Sunday, May 15, 2011

Their Big Fat English Wedding

Their Big Fat English Wedding
Martin Bodek

It is often wisely advised that if you do not wish to listen to the ranting of a specific radio personality, switch the dial. If you’re not interested in the opinion of a particular newspaper journalist, turn the page. If you don’t want to watch the day’s news, turn off the TV and fall asleep with a good book on your chest.

Every once in a while though, a particular news item becomes so loud, and coverage becomes so pervasive, that there is no dial to turn, no newspaper page to riffle, no news station to flip in order to hide from it and partake in something else - anything else.

The Royal Wedding was one such event. There existed not a remote enough place on Earth, not an oasis sufficiently far afield, not an isolated patch of land where the incessant news of this did not reach. People stranded on deserted islands got the message in a bottle, jungle dwellers had The Royal Tune sung to them by birds of paradise, Bear Grylls himself got it in skywriting while filming an episode of Man vs. Wild in the Mars outback.

As for me, I tried to hide from it by listening to music on the radio, but it seemed every commercial break was preceded and followed by Royal Gossip. I tried to watch some TV, any TV, that I thought wouldn’t bother covering it, but the information was practically fixed in a permanent news scroll stuck at the bottom of the screen on every show. I tried escaping to the sports pages in my paper, but there it was, in the betting section. Who would cry the first tear? What color would the queen’s hat be? You’ve got to be kidding me.

What nauseated me though, was the patently absurd level of detail. It’s one thing to comment on what it means to the people of England, how Princess Diana’s absence affects matters, how work stopped in the English empire for maximum attention to the event. This is legitimate news coverage.

Not legitimate were some details I accidentally listened to while trying to switch radio stations to escape from this news: Oh really? Kate hasn't yet perfected The Royal Wave? Oh, poor baby. And she has to go to classes to learn The Royal Lilt? You must be joking. Kiss your husband awkwardly so we can all move on.

When I launched CNN’s website to look for information on another matter, I had to scroll past 3,482 sickeningly inane Royal Materials before I could get to legitimate news. Fourth from the top was this nugget: ”Wedding Dress Mystery Solved.” There was a mystery about her dress that needed solving? Really? Just call Scooby Doo and the gang and they'll take care of it.

To me, the part that’s fascinating is the mundane experiences of everyday life that Princess Kate will never again have to endure. She will never wait for the electicity bill to arrive, then complain to her husband that he hasn’t called in the numbers like he’s supposed to so the utility can get an accurate reading. The only difficult thing she’ll endure as far as raising her children will be actually giving birth to them. The rest she’ll farm out to the help. If they grow up to be brats, so what? They’re royalty! So ha! And she has no use for a last name! This is all interesting to me.

If you ask me, I think all this coverage is because Her Royal Highness Princess Catherine Elizabeth Neé Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn, Baroness of Carrickfergus, wife of His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis Neé Mountbatten-Windsor, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus is smoking hot; the hottest Brit not named Amanda Holden; way hotter than desperately-in-need-of-a-sandwich Posh Spice – the first woman on earth to lose ten pounds every time she has a child; certainly she has the best set of teeth in the United Kingdom.

I’ll tell you though, the one bit of news I found terribly amusing were the guffaw-inducing hats sported by some of the wedding guests. I hear Her Royal Weirdness Lady Gaga Neé Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, Duchess of New York, Countess of Glam, Baroness of The Meatpacking Dress District fired her publicist on the spot for not co-opting the look first.

That’s news to me. I was born this way.

Martin is the author of “Bush II, Book I,” available on


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