Friday, December 07, 2012

Lighten Up, Folks

The other day I posted a short notice on how dismayed I am at the Facebook posts that exhibit a gut-level hatred of President Obama, a hatred that goes far beyond disagreement with his political philosophies and is instead aimed at the man as a person. He is our elected president and deserves respect as such. I find it personally offensive when people are that bitter...and at the core, I always supsect racism, though most would deny it.
Today I'm a bit dismayed in a lighter manner, but I've been following a thread critical of the attention being paid to the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge. I have seen such comments as "I thought we weren't part of England any more" and "Is this more important than the fiscal cliff?" In answer to the latter, not it's not, but it's a nice diversion.
In spite of the fact that we separated ourselves from the monarchy almost 250 years ago, most Americans are still intrigued by the pomp and circumstance of English royalty. Look at the way we have followed Queen Elizabeth's years on the throne, from her coronation to her marriage and the recent celebration of her sixty years (is that right?) on the throne. And isn't she wonderfully regal and yet at the same time sort of salt-of-the-earth real? I remember my daughter and I watching coverage of the funeral of Diana into the wee hours of the night, and most of us were, more recently, glued to the TV on the happy occasion of the wedding of Will and Kate, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. We seem to like all the ceremony that goes with the monarchy and is missing from much of American life. So why not follow the pregnancy, rejoice with the young couple, and worry when Kate is dehydrated enough to be hospitalized. Sure, hundreds of young women in this country have severe, acute morning sickness and it doesn't make the headlines, but hey, she's married to the heir to the British throne, the last great glamorous monarchy (yes, there are others but they don't have the same allure).
And yes, the whole thing took a tragic turn for the worse with the death, an apparent suicide, of the nurse who fell for a hoax and released information about Kate's condition. The journalists' desperation to get information, by hook or crook, reinforces my point about worldwide interest in the pregnancy but it also says something dark about journalistic integrity. My prayers go with the family of the nurse. NOw that's tragic news, worth complaining about.
But why not let the pregnancy be in the news and not grouse about it? Makes me think people are just looking for something to complain about. So complain about hungry, sick children in this country, abandoned dogs and cats, abused wives, gay couples who can't marry, cancer and HIV patients, wars we shouldn't be involved in--there are any number of causes. And after you complain, go out and do something--contribute to a canned food drive, adopt an animal, there are any number of ways to help in this world. The Duke and Duchess provide a light moment of relief.
.In this season of joy, let's share Will andKate's joy and stop complaining. And, hey, act like grown-ups and stop hating the man who has the heavy burden of steeering this country through troubled waters.
Happy holidays, everyone!

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