July 24, 2013
Royal baby haters.
They're out there. They're everywhere.
And with the birth of the beautiful royal baby boy in England the other day to the lovely Kate Middleton and her husband, Prince William, a horde of royal baby haters have been revealed, venting their anti-royalist spleens.
"I don't hate the royal baby," said a fellow of Irish extraction with the middle names Thomas Aquinas Francis Xavier. "Not the baby. The baby's fine. It's the royal part I don't like."
Ah, but you can't pick and choose and make complicated arguments about kings and democracy. You must take a side.
Either you're with the royal baby or you're against him. I'm with him. And if you're not with me, you're against me, and therefore a hater and perhaps even stupid.
That's how we roll in the American media.
The hustler Al Sharpton is against the royal baby. He mocked the child on the official anti-royal baby news network, MSNBC. Sharpton went so far as to offer the little prince a onesie emblazoned with the logo of his television show. Then he held up a blueberry pie.
"We hope he wears this as he's watching us," Sharpton said. "And I have a blueberry pie for his parents."
Why a pie? And why blueberry? Is the House of Windsor particularly fond of blueberries?
A Russian politician also got involved, predicting that the royal baby will grow to amass great power and eventually suck their blood sometime around the year 2050.
That's right, suck their blood.
This wild claim was likely abetted by the British papers mentioning that one of the child's ancestors is Vlad the Impaler, the legendary warrior who was the foundation of the Dracula vampire myth.
To make matters worse, my colleague Old School decided to watch "The Omen" to prepare himself for the blessed royal event. The original one, with Lee Remick and the chubby devil kid. Old School was scared.
"It's all that power and wealth and privilege," he said. "And Megiddo and the city of Jezreel and the priest. I knew what would happen but it scared the heck out of me anyway. Besides, you told me to watch it."
Yes, I did. In preparation for the birth of the royal, I did ask Old School to watch "The Omen." My bad.
Now, I confess, I was something of a royal baby hater myself and I asked this question on Facebook: What's worse? Sushi Mondays or the royal baby?
But I've evolved. My wife, Betty, cured me.
"I'm telling you this," she said, as if issuing a proclamation. "Do not mock that baby. And do not mock Kate Middleton, either."
I won't, honey. I promise.
There's nothing more zealous than a royal baby convert. That's why I'm so livid about those hateful tweets.
"I don't care about the royal baby," tweeted @HughesJack, "such a bunch of overexaggerated crap. Ugh."
"Don't care about the royal baby," tweeted @JamesSisterson, "in fact, I'm going to tweet, expressing my non-care, just in case people thought I did care. Which I don't."
There are others much too vulgar to mention here. Yet in the face of all this sordid evidence, there are those who still insist on pretending there isn't any royal baby hating going on.
Denials of royal baby hating are not only insulting, they feed the animus. And we royal baby story lovers don't like it.
"I'm not some royal baby hater," insisted a guy outside Tribune Tower. "Really, I'm not."
In the passive-aggressive manner of most royal baby haters, he tried to explain it with obscure phrases nobody in America really understands, phrases like "the Republic" and "democracy" and "the Declaration of Independence" and "the Constitution."
"The never-ending news coverage is making me sick," said the guy. "Aren't we past the time of kings? We're Americans, we're about democracy, we don't believe in divine right of kings. And then all the gushing coverage, royal baby this, royal baby that, royal baby, royal baby! And what name will they give the royal baby? It's driving me crazy."
I stared at him and said nothing.
"What?" he said. "What?"
Man, you sound just like some royal baby hater. Stop hating on that little royal baby, dude.
"I just told you! It's more complicated," he said. "You just can't lump me in with the irrational royal baby haters."
Ah, but of course I will lump you in with them. That's the beauty of the media. We have our own magic trick.
It's called the royal baby straw man.
I'll simply take your nuanced arguments about democracy and divine rights and "the Republic" and other smart-aleck stuff like "the Constitution" and lump them right in there with all the stupid, wacky royal baby hater spewings from the Russians and those ugly tweets.
Then guess what happens?
Your nuance disappears and you're pinned like an insect. And if you open your mouth to defend yourself, well, you'll sound just like that other bitter royal baby hater, the Russian Labor Party leader and wacko, Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
"That British monarchy ... destroyed our state," Zhirinovsky insisted to the state-run news agency RIA Novosti. "That is why the birth of another British monarch, who will suck our blood somewhere in the mid-21st century, cannot bring us any kind of happiness."
Well, the child has brought happiness to many others, including England, the British tourism industry and Mrs. Kass.
So smile, royal baby. Don't listen to the haters.
Be a good son. Be a good king.
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