We’ve always wanted to visit England and sample the delicious savory pies, good rare English beef with horseradish. And go to the theater, tour London and the countryside and historical sites.
Most of all, I’d hoped we’d immerse ourselves in the absolute wonders of “the beautiful game” — that they call football and we call soccer — the way it’s played in the greatest sports league in the world, the English Premier League.
But now? I don’t think it’s such a good idea.
It’s this Meghan Markle business.
After Pope Oprah crowned Markle as the Princess of the Woke, the wokists of Britain have gone bonkers. They’re hellbent on using Markle as their avatar to tear down the British monarchy that has connected the people to their past for some 1,200 years.
Some see the monarchy as repressive and wasteful. Some see it as the vanishing thread binding a diverse nation. Some see it as a fairy tale sold to tourists.
Throughout the Markle hysteria, I’ve been thinking of the proud 94-year-old woman, Queen Elizabeth II, trying to protect the monarchy, to hold on against the many idiocies committed by her family.
As an American, I’m not a big fan of royalty. Particularly our own American royals, the most powerful royals in the world:
Grand Duke Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Grand Duke Bill Gates (Microsoft), His Highness Sergey Brin (Google), Grand Duke Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and Grand Duke Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook).
They and others like them have the power to tell us and the rest of the world what to read, how to search and best order thoughts, and how to properly express those thoughts.
In the old days, a king like Longshanks might take your tongue or your head if you persisted in aggravating him. And if you’ve seen “Braveheart,” you know kings could take your bowels too.
But our Big Tech royals don’t bother about our bowels. They can take minds. And if that’s not absolute power, what is?
Yet as a thoroughly modern American, I stubbornly cling to the ye olde fiction that we may still speak our minds in our own country. Therefore, it follows that a visit to England now is out of the question. Who wants to end up on the stake burning next to British television host Piers Morgan?
Morgan, a co-host of “Good Morning Britain,” made a terrible political mistake when discussing that Oprah interview with Markle and Prince Harry that I refused to watch.
I was busy drinking Hendrick’s martinis with habanero garlic olives while binge-watching “Bosch.” To waste my brain cells watching Oprah, a billionaire entertainer sitting in a beautiful villa interviewing multimillionaire royals about their feelings just wasn’t my cup of tea.
You’d have to pry my eyes open with eyelid locks, as was done to Alex in “A Clockwork Orange,” to get me to watch. Sorry.
But I’ve been reading about it and learned that before meeting Prince Harry and marrying into the family business, i.e., “The Firm” and becoming Duchess of Sussex, Markle was a star of the TV show “Suits.” You’d have to use the lid locks on me for that one too. I’ll stick with a proper martini.
In the Oprah interview, Markle told of alleged racism in the royal family. Markle is the daughter of a Black mother and a white father. She said many things, with feeling, but what was striking, besides the allegations of racism, was that she said she’d been driven to thoughts of suicide and the royal family didn’t care.
Suicide is no joke. If you’ve lost a loved one or a friend, you know it’s no joke.
Still, some did not find her claims believable. On his program the next day, Piers Morgan summed up her interview this way:
“I’m sorry,” said Morgan. “I don’t believe a word she says. I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.”
He got into an argument with a co-host, the weather forecaster Alex Beresford, who said Morgan’s behavior was “diabolical.”
That’s what you get for not believing weathercasters. Morgan walked off the set. But that wasn’t his great sin.
His great sin was not believing what Markle said during her Oprah interview. Markle became upset, and reportedly called the network to complain. Morgan was told to apologize. He refused and lost his job. He’s now busy recasting himself as a Churchillian figure.
What’s frightening is that the entire sordid business of hurt feelings and outrage is being “monitored” by the proper U.K. authority: Ofcom, which regulates it all. If you go to its website, you’ll see what the organization is about.
“We make sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio” the Ofcom site explains, rather clinically. And that “viewers and listeners are protected from harmful or offensive material on TV, radio and on-demand.”
Is that reassuring, or chilling?
We once hoped to visit London during Christmas, to attend Boxing Day matches and have a proper English Christmas dinner at Simpson’s in the Strand.
But England will have to wait. It’s the only prudent thing to do.
Want more John Kass? See all his columns and find his weekly podcast here.
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