Friday, June 11, 2010

Mad Rant: The Ridicule of Royals

Certain political leaders (not just one and not just a few) like to explain any opposition to the current liberal republican dominance as a hatred of "freedom". What freedom could that be? One of the freedoms supposedly held most sacrosanct today is the freedom of speech. I say supposedly because it matters a great deal what or who one is speaking about as to how far that freedom goes. Speak out against traditional authority and you are a heroic freedom fighter. Speak out against the wrong group of people and you are a hateful bigot, speak out about the republican form of government and you hate freedom, speak out against republicanism and you must be insane. To mock and ridicule, even in a simply humorous way, a minority group and you will be punished for your "hate speech" -at least depending on who you are. So, a religious leader telling his people that homosexuality is immoral is guilty of a hate crime but if you're selling pornography like Larry Flynt you will be celebrated as a champion of the freedom of speech.

Now, so there is no misunderstanding, let me say that I would rather have a freedom of speech that goes too far than to have none at all. However, it seems absurd to have to limit ourselves to a choice between two such extremes and, as has been shown, such rules that are enforced are never enforced in a consistent way. What I do have a problem with is useless "speech" that accomplishes nothing in terms of putting forth a rational opinion but which simply mocks and ridicules for a cheap laugh. Nor do I even have a problem with that in all cases but I do have a problem with it when directed at royals. This is one reason why I have always defended the laws, often attacked in the western world, which protect the King of Thailand for instance.

I have no problem with people mocking politicians (who in most countries are the ones who actually hold political power). I do not because politicians seek fame and notoriety, they seek power and they must take the ridicule along with the sycophancy in my opinion. However, I do not think that should apply to royals who, after all, did not seek the position they hold but were born to it and who, more often than not, have no power over the lives of their people anyway. I have a little bit of sympathy for simple celebrities in this regard, who are, after all, private citizens, but not as much as they too seek fame, attention and public notice to advance their careers. I was reminded of this when hearing a comedian refer to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall as "Chuck and Cam". The Prince and Duchess, of course, took it with a laugh, but why should any royal be free to mock and defame simply for being a royal when they never asked to be put in that position in the first place?

In most countries freedom of speech was enacted for fairly noble reasons. Yet, what is the noble reason behind rock songs that mock Queen Elizabeth II, slanderous cartoons of the King of Spain or putting the face of the Dowager Queen of the Belgians on underclothes? How does that show support or opposition to any political policy or agenda? It is all simply useless, juvenile insults directed, again more often than not, and monarchs and royals who have nothing to do with policy or legislation. Part of the job of even ceremonial monarchs is to provide a rallying point, tied to the history of a country, to unite the people. This useless mockery undermines that important function and in my view should be outlawed. Insult and mock politicians all you like. They asked for it. But such pointless and defamatory attacks and slanders on royalty should be outlawed or at the very least be considered in as poor taste as racist cartoons and ethnic stereotypes. Of course if one were to question in any way the current definition of free speech or to dare to expect that royals should no more be mocked for their family ties than others for their skin color one would have to be...a Mad Monarchist.


  1. You're the smartest man on the internet Mr. Mad Monarchist sir.

    There's next to nothing that I've never completly agreed with.

    Have you ever considered writing a book? =)

  2. The smartest man on the internet? Is that rather like being the most sane man in the asylum? In any event, I have often considered writing a book, I've considered writing a number of them. Problem is, I would have a very hard time staying on-point and limiting myself to any one subject for the length of a book. I also fear any book I would write would appeal to so small an audience that it would be an act of charity on my part. My money in the bank probably brings in more interest just sitting there than anything I could make on book sells.

    But, I appreciate the flattery. If you almost always agree entirely with me you must obviously be an extremely intelligent and insightful person yourself!

  3. I think that this mocking of royal is in a sense to bring down their divine status. It's very hard to honor something you make fun of. So the media make royals look silly whenever possible. SInce when if they were to portray them as serious leaders than people would have great respect for them. Knowing the media's anti-monarchy sympathies they take cheap shots at royals.

  4. It is also ironic that modern republicanism, for all its cries that no one should be judged on basis of their blood (they obviously forgot about political dynasties), is only too happy to tear down a royal's reputation simply because they're related to the monarch.

    But what, beyond hypocrisy, is there in the republican movement? All they want to do is tear down the established order, and to them, the end will justify the means. Their greatest problem is that they offer no distinct alternative.

    By way of example, when humanity finally begins to colonise other planets, what will be the common strand that unites humanity? Earth, of course. All humans will be able to draw their lines back to the birthplace of their ancestors.

    Destroy Earth, and you destroy human unity. Think of Earth as a Crown, and you see the analogy I make. Regardless of good intent, it ultimately will serve more harm than good to remove the prime influence of unity.

    Not that the long term matters to politicians more worried about the next election than the next generation.

    And with regards to writing a book - if you want, I can help you edit it. 6 years of Jesuit education ought to count for something. As for sales - you'll never never know if you never never go.

  5. They do have an offer- they offer utopia, it all usually boils down to a classless, egalitarian (*cough*communist*cough*) democratic society where all will be sunshine and lollipops. When that happens they have to say that, either they didn't have the right people in charge or bad guys came along and corrupted their perfect system. It is all a farce of course.

    Thanks for the offer to help in a potential book, my sister the former English teacher would probably lend a hand. It is just hard for me to get strongly motivated on it. I do know it would not be a big seller, much better writers than myself know that royalty/monarchy related books are not best-sellers unless they are the pop-tabloid type. So it wouldn't make much and even if by some miracle it turned even a slight profit, it's still hard to get urgency about it. I'm not in need of money, I'm sure no publisher would buy it, and I'm sure it would cost more to do myself than it would ever bring in.

    But then again if I could ever stay focused long enough I might do it just for kicks...who knows

  6. It is all a farce of course.

    That was basically my point - they have nothing but abstractions and theories to offer.

    Motivation is indeed a hard thing to come by (I speak from experiance here). But just do it for kicks. Hell, you could even publish it here (nothing wrong with that, especially if it "won't sell").

  7. I strongly disagree that attacks on royalty should be outlawed. Even accepting, for the sake of the argument, that it would be just to do so in principle, the government will abuse that power. Among other possibilities, the government could call any speech about the government it doesn't like "attacks on royalty". Before you say it wouldn't happen, look at the statutory rape laws. No reasonable person would call an 18-year old who has consensual sex with a 16-year old a rapist or a pedophile, yet in allot of places the law would. What's to stop the government form adopting an unreasonable definition of "attacks on royalty"?

    Mockery of a ceremonial monarch is usually highly inappropriate, a ceremonial monarch almost by definition has passed no stupid or tyrannical law that would warrant mocking him over. It's rather like spiting on the flag. Mockery would not undermine any function if the idiot mockers were simply ignored, just because you speak doesn't mean anyone will listen or take you seriously.

    1. The possibility of an overreaching government is no excuse to allow good, innocent people to be mocked and slandered simply because of who they are. It applies to other leaders, it applies to politicians in republics so it should apply to royals as well. Remember the rodeo clown who was fired from his job and investigated by the Secret Service for making fun of President Obama? The laws that exist now can be misused, that it is no excuse.


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