If you've wandered into any news site in the last few weeks, you've probably heard about England's Prince Harry and his little striptease at the pool table. Like me, you probably also wondered how, exactly, this was in any way important. After all, rich kids get drunk and naked in Vegas hotel rooms practically every day of the week. What makes this dumbass so important? With all the info we're bombarded with on a daily basis, do the exploits of some flat-assed, English douche's drunken weekend make even the slightest bit of difference? And why the hell do they keep trying to pound the shit these people do with their endless free time into our collective consciousness?
Coverage of the dull goings on in the lives of the world's various royals have been a longtime fascination with the press. They just can't seem to lay off all the amazing stories of privilege and spoiled rotten indulgence that come with being the children of kings and queens. Of course, they wouldn't be covering it if it wasn't getting eaten up by the lowly serfs with their broken backs, all dreaming of the good life up in the palace. In the sad little pyramid of public fascination with royals, the only thing more pathetic than being the guy who reports on every word and deed royalty puts out there, is to be the guy at the bottom who actually pays good money to take in any of it.
In the case of old Harry here, the sad irrelevancy of the situation is magnified by the insignificance of the guy. What is he, like 3rd in line to the throne? Meaning that, barring any freak occurrence that wipes out both his dad and older brother, Harry will never be destined to kingship of anything besides horrible tan lines. Even if that did happen, he'd still have to wait around for his grandma to kick it. Seeing as how she's been doggedly clinging to her throne for 6 decades, who knows when that will be. Top it all off with the entirely symbolic nature of British royalty, whose only remaining divine right of kings is to sit around and be rich while everyone else is poor, and you'll understand how little these people's lives matter to anything. Yet, there they are, all over the place. So why?
In this case, I think this story's legs come down to history and timing. Harry is the son of Princess Diana, who was probably the most beloved royal of all time - not necessarily because she ever really did anything. Her influence on society as a whole was little better than that of her sons. But she was hot and had a nice wedding once, so why not make her the cornerstone of a more than a few media empires? Add to that the fact that she got divorced and died tragically, leaving behind two kids, and you have sensationalist news to last indefinitely. Fast forward 15 years, almost to the day of Diana's death, and you get to see her baby boy hang his drunken, pasty white ass out in a cell pic. Pretty juicy material for some TMZ bottom-feeder, dishing out cash payments to every dumbass who was just smart enough to whip out their cell when something happened nearby.
The only thing the press loves more than uplifting stories of folks defeating insurmountable odds, is someone bottoming out or taking the low road to disgrace. Let's be honest, they prefer to document the fall from grace. Feel good stories are an occasional change of pace amidst the regularly scheduled seedy, corrupt, violent and depraved news which is what truly sells papers. Of course, the bottom rungs of the media ladder aren't the lone violators in this sort of thing.
No question about who broke this story.
Network TV was just as in love with Diana as any gossip rag ever was. Which means that those few confused folks who are smart enough to avoid the tabloid press, yet for some reason still watch the nightly news broadcasts, can barf over their bratwurst to the sight of Prince Harry ass on their TV, right after the stories on the Afghan war, the floods in Asia and the latest mud-slinging in the American presidential race. It's like one of those "which one of these does not belong" puzzles you learned to figure out when you were still in grade school. Which means that whoever is running the television networks is probably functioning at a 3rd grade level. Makes sense.
So, let's sum up. Some dumb kid with a dead mom everyone liked, spoiled and raised in privilege and luxury without hope of any substantial claim to power, got naked and wild in a Vegas hotel room. Look around you now, as you read this. I'm fairly certain there is something happening nearby that is profoundly more news worthy than this. Hell, you could be living on a desert island right now, sweating it out over the outcome of two crabs fighting over a fish head, and you'd still have more to report on than this. The whole idea of leadership by virtue of bloodlines died out about the time Louis the XVI found his bewigged head at the bottom of a guillotine basket. As did giving them even the slightest bit of our time or consideration.
If royals serve any purpose at all, it's to tap swords on the shoulders of professors and famous actors, live off the proceeds of all the plundered wealth their great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfathers nabbed for them, and give a faint heartbeat to the romantic idea of bygone days. Their deeds certainly don't belong anywhere near my news feeds, nor the semblance of legitimate news you see on TV nowadays. Unless one of them cures cancer or slaughters a bus full of nuns, it's best for all of us if we just let these people sink into inevitable obscurity in peace. And if they can't do that, at least try to limit the naked scandal stories to the one's who actually have bodies worth looking at. Like this one: