By Marty Russell
The stormy weather has been keeping me up nights here lately. I’ve been awakened at all hours recently by thunder rattling the windows and heavy rain and hail seemingly about to punch through the roof.
I thought having a house with a metal roof would be soothing, listening to the rain fall on it. But now it’s more like the annoying sound of someone throwing BBs into a barrel, only amplified by the space in the attic.
So I’ve found myself up in the early morning hours a lot lately watching the weather as if there was anything I could do about it and, between satellite blackouts because of the heavy rains, looking for something to watch on TV at that hour. What I’ve discovered is that I have basically two choices. I can watch the Weather Channel or I can watch yet more coverage of the upcoming royal wedding, essentially a choice between a tempest and a teapot. I’ll take the tempest.
My wife has learned to quickly change channels or hit the mute button anytime I walk into the room and there’s something about the royal nuptials on TV. She’s seen me dog-cuss Brian Williams and numerous other television newspeople for wasting so much time discussing the wedding of two people who will never work a day in their lives and live extravagantly off their “subjects” when there are so many more important things going on in the world.
It’s pandering, pure and simple. Giving people what they want instead of what they need because giving people what they want ensures ratings and advertising revenues and makes people feel all warm and fuzzy unlike real news about wars, uprisings and disasters. In other words, it’s fantasy.
I’m not saying a royal wedding isn’t news to some degree, but not to the degree that it’s been given coverage. I don’t care what Kate’s dress will look like, I don’t care what foods will be served, I don’t care what their royal carriage looks like or who’s on the guest list. I don’t care what you can and can’t say to the queen because, quite frankly, if I could say something to the queen she wouldn’t like it.
I mean, isn’t this the same inbred family line we fought a war to get away from? And yet you’d think from all the coverage here in the states that we really miss having kings and queens and princes and princesses. If that’s what I wanted I’d still rather go watch a Disney movie.
But it’s estimated that more than two billion, yes, billion, people will tune in Friday to watch the royal wedding. If the storms have me up again at 3 a.m. Friday I know what I’ll be watching and it won’t be a tempest in a teapot.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.