Royal Robots?

Following the opening of the Calgary Stampede and yet another tedious photo-op – this time at the local zoo of all places, apparently to educate the Royal couple about how carbon deposits from the Cretaceous era are ingeniously turned into our leading export commodity – today mercifully ends the nine-day cross-Canada tour by Prince William and Katherine Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge.

Presuming this charming twosome might eventually become our titular heads of state it’s perhaps a good thing that they became somewhat more acquainted with this country, even though most of the painfully staged “events” on their itinerary were far removed from the daily realities of Canadian life.

Speaking as a supporter of the monarchy – at least in principle in terms of it being an abstract political concept – I confess to being more than a little turned off by the ridiculous adulation accorded to the Royal couple by their brain-addled fans; for example, some folks at one stop on the tour who exclaimed that having them pet their dog was the “greatest moment in their life” or many others expressing similarly ecstatic sentiments after having exchanged some inane small talk with the exalted pair on a rope line.

To resolve the conundrum of being pro-monarchy and anti-royal, I propose that the existing Royal Family be gradually replaced by robots. Pension off all of the existing “human” royal parasites and instead substitute life-like animatronic replicas specifically programmed with diplomatic protocols and pandering sub-routines tailored for interfacing with gormless proles at ribbon-cuttings, charity events and such. Would there really be any difference from the current arrangement?

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Royal Robots?

  1. Red,
    Does it help if it is pointed out that Americans go ga-ga over Will and Kate too? They fought a war to break from the British monarchy and here they are ass-licking with the best of them (and better than most).

    At least we have a legitimate reason to fawn over our royalty. What reasons do the Americans have? Envy?

  2. I would say the US is sorry, deep down, about all that dumping of tea in the Harbor..They should have travelled there.

  3. It’s telling how the pallid abstractions of democracy falter in comparison to the people’s sheer joy with living Monarchy. Down with modern anarcho-tyranny, wretched rule of the cleverest manipulators of the mob. Power to the People! Return of the King!

  4. Catelli – Good point. The other side of the coin is that in America the Royal couple will be revered purely as glamorous celebrities without all the phony pretense of honouring the war dead, victims of natural disasters, sick children and so on that inevitably brackets their photo-ops in this country.

  5. Because in the United States of America, they are not symbols or symbolic of a set of civic values as they are here. Tradition. Honour. Stability. Constitutionalism. Common Law. Service. Stoicism. Sacrifice.

    To those of us whose parents & relations served and sacrificed, the power of the symbol is immense. On top of the sacrifices of the two wars, I add the

  6. sacrifices of my Loyalist Forebears – who left all that they had, in order to remain, as their ancestors were, Loyal to the King and the British Constitution. If the power of memory and the past does not appeal to one’s character, then perhaps such symbols are empty. To those of us who recall and honour the past, they are extremely powerful.

  7. JKG

    ATY is right, the importance I keep on harping on the Royals is that they are the vehicle of continuity here in Canada. I have had long arguments with Progressive nationalists who seem to share this weird view that we would just be able to adopt a better republican model by looking to Europe (never mind that we have never been informed by anything cultural by France in modern times and the fact that American neoliberalism has crept into the public consciousness).

    In probably an ironic twist, Intones about how miserable it was that the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean was allowing republicanism to creep into the Crown while laughably lauding the government for stepping in.

    That’s right folks, the band of parochial, unserious, visionless yahoos who basque in a anti-Eastern and establishment populist vies, the head of which now as appointed as Canada’s Top Diplomat the man who, in response to populist fervour, preyed on populist ignorance by suggesting to “go over the head of the GG” is now guarding the gates against the republican horde. Of course, Gardner suggests that the Monarchy is good because it corrects ignorance of history by providing said continuity. I really could not have conceived a greater example of the “biases” and “dissonances” he writes about all the time. Irony thy name is Gardner.

  8. marklafue

    “…in America the Royal couple will be revered purely as glamorous celebrities without all the phony pretense of honouring the war dead, victims of natural disasters, sick children and so on that inevitably brackets their photo-ops in this country.”

    If I understand you correctly, either their reception here, or their behaviour, is worse than that accorded to/expected of celebrities because they’ve made an effort to honour war dead, speak to sick children, and visit disaster victims. I guess they can’t win for trying. I’m no fan of the monarchy, but my cynicism for the institution has not so corroded me that I can’t believe that people even as privileged as these two are incapable of sincerity or empathy.

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  10. Mark: Perhaps, as you say, “they can’t win for trying” and I may well be hopelessly cynical, but I just can’t fathom going from pretending to care about sick children and consoling with disaster victims one day to playing polo and attending a film gala the next. It’s incomprehensible to me and possibly inhuman… hence, the notion they be replaced by robots.

  11. Penny

    RT, much as I love you, you are indeed cynically imputing motives to the Royal Couple that they may not have. I,m sure they care as much about sic children and disaster victims as I do, but to a great extent I agree with ATY. With respect for the politicians who suck us dry at an all time low, it’s a treat to see two clean cut kids representing our system of democracy, which has a much longer tradition than the American or, say, Italian form. I was quite impressed by the symbolism they represented, more than the glitz and glamour. As for their US visit, they were representing British business interests while there. And getting some of those greenbacks for their charity, of course.

    What I minded about the Canadian visit was not their honouiring the war dead or hugging little kids, but the phony dragon boat race and chuckwagon baloney. I betcha they would have enjoyed a real dragon boat race a lot more.

  12. “What reasons do the Americans have? Envy?”

    for some, maybe. more likely, it’s attributable to a romantic notion that began with grace kelly’s marriage. that, and a simple case of celebrity.

    but they have no need for royalty, and that fawning need is more damning than mere fleeting fascination, in this yank’s opinion.

    KEvron, and his unblessed dog

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