The Daily Show on the celebration of the Queen’s jubilee

Sometime ago I wrote in a post titled God save us from the Queen my view that the British monarchy, like any other monarchy, is a feudal parasitic institution that should be abolished and that I am amazed that people in the US with its republican tradition pay so much attention to its absurdly excessive pageantry.

I naturally did not pay any attention, beyond the headlines, to the reports over the last weekend of the elaborate celebration of the 60th anniversary of Queen’s reign. Jon Stewart informs me that I did not miss anything despite the media lavishly covering the festivities and disguising the fact that they seemed to have been crashingly boring.

(This clip appeared on June 4, 2012. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. says

    What was it Feynman said, “The idea of ‘hereditary leadership’ makes about as much sense as being a ‘hereditary physicist'” …

    Of course what it really means was that these are the descendants of the most successful of a collection of thugs. That doesn’t mean that they’re particularly effective thugs, anymore. Can you imagine Charles trying to do anything, other than make bad speeches? He’s not even inherited any skills at _that_ and he doesn’t even look impressive in his fancy clothes. Meh.

    I do like the idea of having a “king” or “queen” as a sort of non-governing figurehead. But heredity? That seems silly -- why not have a contest like “American Idol” to choose a new king/queen whenever one dies or abdicates? That way we’d wind up with people who were talented and interesting in the role. We’d have probably had King Elvis I… And I’d be happy with that, as long as he ruled with a rockin’ fist. Queen Mary Tyler I would have been pretty awesome, too; it’d be hard to argue with her.

    I think that’s why QEII is so well-loved: she’s not a complete pinhead and actually seems to try hard to do a good job in her role. But the British monarchy is a bad joke, otherwise.

  2. Snowshoe the Canuck says

    But king Charles III as a figure would be better than Mittens as President any day. Chuck would be able to have an intelligent conversation with his roses while Mitts would be trying to remember if he had a Secretary of Education this week.

  3. 'Tis Himself says

    I was disappointed. I so wanted to see the flyby. It would have been neato spiffy keen if it had happened, but it didn’t. Now I have nothing left to live for. Farewell, cruel world!

    Oh wait, I’ve just heard there will submarine races later this month. I’ll have to hang around for those.

  4. says

    That wouldn’t bother me. As long as it’s a ceremonial role, sure, she’d be an awesome queen. In fact, since a ceremonial role requires absolutely no qualifications Her Highness Kim I would be eminently qualified.
    She and Her Highness Posh Spice could do a dance-off. It’d be awesome.

  5. Paul Jarc says

    This video makes a moderately persuasive argument in favor of the British monarchy. The poster also has some interesting videos about alternative voting methods.

  6. lpetrich says

    I think that Queen Elizabeth II has been a very likable professional socialite. If she was less likable, then I think that Australia, and possibly also New Zealand and Canada, would have become republics some decades ago.

    I doubt that Prince Charles is as likable as she is, and he’s certainly had a record of controversy.

    Taking a long view, over the last 5 millennia of recorded history and likely longer, most societies much larger than a city-state have been monarchies -- and sometimes very long-lived monarchies. But starting 2 centuries ago, and especially over the last century, many monarchies have fallen, with their successors not creating new monarchies. Several surviving monarchies have become figurehead ones, like the UK’s.

    In this twilight of the monarchies, I think that the British royal family’s handlers may be aware that if the family makes too many enemies, then it will go the way of the Bourbons and the Habsburgs and the Hohenzollerns and the Romanovs and the Osmans and several other royal families. QE2 has likely been successful here, but does Prince Charles have the self-control to keep himself from doing so?

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