Sunday, May 01, 2011

Royal Welfare, Lotsa Booze; But The Kiss: Awww ...

Between the royal wedding and the beatification of Pope John Paul II, the official number of the world's  population that would be favorably disposed to Jersey Shore and Celebrity Apprentice is conservatively estimated at around 2 BILLION people. Much more, if one considers the clusters of people glued to the TV machine in LaLa-GaGa land. This may offer some explanation why an increasingly globalized, celebrity-crazed world (time was, it was only America's curse) cannot act in concert to solve existential crises relentlessly approaching critical mass. Crises such as: Climate change and global warming, or the continuing threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear war.

In America, it would explain why we have a dysfunctional democracy, in which destructive corporate forces traffic and feed us this nonsense to distract and deceive us from their real purpose which, to put it charitably, runs counter to every principle that we were taught as children this country stands for that is enshrined in our Constitution. The corporations have co-opted our government and destroyed our democratic self-rule. They have even created a phony astro-turf movement of ignorant, uninformed people for whom the lack of knowledge and abject stupidity of their icons, Palin and Bachmann, and the total disregard for truth and facts exemplified by wingnut media, the Beck-Limbaugh axis of hatred and paranoia, are considered virtues. The Tea Party provides a faux "populist" sheen to the corporations' propaganda masking their real, hidden agenda which, simply put, is absolute power over government and the economy.

Never before in the course of human history have so few taken so much from so many with hardly any organized resistance from the affected millions, who in return were offered specials like the fairyland spectacle of the royal wedding. It was quite the EVENT, I'm told. I was curious enough to try watching it, but ended up falling asleep, thereby preserving my honor, I suppose. As a rule, I do not stay up until three a.m. in the morning for anything other than an impending catastrophe-in-progress, requiring immediate evacuation. This spectacle didn't quite fit the bill.

I did catch a somewhat interesting post-mortem from Anderson Cooper in which he remarked on the number of inebriated Brits he saw on the streets, pissing on the sidewalks, lying in their puke, etc. Anderson said rather disingenuously he had no idea the British were so high on alcohol consumption. Hmm ... care to hazard a guess, Coops? For starters, that's a bum rap; the Brits do not consume any more alcohol per capita than, say, we Americans do. Only they've found festive and slightly more civilized ways to do it. That is, with the exception of hooliganism, which is a British import American sports fans have lustily embraced.

But here's the kicker, which might have occasioned the drunken celebrations: The royal wedding could cost as much as $70 million to British taxpayers, not counting the $6 billion in lost revenue to businesses for the declared holiday. YAY! However, let's be fair: This doesn't even come close to the corporate welfare we, the American taxpayers, pay out to the corporations. We all know about the direct $4 billion in subsidies we give the world's most profitable corporations, the oil and gas companies, which they promptly apply toward finding new ways to evade regulations, purchase politicians, elections and political parties, pollute our environment, and destroy fragile ecosystems and the Gulf Coast fishing industry. But the made-out-like-bandits banks and Wall Street are in on the taxpayers' largesse, too!

Besides, let us not forget that at least “the Queen and [heir to the throne] Prince Charles will pay for the $600,000 luncheon reception and dinner reception …” And I had no idea British women are such silly peacocks wearing absurd hats with antlers and antennae, and all sorts of weird garbage arranged on their heads. It must be the Western version of the Burka. Who says we don't live in patriarchal societies in which women are second- and third-class citizens, strutting about like idiotic ambulatory decorative pieces?

In the "old days" to coin a Trump turn of phrase, this was known as Bread and Circuses — Panis et Circenses. After it had ceased being a republic, the Roman Empire and its ruling class understood that to keep the population quiescent, and therefore unaware or forgetful of its actual circumstance and how that came to be, they must offer the people lavish and bloody entertainment at the Coliseum for a pittance. It worked, after a fashion, but eventually the whole rotting structure collapsed from within, anyway. The Roman rulers only bought themselves a little more time to delay the inevitable; much like corporations that lurch from quarter to quarter, posting exorbitant profits to cloud the existential crises looming in our dark collective event horizon.

Prince William and Kate seem like a nice young couple that is very much in love. We sincerely hope they can have a happy life together for however long they can enjoy it ... until the shit hits the proverbial fan and all hell breaks loose.

No comments: