When Harry Met Meghan – Epilogue

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As the world churns (yes, that’s a hopeless TV reference; get used to it!) with airplanes falling out of the sky, impeachment hearings, Putin seriously off the rails and polar bears poaching in the sun, the big news across the globe is what’s going to happen to Harry and Meghan.

Disclaimer:  I am a hopeless monarchist, and I’ve always been in Harry’s corner (even when he dressed up as a Nazi) so it’s more in sadness than anger that I lampoon this two-ring circus.

Apparently, Harry, the Englishman formerly known as a Prince and Ms. Markle (former “briefcase girl” on Deal or No Deal) don’t want to be royals anymore.  It’s just too difficult for them.  This intolerable situation has caused them to seriously reflect on their role as A-listers on the world’s media stage.  They want to “take a step back” from the drudgery of photo-ops and ribbon cuttings.  They want to find their own “financial independence.”  And they want a chance at “a normal life.”  Not to worry though: they’re not going to give up being the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (they’re currently trademarking that brand.)  They just don’t wanna waste their time on the royal responsibilities that come with the title.  In “normal life” terms, what that means is “Okay, when grandma’s dishing out the cookies, let us know, but we’re not going to hang around and help her clean the oven.”

For the last couple of years, the world has been fascinated by the Harry and Meghan Royal-ity TV series (Season 1 – The Wedding, Season 2 – Here Comes Archie) but so far in Season 3, the story arc has gone a little flat.  After all, Harry’s not the heir; he’s the spare, so there’s not a whole lot of drama there.  And Archie’s cute and all that, but a 7th in line cousin is not necessarily tabloid news.  Meanwhile, Meghan’s media presence has disappeared entirely.  Even the bitchy stuff isn’t getting much ink these days.  The truth is Harry and Meghan might impress the likes of Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney (Ya gotta ask, though, would they have showed up at the wedding of second banana TV star, Meghan Markle, if it wasn’t for Harry?) but in the rare air of royal affairs, it’s William and Kate who carry the big stick.  From here on, Harry and Meghan are going to be trotted out for Ascot, hospital openings in Sheffield, Eastern European funerals and that’s about it.  They may have decided to “take a step back” from the limelight, but the reality is it’s already getting pretty dim.

I don’t actually care if Harry and Meghan trash it all and open a bed and breakfast on Vancouver Island.  Knock yourself out.  But what the hell does ‘a normal life” look like to someone who’s negotiating with two national governments, Canada and Britain, to figure out which one is going to pay for the bodyguards?  I don’t care how you slice the Gateau des Rois, that’s not “normal.’  Here’s the deal.  Harry’s accident of royal birth and more importantly, Meghan’s accident of royal marriage have given them both a ton of advantages that they can’t ever switch off.  If they don’t understand that, they’re totally out of touch with the real world.  If they do understand it, this latest semi-royal proclamation is simply grandstanding.  Personally, I think it’s a little bit of both.

Random January Thoughts

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It’s January, and it’s snowing – a rare occasion in Vancouver.  So rather than risk starting a Netflix binge that could last all week, here are a few random thoughts on a frozen winter morning.

I’m old enough to have survived the great Jennifer invasion.  Remember those days?  You’d call “Jennifer” on a crowded street, and 30 teenage girls would turn around; teachers were numbering their female students and it got so bad parents were spelling it with a “G” (Gennifer) or a “Y” (Jennyfer) or both (Gennyfer.)  Ah, the good old days!  Currently, le nom de jour is Ryan, and I don’t think anyone saw that coming.  After all, Ryan O’Neil is too old to stir the imagination of young parents, and Saving Private Ryan is – uh – just strange.  Either way, our world is up to its elbows in Ryans.  There’s Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Hansen, Ryan Merriman, Ryan Guzman, Ryan Kwanten, Ryan Rottman, Ryan Eggold, that “I’m no genius” swimmer Ryan Lochte, and for you older folks, Ryan Seacrest.  There are even a couple of women, including Ryan Newman.  But the weirdest thing about this phenom is Ryans seem to love to play hockey.  At last count, there were 57 Ryans in the National Hockey League.  That’s more than all the Johns, Dons, Rons, Steves and Toms put together.  In fact, you could field an entire team with nothing but Ryans on it.  Go figure!

Although I spend a ton of time complaining about millennials, I really have no idea who they are.  Honestly, once Gen X was over, I kinda got confused.  Especially when Generations Y and Z started to run together like eggs beaten into cake batter.  (Yeah, they’re different, but good luck trying to separate them.)  And now, apparently, there’s a Post-Millennial generation.  This is too much for my brain, so, like most people, I work on the assumption that if you’re younger than me and an asshole, you must be a millennial.  It just makes things a lot simpler.

Have you ever noticed, in the movies, when Satan comes back to rule the Earth, Hollywood always blames the Catholics?  It’s always some medieval Vatican screw-up that leaves a loophole in the space/time continuum for the Prince of Darkness to slither through.  You never see Tom Hanks trading riddles with the Archbishop of Canterbury or Arnold Schwarzenegger duking it out with a bunch of Baptists.  Protestants are cool and all that, but I’m pretty sure that when the Apocalypse shows up, they’re going to get their fair share of fire and brimstone.  You’d think Hollywood would know that.

And speaking of Hollywood, the Academy Award nominations came out this week, and everybody west of San Bernardino is already starting to apologise — too white, too old, too male – the list of Oscar’s offences is never ending.  Ironically, the only person to ever out and out refuse an Oscar was an old, white male — George C. Scott.  (FYI, it’s a popular misconception that Marlon Brando refused the award.  He didn’t.  He just sent somebody else to get it for him.)  And, incidentally, rather than having to fire another host for 10 year old Tweets or risk a Ricky Gervais ass-kicking, Oscar has decided to go host-less again this year.  If this keeps up, eventually, the Academy Awards are going to be Drive-Thru.

And finally:

Harry, the Englishman formerly known as a Prince, has decided he doesn’t want to be a royal anymore.  I’ve always liked you, Harry, but I don’t have a lot of boohoos for your predicament.  Yeah, it’s tough living in a fishbowl, but if you’re serious, you might wanna think about paying back all the taxpayer money you spent on The Wedding and renovating that house your grandma gave you.  Just sayin’!

When Harry Met Meghan (FINAL)

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The Royal Wedding is over, but there’s still time to indulge in that fine old international tradition: Making Fun of the Royals.  This has been going on for centuries.  In Colonial America, the newspapers were full of cartoons about George III, and I can’t even print what the French had to say about Henry V!  So, since I’m beginning to think my invitation to the wedding didn’t get lost in the mail, and since this is going to be the last biggie royal wedding for a while (Prince George is only 4) here are a few catty remarks about the Royal Nuptials.  If you watched the solid walls of media coverage, you’ll recognize the participants; but if you didn’t, don’t worry: they’re all the usual suspects.

It was a beautiful spring day in Windsor, and most of the hats looked as if their sole purpose was to confuse the pigeon population.  Meanwhile, many of fascinators had obviously been designed to pick up Wi-Fi so that the various plus-ones could watch the FA Cup final during the ceremony. (FYI: Chelsea-1 — Man U-0)

Oprah Winfrey’s sack was a last-minute design by Stella McCartney and was securely cinched in the middle to prevent the heavy bits from shifting.

Sir Elton continued to break gay stereotypes by showing up in his one good outfit — again.

Whichever Williams sister it was, walked in as if she was looking for a fight.

Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle’s former co-star on Suits appropriately wore — a suit.

Thoughtfully, Princess Michael of Kent didn’t wear any jewelry.  (Google it!)

Victoria (Posh Spice) Beckham got confused and thought she was going to a funeral.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Pippa (Middleton) Matthews, was told to keep her scene-stealing ass in line this time.  So, rather than risk Royal censure, she came dressed as a can of Arizona Ice Tea. (You can Google this one, too.)

George and Amal Clooney spent most of the day looking utterly bewildered that nobody gave a damn whether they were there or not.

Ben Mulroney did a wonderful impression of a discount Justin Trudeau.

Harry’s ex, Cressida Bonas and Abigail Spencer (no relation to the real ones) clearly shop at the same store: Tesco.

Princess Anne went for either cultural diversity or cultural appropriation by wearing a kimono, but nobody was brave enough to call her on it.

Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!  Sarah Ferguson (Fergie) Duchess of York was invited, but Prince Philip made her sit in the corner.

And speaking of Prince Philip, this guy is officially the toughest old bugger in the Commonwealth!  He’s 96 years old, fresh off  hip surgery, and yet he got out of the car and marched into Windsor Chapel as if his wife owned the place.  The man is made entirely of gristle.

And finally:

That low-level whirring sound everybody heard throughout the ceremony was Edward VIII, spinning in his grave, muttering, “American divorcee, my ass!”

Disclaimer:  This is satire.  In fact, I’m actually a hopeless monarchist and I love all the trappings that go with it.  It’s the simpy/sappy media coverage I object to.