Saturday, November 20, 2010

Why do so many people seem so clueless about the concept of monarchy?

Two "big" royal stories this week. Yes the "Willikate" betrothal grabbed the headlines, and while it was rather overhyped, I could recognise that it did indeed qualify as a news story. If we thought that was a lot of fuss over not very much, we only had to wait for Friday and the "Queen Camilla" non-story. In case you missed it (lucky, lucky you) Prince Charles was asked in an interview for US TV, whether his 2nd wife would be known as "Queen Camilla" once his mum finally pops her clogs.

"umm, err, we'll have to wait and see, I suppose that might be" is a rough approximation of his response. I can't be arsed looking it up to get the exact transcript. Now admittedly it was ITV News I was watching (I know, I should know better, but the mrs was watching that Jungle crap and the news followed it), but the sheer over-reaction to this effectively off the cuff response had to be seen to be believed. Alistair Stewart must have had to take his suit directly to the dry cleaners immediately after posting his report, he really was that excited.

Quite apart from this being deeemed such a huge story, worthy of major billing on the main evening news bulletin, there's another problem I have with this. Presumably, if you actually care even a jot what Camilla's title is, was, or will be in the future, you would call yourself a monarchist, or a supporter of the monarchy. Personally, I couldn't give a toss if they call her "Queen", "Princess", "No.1 Doris", or "The Royal Spunk-Receptacle". Clearly, there's a hell of a lot of people in this country who support the monarchy, yet have completely misunderstood what a monarchy actually is. You don't get to have an opinion, you don't get to have a say, you just get "ruled" by whichever chinless wonder happens to emerge first from the loins of the last one (legitimately of course, no bastards allowed!). That individual then gets to do whatever the hell they want, when they want, to who they want.

This is the same bunch of thickos that will opine "that Charles shouldn't be King, we should just skip him and give it straight to that nice young Wills". Someone should explain to them that there is a system where the people get to choose the Head of State, and if that person does something (or someone) they don't like, they can vote them out and choose another one. It's called a Republic.

Sadly if you tried this you would get a vacant, mouth-breathing stare back at you with a soundtrack of gurgling. Possibly followed by a punch to the chops. Personally, I think we should move towards a system of dictatorship. I'm sure I don't need to tell you who should be the dictator. Or what place there would be in my society for anyone who had ever given an opinion on who the next monarch should be or how we should refer to their preferred shag...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The heart of a country - according to Google

The Google maps Japan - China jetski adventure* got me to thinking about where Google takes you if you just ask for directions to a country. Interestingly, directions to both Scotland and Wales end on very remote lakeside roads (Loch Tay and Nant y Moch reservoir respectively), while England is a housing estate in Milton Keynes called Silicon Court.

Ireland is a bog in Co. Roscommon, while Germany actually has an official "Mittelpunkt" in the town of Niederdoria which is where Google will lead you.

*On the off chance you haven't seen this just ask Google maps for directions from Japan to China and scroll down to no.43 in the list.