Friday, April 29, 2011
Royalty – the soap
Well it’s not exactly a day for republicans in the UK. Gimlet eyed I turned on the TV to watch the world news and avoid any reference to the wedding, thinking that Al Jazeera would be the one to eschew the saccharine pomp and ceremony at Westminster Abbey. What was their main news story? The same as everywhere else. Not Syria or Libya. One becomes a sexist monster muttering expletives at the female kind as you watch hitherto calm and even intrepid reporters going girlie, ogling, eyelash fluttering and sugar voicing their way through the ‘making of history’. David Cameron who just the other day told a female MP to ‘calm down dear’ several times, also warbled like a reed bunting about a thousand years of royalty and what it has done for Britain. No killing of wives, imprisonment and executions of competitors or German take-overs there then!
A while back I did some work in St Petersburg and was fortunate enough to visit the Tikhvin, a small cemetery which contained the graves of many Russian composers, artists and poets. I sat on a stone and wondered whether their still decaying bodies were throwing molecules into the air that I was breathing. Maybe I was imbibing the spirit of creativity? And I have gone on to write a three volume fictional piece which I begin to edit today! Who knows? As an atheist of a kind I am not averse to believing in some things and the way we pass on memories through our genes and atoms is one of them. Anyway, in the Abbey is Poet’s Corner, a bit like that Russian quarter acre. So the bride and groom will walk through the lush grass of approbation from the great and the good and ‘some ordinary people’ -Al Jazeera, and imbibe the molecules tossed into the air by poets turning in their graves. Well, some of them:
“The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living” – Epitaph on the memorial to T.S.Eliot.
The monarchy seems to me to be a palliative, a bit like football. For so many people it arrests their development into critical members of society by filling their heads with dreams of princes and princesses, glass slippers, thousand piece tea sets and maybe a bit of acceptable bodice ripping, sexy phone tapped calls, murky deaths, disagreeable humour, racist attitudes and heavily regulated liaisons.