By Bunky Mortimer III
May 12, 2018
Another British royal wedding is hoving ineluctably into view. I was at the last one. The memory of that candyfloss patriotism still makes me puke. Noam Chomsky likes opining about the “manufacture of consent.” Royal weddings represent an even more insidious moment: the manufacture of patriotism. The very elixir of which the country has been sucked dry is suddenly in demand. And not only by the people but by all the media and political snouts sniffing at the air of a Great National Event.
How far to pull the pin from such a political hand grenade? Too much and the daemons of nationalism may never return to their Pandora’s box. To little and people might be reminded of what the Sceptred Isle has really become: a Ballardian sexual dystopia far from the Sullivanesque nuptials of the Windsor family. And so a Wedding Planning Committee of equerries and civil servants starts sorting the good national semiotics from the bad. A flypast of Spitfires? Stirring but safely in the past: tick! Bunting? Given that vintage fetishism has proved such an effective aspic on the minds of the young: check! At William’s wedding, they even permitted some street parties. The very acme of Good Old Blighty! No drinking or singing, of course, or anything else reminiscent of the merry homeostasis of the past. No wonder that when the English are allowed to drink, they drink too much. It is because they have nothing left to drink to.
And who is—if you’ll forgive the pun—our next Duchess? Meghan Markle, a daughter of the New World described as an “actress and humanitarian.” Is that all it takes to snag a prince? What about generations…