Shakespeare, Royal Pregnancies and the Tutoring of Stupidity by the Corporate Media

thou, I fear, has given me cause to curse. Midsummer Night's dream“ … thou, I fear, has given me cause to curse.”

(Midsummer Night’s Dream, act 3, sc. 2)

Comments. The announced pregnancy of Kate Middleton has triggered peaks of delight into the corporate media and associated establishment.

My indifference to the matter is immeasurable, but the dramatic upsurge of apparent imbecility leads to one sociological conclusion. The frenzy has the objective of diverting public attention from social disasters, “perpetual wars” and the creeping medievalization of society.

Therefore we must be compelled to hear (ABC) that the event is “the most eagerly awaited pregnancy.” Fox News, owned by the criminal Murdock, is sincerely worrying that “Kate’s medical condition may pose a threat to her health”. For the Time, this pregnancy has sent , “a gasp of excitement round the world.”

The British press notes with a sense of national satisfaction that the aforesaid pregnancy sends “a good part of the American press into a familiar frenzy of twittering, fluttering excitement.” “…This former colony has been riveted by the royal news that the former Kate Middleton is pregnant.”

Speak for yourself – is our response. Nevertheless the various television anchors, gossip columnists and purveyors of nonsense calling themselves journalists are overwhelmed with irrepressible joy.

To prompt vomiting at the implied flattery, here is CNN, where host A.J. Hammer observed, “Already we’ve seen the reaction to the news that Catherine is merely pregnant. What if it turns out she’s carrying twins? It would be like a nuclear explosion of baby news.” He asked his guest, Rosie Pope, “You can hear my head is exploding, right?” Pope, “My head is exploding, too. It’s—I’m speechless just even thinking about it. I mean, the possibility is incredibly exciting, however unlikely.”

To add officialness to the sickening charade, the White House could not be absent and the President and consort extended “our congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the welcome news this morning out of London that they are expecting their first child.”

We may almost believe that the US are no longer a republic, in complete oblivion that the war of independence was fought to remove the monarchy.

It may not hurt to remember Thomas Jefferson who referred to royalty with unabashed contempt. In 1788, he wrote to George Washington from France, “I was much an enemy of monarchies before I came to Europe. I am ten thousand times more so since I have seen what they are. There is scarcely an evil known in these countries which may not be traced to their king as its source, nor a good which is not derived from the small fibres of republicanism existing among them.”

And in a letter written in 1810, Jefferson noted that not only was the king of England “a cipher,” but the entire breed of European royals, like “any race of animals,” confined “in idleness and reaction, whether in a sty, a stable, or a state-room,” pampered and gratified in every way, deprived of “whatever might lead them to think,” had become in a few generations “all body and no mind.” Listing the various European kings and queens of the time, he described them as “fools,” “idiots” or “really crazy.”

Here is Tom Paine in “Common Sense”, “To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an insult and imposition on posterity. For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have a right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever… One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in Kings, is that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule, by giving mankind an ass for a lion.”

And in notes taken late in the 19th century, Mark Twain observed, ““Let us take the present male sovereigns of the earth—and strip them naked. Mix them with 500 naked mechanics, and then march the whole around a circus ring, charging suitable admission of course—and desire the audience to pick out the sovereigns. They couldn’t. You would have to paint them blue. You can’t tell a king from a copper except you differentiate their exteriority.”

Why all the stupid and irrelevant noise then? Simple explanations:

  1. A financial aristocracy rules the US and they feel more akin to George III than  Paine, Jefferson or Mark Twain.
  2. The media, faithful servant of the elite, has successfully concluded its mission – the imbecilization of TV watchers. There are thousands, if not millions of people who have not read one book after high school, who believe in religious and other myths, who unconsciously provide the mental fertilizer so that they can be successfully dominated, exploited, kept ignorant and in awe of the pregnancy, of the sex life and of the trivia of the “better offs” – dreaming to imitate them in the next life.

In the historical context it may be worthwhile to remember that on the eve of the American Civil War, the Vice President of the Confederacy observed that the old confederation known as the United States “had been founded on the false idea that all men are created equal.” (!)

On the other hand, the feeling of revulsion against this state of affairs has deep historical roots. Diderot, the XVIIIth century father of the famous Encyclopedia said,  “Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

Clearly Diderot was excessive. The best sign of intelligence (sigh) would be complete indifference. In fact, the most suitable, concise, befitting, related annotation to the event in question came from a Facebook visitor who wrote, “I don’t give a …..”

You can easily fill in the last missing word of the Facebook annotator and sympathize with today’s Shakespearean quote.

Tips for Use.  Comment to nonsense that has just been uttered, or to a mishap or error (e.g. spilling of coffee on your shirt).

In the Play. Hermia is upset with Demetrius who is in love with Hermia.

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