The Jubilee is upon us. All hail the Hypnoqueen, who has certainly been alive for a very long time now. I don’t usually do links posts, but here’s a little topical no-not-that-sort-of-republican reading and viewing for you all before you head off to spend the double bank-holiday dressing your children as tiny proto-monarchist drone-puppets and eating undercooked sausages in the name of the Union.
A great deal of very clever people have dedicated whole careers to explaining why the British Monarchy is a ghastly anachronism in any nation with the smallest bit of pretention towards democracy, which, last time I checked, we were still claiming to be. Entire books have been written on the subject of the need for an elected and accountable head of state. All of those arguments are mere footnotes, however, to this video, from 2minutes. In which Prince Charles. Is breakdancing.
Right. When you’ve wiped the blood out of your eyes and resigned yourself to never having sex ever again, read The Royal Rorschach Blot, by Glen Newey at the London Review of Books, is a short, sharp, glorious confection of bombast and bile - pretentious republicanism done precisely right:
“Memories of Christmas days past are shaded by the regina monologues, the queen’s mogadonnish 3 p.m. telly broadcasts, like a séance at which the medium herself had passed to the other side. One yearned for her to crack a joke or cuss or come out as lesbian, but nothing interesting ever happened, and after years the realisation dawned that the boringness was the point… it’s the very bugger-allness of the queen, her Rorschach-blot quality, that has proven her great strength… as Nietzsche put it, when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you.”
“ WOO, the Queen yay woo, according to lots of people.” When the Daily Mash is good, it’s really good.
A collection of patriotic, jubilee-themed sex toys. Milady Stavvers has done it again. I love her because she shows me dirty, disturbing things on the internet and then makes me think about them. Remember, Capitalism did this, so it’s not our fault.
“Perhaps the guiltiest party in this is Ann Summers, who are still falling over themselves to be the worst sex shop in the observable universe. In their flagship Soho store, posters proudly proclaim they are celebrating “60 YEARS OF GIRLS ON TOP”–a tragic misunderstanding of the difference between The Queen and queening…. Their limited edition Jubilee vibrator, incidentally, looks like this. I’m glad we’ve cleared up the matter of what the Queen carries in that mysterious clutch of hers, then.”
AND FINALLY, Here’s something I wrote last year for the New Statesman about Buns, Bunting and retro-imperialism. Most of it holds as true for the Jubilee as it did for That Fucking Wedding:
“Street parties in the capital will be distributing T-shirts printed with the omnipresent “Keep Calm and Carry On” design, the “ironic” wartime propaganda poster that now infests the chinaware of the middle classes, reminding us that fortitude in the face of government-imposed austerity is just like fortitude in the face of Nazi invasion.
Twee aesthetic nostalgia for a fantasy of “lost Britishness” has reached fever pitch. A part of the Daily Mail offices is wallpapered with images of bulldogs, telephone boxes and, yes, spitfires, done out in patriotic red, white and blue. Consumers are exhorted to buy dairy products on which, according to the advertisers, “Empires were Built”…
That’s it. Now go and enjoy the sunshine.