Friday, April 29, 2011

Ready at the Altar

There she is, getting ready for her special day, the shuttle Endeavour.

What, you though I was going to post pictures of Kate Middleton?

While I enjoy many British exports, Doctor Who, Terry Pratchett, Harry Potter, etc, the one thing I've got no use for is hereditary monarchy. And while I wish the happy couple well and all that, our forefathers here fought a couple wars and put together a pretty good set of rules and guidelines based in no small part on the premise that we're under no obligation to give a damn about royalty. While our country has its flaws, the belief that even the poorest orphan is equal as a human being to any king or queen is not one of them. I only wish that equality were as apparent in practice as it is in our founding documents.

So if you're going to toast anything today, toast the final voyage of that amazing machine. While one royal bride is headed into a world of boundaries and class lines, Endeavour is headed today to a place far beyond any walls or palaces, where any distinctions we might wish to build for ourselves are rendered meaningless by the vastness of space.


Anonymous said...

Nonetheless, to play devil's advocate--what attracts us, or at least me, to the British royalty (and I'm not all *that* attracted when compared to others) is that, with all of their political power stripped from them, they are in fact /less free/ than any American. Beautiful creatures in a gilded cage.
That William, the product of divorced parents, is marrying a "commoner" is something that would have been unimaginable a mere 70 years ago and points to the constrictions that bind his every move.
And conversely, Kate marrying into royalty is a wonderful example of the egalitarian shift within the blooded ranks of Great Britain. Comparing that to the fact that most US Presidents have come from backgrounds of wealth and privilege, and are, in fact, often *related* to one another ( I'll grant you that I only know of one of my 6th cousins and hardly count that relationship as "family"--makes me think that there is a certain elitism in the US, just as there is in England.
But while theirs seems to be waning, our (unofficial) upper class only seems to be further separating itself from the hoi polloi that is us.

Neil said...

The launch has been delayed, until May 2nd.