Saturday 10 December 2022

Please Ignore

If you have read about, watched, listened to or even merely wondered whatever the fuck the Sussexes are banging on about you are part of the problem. Sadly, as much as I loathe the ludicrous royal soap opera, even I have not managed to ignore it altogether and the fact that I am writing this means that I am at least partly culpable, too. In exactly the same vein, I heard on some R4 show the other day that Love Island is one of the most successful TV franchises ever.

What is wrong with us as a species that the zenith of popular culture celebrates and magnifies the worst instincts we possess? Driven by a prurient and morbid curiosity, we are mere fodder for facile, voyeuristic, lowest-common-denominator pap which neither educates nor truly informs. We are lower as a life form as a result. The Netflix ‘documentary’ (Fiction? Fantasy?) about the whining ex-royals (who nevertheless retain titles they don’t deserve) is just another low spot.

And there, I did what you do, I have a fucking opinion on something that I would be better off being completely ignorant about. So what do I do? Do I – like many – continue to have an opinion about something I steadfastly refuse to pretend to be interested in? Or should I dip a toe in the water and ‘do the research’? Wait, what am I thinking? I’d rather stick pins in my eyes, yet here I am, somehow trying to justify my own contradictory reactions.

I will resist reading about, hearing about or watching anything whatsoever to do with the hideous couple. I certainly don’t care what happens to them and still less what they think about it all. But all I have to do is open up a newspaper, turn on the radio or television or – heaven forfend – browse the gawdy baubles of the internet and there it is, splashed like projectile vomit all over the place.

Even hoping that the possible bill proposed by Conservative MP Bob Seeley to strip them of their titles is to engage in the topic, when my most heartfelt desire in this regard would be to see them not only defenestrated from the highest royal window but to be banished to exile and every trace of their existence to be expunged from memory. See how impossible it is to just ignore it all?

Amused we are not.

Amid the concerns over climate change, the current freeze and the cost of heating, inflation outstripping wages faster than any other time this century, the coming energy drought, the unstoppable influx of unwanted illegal migrants… In the face of all this how can it be true that the most pressing matter for the nation is what a pair of spoiled offence-mongers and race-baiters think about the in-laws? We don’t deserve the ability to communicate, do we?

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