Cockburn is a traditional sort. He is favorably disposed toward anything that has existed for a long time, even things that don’t deserve it, like the United States Senate or the Washington Post.
He therefore bears no ill will towards Britain’s vestigial royal family. There’s something admirable about any family that can do so little, possess so much and avoid a guillotine.
But Cockburn does grow a tad cross when he is persistently made to weigh in on something those vestigial royals do or say. royal news is even worse than most celebrity news. If Kanye West says something insane, well, at least Kanye has made some albums people liked. But Prince Harry? Prince Harry’s claim to fame derives from being the direct descendant of some German guy who was the closest Protestant relative of Queen Anne when she died. That German guy and all his successors have been disempowered constitutional monarchs. If we briefly pretend that Great Britain is a baseball team, then the British monarch is the Phillie Phanatic.
This time, the latest news is that Prince Harry has big opinions on vaccine inequity.
‘Where you’re born should not affect your ability to survive, when the drugs and know-how exist to keep you alive and well,’ said the Duke of Sussex at some boring event you don’t care about. ‘There is a huge disparity between who can and cannot access the vaccine. Less than 2 percent of people in the developing world have blah blah blah you know exactly what I’m saying because this is progressive pablum that could be generated by an AI.’
The prince blamed misinformation for hindering the vaccine rollout, because of course he did. That’s the generic press narrative. Did anybody think for one second that Henpecked Harry would say anything else?
Cockburn will not fault Prince Harry for voicing his opinions, however uninteresting they are. Instead, Cockburn will fault American and British society, for being so addicted to celebrity culture that he is forced to write articles about the residual denizens of Court of St James’s.
Mercifully, it seems a solution is coming. And as befits this age of superpower transition, the great innovation is coming from China.
The People’s Republic (no crowned heads, here) garnered attention this week for barring children from playing video games during the week. Then, they garnered even more for banning ‘sissy boys’ from television and having their top social media website ban LGBT search terms.
But with all that social engineering flying about, almost nobody noticed another decree passed down by Beijing. Besides declaring war on K-pop aesthetic, the CCP has also banned all variety and reality TV shows starring the children of celebrities. In a massacre worthy of Tiananmen Square, Twitter imitator Weibo supported the ban by mowing down thousands of accounts dedicated to celebrity gossip and idol worship.
This is the sort of totalitarianism Cockburn can get behind. Imagine a world with no Kardashians with whom to Keep Up. More importantly, imagine a world where, if some divorced American succubus gobbles up the scion of a rich family, it’s solely that family’s problem and not an existential threat to national dignity. It’s a better world, and if China is the one bringing it into being, well, at least this is a less painful humiliation for the world’s democracies than Afghanistan was.
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