Yesterday, an international horde of people who might not normally be super psyched about a fresh newborn entering the world sat with bated breath at their computers, casually refreshing the #RoyalBaby hashtag on Twitter, silently GChatting their speculation about what it might be (A George? A Diana?) and casually supporting the British monarchy — a group that is usually looked at with disdain or mockery any other time of the year when there isn’t excitement related to a pretty princess involved. And then there was the not-so-quiet minority who had no intention of participating in the Royal Baby Mania, and boy, were they eager to tell you about it.
There is an incredible number of brave individuals who have taken a stand against the international baby brouhaha and, like any other minor cause, they have taken to social media to protest it. Every individual’s voice must be heard, clearly, and even though it’s quite clear that the majority of people actually have the teensiest bit of interest in a child that is now third in line to rule over England and her colonies (“colonies?” I dunno — I happen not to care much for the correct international geographical terms) in a completely symbolic and antiquated tradition.
Sure, it’s stupid, especially for us Americans, who over 200 years ago fought a war of independence, ostensibly so we wouldn’t have to pay attention to this crap. (Also because of taxes and stuff.) And yes, there’s little difference between the Royal Family and the celebrities we hold near and dear to our hearts — the Kardashians, the family of duck hunters on Duck Dynasty, the Honey Boo Boo clan — except for smug stoicism and generations of inbreeding. The British royals are essentially a publicly sponsored entertainment franchise; they trot out in their funny hats and gigantic jewels for us a couple times a year, and every now and then they’ll do something really exciting like get married, have an ugly divorce, or be the subject of a movie starring Helen Mirren. As Americans, we should just be excited that we don’t have to pay for it. Considering that our most natural state as human beings tends to be not caring, it is fascinating to watch the thousands and thousands of social media posts professing, with such fervor and disgust, an apathetic response to the birth of the Royal Baby. Which, of course, only makes it seem like one who professes not to care about the Royal Baby does, in fact, care just a little about it after all. And of course, the proliferation of anti-Royal Baby remarks leads to this sort of thing:
It really is a Human Centipede-like take on cultural criticism: rather than giving any sort of thoughtful take on why the birth of the Royal Baby only promotes an outdated and problematic hierarchal class system, or how Kate Middleton perhaps unwillingly embodies a fairy-tale obsession with princessdom, it’s a lot easier in our 140-character world to shit out unfinished and unoriginal thoughts for someone else to lick back up again. Here’s a wild suggestion: if you don’t care enough about something, perhaps don’t spend the energy letting everyone know about it.