Canada, July 2011: Prince William and his new wife Catherine made quite an impression during their two week visit. Apart from a few naysayers, they were well received and well-regarded.
I am one of these naysayers. However, as I see it, the problem does not involve individuals promoted to high places because some accident of birth, ability or pulchritude. The problem involves your and my proclivity for promoting the attractive, strong or competent to prominent positions and tucking in behind them.
This only makes sense if we see ourselves as worthless and hoping to camouflage this by identifying with excellent people.
We have been at this tawdry business for thousands of years.
To whit: I wrote the following in 1997. I hope you have had similar thoughts.
During the weeks leading up to July 1, 1997, members of the British Royal Family exposed themselves to crowds across Canada.
The Queen herself graced 'mini-thrones' at Newfoundland's John Cabot festivities and at Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa.
To be sure, not everyone is onside. Thousands of Canadians object to paying knee-jerk homage to Royals, professional athletes and movie stars.
One strategy they might consider is to leave off demonstrating in favour of 'de-conditioning' booths at fall fairs, mall parking lots and auditoriums where dignitaries often make themselves available for public viewing.
These displays could show films illustrating the carnage of wars convened by leaders. They could depict throngs of marginalized, displaced people against a backdrop of dignitaries in limousines. Statistics setting out the proportion of rich and poor could be graphed for all to see.
Unfortunately, all of this has been done and to no avail.
A new strategy is required. Why not borrow from the business plan of the wretched people who trade in exotic animal parts?
Every nation has an ample supply of leaders, media stars and professional athletes - individuals commending themselves as fit for public consumption. Why not take them at their word? Why not package, promote and consume them?
Of course, sceptics will object, the supply of Dignitaries is insufficient to support meaningful commerce. Some will worry about legal niceties.
Accordingly, let me clarify what I have in mind. A substantial, continuous supply of Dignitary Body Wastes, Hair Clippings, Toe-nail Remnants ... awaits commercial attention.
Why not market these commodities at Royal Appearances, Rock Concerts and political conventions? If ground-up tiger testicles can impart virility, who knows what further delights await fans and idolaters!
Convened by governments, political parties, fund-raisers ..., such strategies could offset the cost of Royal Visits and defray election expenses. Fans, loyalists and voters would gain something they could take home and cherish.