I Didn’t Watch the Royal Wedding, But It Still Won’t Go Away

If we're talking royal fantasies, I'd choose Prince Akeem over Prince William any day.

By Akiba Solomon Apr 29, 2011

I had two options this morning. Watch that British royal wedding or walk barefoot through a maze of broken glass dipped in formaldehyde. I picked the latter. Now, with bleeding feet, Poison Control on hold, and the fatigue associated with being adrift, I’m going to explain my lifestyle choice.

I call it a lifestyle choice because that’s how some people–mostly women, from where I sit–are discussing this wedding. They speak of it as if it’s a referendum on their capacity for romance, fantasy, enjoyment, love and empathy for sons whose mothers have died in automobile accidents. I, a certified sap and sucker for love, understand the urge. But I’m disturbed by how a British royal wedding has come to represent it.

Maybe it’s because I lack affection for British monarchs. My heart just doesn’t heave at their contractual agreements, even when a so-called commoner is the one marrying the publicly-funded prince. In fact, I quite resent being inundated with these symbols of European elitism. Color me bitter, but I’m not entranced by the fruit of their ancestors’ greed and vainglory. I think it’s swell how William and Kate met in college and how she can speak in full sentences. I just don’t believe African, Indian, Afghan, Caribbean, aboriginal, Native, Irish people or peasants should have had to pay for their palace.

Cue up, "That’s harsh," so I can respond, "That’s resistance."

The other challenge I’m having is with the hats. Some of the head gear on display at this wedding was fascinating. But to behold it, I also had to deal with the flesh-tone pumps, the inside dirt, the cake, Victoria Beckham’s Mrs. Roper dress, the cost of Kate’s gown, the designer of Kate’s gown, whether the Obamas were invited, if Prince William’s hair is thinning like his father’s, the Queen in yellow, and how tourism might offset the estimated 20 million-pound price-tag for the added security and closed markets.

It’s Friday. I would appreciate the luxury of not knowing about silly things that don’t impact the people, kittens, land, food, music, art and spirits I care about. But unless I actively insulate myself from about 99 percent of U.S. media–online, network, cable, radio and print–that’s impossible. (Our news media coverage of this wedding significantly trumped the U.K.’s!)

I would take a personal day from the news. But I gotta stay woke. I just found out that a friend who lost his mom a few months back also lost her Alabama house and everything in it thanks to Wednesday’s tornado.Three hundred and five people Down South–204 from Alabama, the rest from Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia and Louisiana–have died in the storm. The first black president of the United States, who on Wednesday was forced to prove his citizenship to a racist, smug, ignoramus with a fucked up haircut, is going there. But the royal wedding is the dominant story.

Uprisings are still taking place in Bahrain, Syria, Libya and Yemen. In Palestine, Fattah and Hamas unified after five years of fighting. But the British royal wedding is the dominant story.

Mumia Abu Jamal had a breakthrough. Troy Davis is in serious jeopardy. May Day is coming up.

Gay and lesbian people here are legally barred from being married.

But the British royal wedding is the dominant story.

Watching and talking about a flagrant display of other people’s money and unearned power is not my idea of a release from serious news. If we’re talking royal fantasies, I’d choose Prince Akeem over Prince William any day.

Or there’s always that maze with the broken glass.