signal boost: On living in Disneyland
May 1, 2011 Leave a comment
On the recent royal wedding and the world’s fascination:
I have spent much of the last few months trying to avoid coverage of the royal wedding from the domestic media, but it has oddly been harder to get away from noise about it from abroad, particularly from US sources online and particularly on Tumblr yesterday.
The thing is, it often seems like USAmericans aren’t quite convinced that Europe is real. Europe is where the history comes from (because of course there was nobody having any history in the Americas before white explorers turned up in the Early Modern era), but history’s happened now so of course Europe’s not really still there.
When it comes to things like the royal wedding this seems to be writ most large in the disturbing amount of USAmericans I come across gleefully sitting down with their popcorn to watch something that might as well be a film, full of sparkles and silly hats and ostentatious wealth that seems like it springs out of nowhere. It’s a spectacle, a slice of entertainment from one of those funny, fairytale countries with their odd accents and silly languages and castles that are like, totally awesome.
It’s nice that you like our monarchy so damn much; maybe you’d like to have them back so it can be your wealth being robbed for centuries, your people being enslaved and their land stolen, your tax money being wasted on a family of work-shy inbreds who act as a constant, concrete reminder that being white, wealthy, male, and having the right parents is what really matters in society. Perhaps you’d like the delegation of royal powers to turn your government’s executive branch into effectively an elected dictatorship. Perhaps you’d enjoy seeing aristocratic connections override merit and achievement when it comes to educational advantages, or jobs. Perhaps you’d like to see all the gold and jewels and velvet on display and think lovingly of how it unapologetically represents a long, long history of colonialism, slavery and genocide.
This isn’t Disneyland; the prince and the princess won’t live happily ever after on love and fairydust but on the taxes of the British public and the blood of centuries of slaves, on the back of a country built on brutality and conquest and atrocities. This is real and it fucking matters.
Food for thought.