A brief observation provoked by the latest royal birth and the frenzy surrounding it.
Today, a woman gave birth to a child. This fact is not news. It's a cause for celebration by the new parents and their close friends and family, of course. But beyond that?
Well, in this case, there's a media circus which has knocked the General Election, the Baltimore Uprising and everything else down a peg. The entire world is being drip fed details of the most routine of events as though it were the discovery of intelligent alien life and a convoy was on its way to greet the Martian ambassador. A small band of oddities, all a butty short of a picnic, are camped out draped in flags and carrying signs in a strange cross between an Occupy camp and a professional wrestling audience, except nowhere near as interesting.
The children of major global celebrities don't get this much attention. Sure, there's media coverage and magazine spreads, but there's no liveblog and no flag-draped vigil by the Professional Association of Village Idiots.
The difference is that the child born today isn't being born to parents who are famous on their own merit. And yes, by comparison to William and Kate Windsor, giving a handjob in a hot tub on Big Brother is worthy of merit.
All the girl born today has to her name is that she is descended from powerfully entitled dicks who grew fat off subduing and exploiting peasants, and using said peasants to murder other peasants if a rival entitled dick challenged them. For that, despite feudalism and peasantry being things in the past, she gains the title of princess and a life of immense privilege.
This isn't the greatest injustice of the present age, by a long shot. Even without any vestige of feudalism, we'd still have a minority of people born into obscene wealth with the world at their feet while others languish in abject poverty. That's what you get when those who produce all of the world's wealth have a separate class claim ownership over that wealth. If the Royal Family vanished tonight, we'd still have capitalism to fight against.
But that doesn't mean that they don't represent something very wrong with the world - as does the reaction to the very unspectacular act of them reproducing.
Enough has been written on the evils of nationalism elsewhere, that I don't need to add much to it. But there are certain images that can sum it up greater than any number of words. Fascists chasing down and attacking immigrants or people of colour in defence of the flag and the border. Armies marching to war and unleashing death at the behest of the ruling class that the flag represents.
A bunch of gurning muppets having a party in celebration of feudal womb spillage may not be as powerful an image as either of those things. But it still says something. About the surrender of human dignity, the subservience to a ruling class, the sycophantic obsession with even the most mundane things when done by the privileged.
Which of course is part and parcel of the virus that is nationalism.