When you work at a large newspaper, you sometimes discover your colleagues working on the same stories. Even worse, they even get theirs to print first. This is what happened to my rant on the royal wedding. But instead of ditching my hard work in the cyber trash, I decided to share it here. Go to the extended entry for my full rant.
Condoms to celebrate the special day!
By Christopher Muther
The American colonies began fighting for their independence in April of 1775. More than 200 years later, we're under siege from the British again. The colonists of the 18th century could escape from Brits in their root cellars (lucky!).
In 2010 there is no escape from constant chatter and tweeting of the royal nuptials of Prince William and his willowy brunette fiance Kate Middleton. Every detail has been dutifully regurgitated and there's still a few more days leading up to the spectacular.
I'm all for young romance, and certainly I'm happy for the couple, but if I have to read one more story about a jelly bean that looks like Middleton or where the royal couple will be honeymooning, I will take it upon myself to start a campaign to convince them to elope.
To put it bluntly, I don't give a rat's whisker about the royal wedding, and the more the hype snowballs, the more I want to escape to France -- but only if the French still dislike the British.
Before you roll your eyes and disregard what I'm saying as the ramblings of a crazed misanthrope or gamophobe, please keep in mind that I'm not the only one who is tired of the aristocratic alliance.
Back in February, long before the daily updates on Middleton's diet secrets and news surfaced of George Michael's song for Kate and Will, Americans were already disinterested in the union.
A CBS/Vanity Fair poll found that only four percent of Americans were interested in the marriage, and 65 percent said that they were not interested in the details of the wedding. My own informal poll has found that zero percent of my friends are interested in it in the royal wedding and none of them are planning to get up at the crack of dawn to see Middleton's dress -- and two of them are British.
A recent Reuters' poll in England found that more than half that country plans to watch the April 29 wedding. I would tune in as well if we were getting a holiday like workers in England. But even in England, 47 percent of those polled said they have no interest in the wedding.
I'm perhaps more bitter than most because I can't escape talk of the royal wedding, even at work. Every day, dozens of emails arrive that are simply shameless product tie-ins. l I'm not talking about logical tie-ins, such as TeleBrands' knock-off engagement ring (only $19.90 in a commemorative velveteen box!) or the Crown Jewels Condoms, issued in limited edition packaging with Will and Kate's photo to celebrate the blessed event.
Instead, my inbox is chock-a-block with "Kate Middleton's Luggage and Top 5 Packing Secrets" (naturally in all capital letters), "Knit Your Way to the Royal Wedding" (because crochet dolls are what every adult needs), and then this real keeper: perhaps the most insulting of them all: "On His Wedding Day, What Do you Give the Prince? A Hairmax Laser Comb. Even Princes Lose Their Hair." I have the decorum of a feral cat, but even I'm aware that talking about a man's William's hair loss on his wedding day is tackier than Tara Reid in a tube top.
As you can imagine, it's not easy to get excited about the wedding when you hear that Trump International Beach resort is hawking, "No More Waity, Katie," nail lacquer, and Belvedere Vodka is pitching its Royal Wedding Punch recipe. Truth be told, I'll probably mix up a batch of the boozy Royal Wedding Punch, especially if I have to wake up at 4 a.m. to write about the wedding.
None of the hype or the commercialism surprises me. We live in a culture where people actually pay good money to see Charlie Sheen have a nervous breakdown on stage nightly. But I do find it upsetting when coverage of a royal wedding trumps important events. I'm far from a serious Sam, but I'm much more interested in hearing about how Japan is recovering from its natural disaster than hearing another word about jelly beans that resemble future royalty. At this point, I'd even take Charlie Sheen's logorrhea over talk of the monarchy.
Christopher Muther can be reached at email@example.com.