Queens are on my mind lately. I think that’s largely owing to my having read the Sally Bedell Smith biography during my med downtime; when I read books while my body’s blitzed out the books sort of stick with me like a fever dream. That book certainly did. I kept juxtaposing my life, lying there in bed or sitting at the table choking down soup, with that of Queen Elizabeth II. She is a little dynamo. She’s trained herself to go for eight hours without a “health break”–what we in my family call “having a pee.” The only things I can go without for 8 hours are colonoscopy prep and political commentary on 24 hour news channels. I pretty much have to have a pee every 90 minutes.
When I reviewed the love letter, er, book on Goodreads it became pretty clear very quickly that most of the other reviewers were like the author in that they were impassioned Anglophiles who dreamed of an American monarchy.
Yes. These people are actually convinced that we need a QUEEN. Or a King. That’s largely owing, I suppose, to the author’s positioning of the Monarchy as a sort of innocuous figurehead designed to keep the country sane in spite of the shifting sands of politics. You know–“I sure hate Obama and my brother hates Romney but we all LOVE the Queen of America!” The last century has seen Britain remake a milennium of despots and tyrants into a sort of staid political Mickey Mouse. The queen is a filthy rich figurehead that everyone feels all warm and fuzzy about and who rakes in the tourist dough. Gosh. Don’t you wish we had one of those??
I’ll overlook how much of a slap in the face that is to the people who died to get us shot of the King. Well, other than that sentence, I guess. And now I’ll dive right into the crisitunity part of this ramble:
We do have a thing upon which we can all agree, which transcends politics and unites us.
It’s called Liberty.
France realised how important that was, and they gave us a big ol’ statue with a somewhat mannish face. We stuck her in New York Harbor and most of us now think of her as just a giant green woman full of elevators and staircases. But she’s our queen. She’s the personification of that thing that is greater than all of us and ties us together.
Freedom. True and absolute and utter freedom.
The way we’re going, however, I think perhaps we deserve a Queen or a King, because we’ve spent 11 years forgetting just why she is so important. We’ve sold her off for parts as we willingly allow the government to strip us at airports and wiretap our phones.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. People living here in America are actually wistful and longing for a monarch. No wonder we’ve agreed to sell Liberty to the lowest bidder.
But you know, this is the opportunity that those of us who are still in tune with the transcendent glory of liberty can take. We can point out that liberty is that ideal which transcends political differences and unites us all.
A queen. People actually want a queen. Excuse me while I bash my head on the desk.