Wednesday, March 23, 2011

IMHO-42
November 29, 2010

I had delayed writing this article anticipating that I would be writing about a ‘Rider victory in the 2010 Grey Cup. Alas, it was not meant to be…again. At least this time the ‘Riders didn’t lose a game that they had already won and now maybe everyone can stop talking about the “thirteenth man” and the “too-many-men penalty” in the 2009 Grey Cup. Regardless, this loss doesn’t feel too good either. But Rider Nation is still loud and proud and all we can do is tip our hats to the Alouettes for winning their second straight Grey Cup and vow that we shall return.
That said, I can’t really submit a one paragraph article now can I? So…what to talk about then? How about William and Kate’s engagement? Oh, you haven’t heard? Great Britain’s Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne, first son of Prince Charles and the late Lady Di, announced his engagement to Kate Middleton, a “commoner”, no less, the first “commoner” betrothed to a future British king in 350 years. Whatyamean, “who cares”? That’s what my initial reaction was, too. But wait.
According to our national news magazine, Maclean’s, the Queen and the subsequent heirs to the British throne, are still Canada’s head of state and, I quote, “while such an arrangement strikes some as antiquated or unnecessary, it has proven to be a great benefit to this country.” So we Canadians had better care about who’s marrying whom when it comes to the Royal Family.
But even if I were to buy into the fact that some person born into the right family at the right time, and by no other means than by chance or perhaps Devine Intervention, some choose to call it, will become a much more worthy and important human than many other humans on the planet and that he/she may, one day, become our Head of State, I would still think that the international news media’s hyping of THE ENGAGEMENT is over the top.
Again, our national news magazine, Maclean’s, devoted 52 pages, that’s right, 52 pages out of 106 total pages, or 49% of the whole November 29th issue of the magazine, to Royals’ Coverage! Wow!? And that’s just for the engagement. Page one of their coverage states, “The courtship, the ring, the families and the romance that has captivated the world.” I think that they may have forgotten the most important word in that statement. The word “media”. Add the word “media” right at the end of the above statement and, to me, it would then be more accurate. Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m not nearly as “captivated” as I am told I’m supposed to be.
Perhaps the “media” should be reminded of how their over-the-top intense coverage of “The Royals” factored directly into the premature death of Prince William’s mother Lady Diana. But they don’t care. They’ve got magazines, papers and TV advertisements to sell. The London Times reported that a single picture of a bikini-clad Kate might fetch upwards of $50,000.00! And a television news outlet actually hired a lip reader to monitor Kate’s conversations while she was attending Prince William’s graduation ceremony from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst a few years ago! Seriously? A lip reader?
Once again it’s the old chicken ‘n egg scenario, isn’t it? Which came first, the public’s fanatical obsession with the Royal Family fuelling the need for all of the intense media coverage or the intense media coverage creating the public’s fanatical obsession with the Royal Family? Either way the media monster is alive and well and hungrier than ever and at whatever the cost.
“Sometimes I think they should set up an asylum for people like that…a whole slew of paparazzi defending their positions.”-Robin Wright Penn (1966- ).

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