fairy tales and Disney Princesses that we just want the chance to imagine ourselves in the role. After all, it’s only a matter of time before one of these Royal Highnesses will sweep into our Burger King, pull us from the flame broiler, and whisk us away to a McMansion in the clouds.
c) Americans are sheep. We (at least those with cable) would watch Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie read the Los Angeles phone book if Entertainment Tonight, TMZ, The New York Times, and the Today Show deemed that it was an “event.”
d) The less relevant something is to the reality of our everyday lives, the more it interests Americans. This would explain the nation palpatating over Bret Favre’s emailed junk, the Octo-mom, John and Kate, Michelle Bachmann, and those teenage girls having babies on MTV.
e) All of the above.
Enjoy the festivities. Maybe the Newlyweds will even be so kind as to hop into a white Bronco as they head to the reception. Wouldn’t that be ecstasy?