Freedom News

I don’t care if a royal has cancer

I don’t care if a royal has cancer.

But I care that you care, for better or worse.

The royals don’t exist. Don’t waste your love on things that don’t exist. What is a royal, even? When we perceive a member of the royal family, what are we perceiving? We’re getting the puff of publicity, a story told by paid PR professionals, a filtered interview, a staged photo or a long-lens paparazzi glimpse. None of this is what knowing a human being is about. The royal you think you know doesn’t exist; they are no more real than Ziggy Stardust or Mr Blobby.

Is it a good idea to love people who can never love you back?

Maybe you’re just a fan. That’s harmless, right? Maybe the royals are the same to you as the characters in an anime series or the Kardashians. It’s all ‘based on a true story’, right? You suspend your disbelief for entertainment. Well, you do you. This would be fine apart from the heavy footsteps of the state and the church, the authority bound up with this particular fandom.

I don’t mind what you’re a fan of. What I do mind is being told we need to love and care for certain celebrities and that there is a compulsory para-social relationship expected of us who live in UK society. Celebrities, personas, and fandoms come and go, but certain cults of personality are part of the state exerting its authority. If we think it’s silly for people to be expected to look up to a shambolic despot nepo-baby like Kim Jong Un, why should we think it any more respectable to look up to the Windsors just because their dynasty was established earlier than 1948?

I think something sadder and more upsetting is also at work. We care so much about suffering celebrities, those who get our mandated sympathy precisely because we’re not supposed to care about each other. We are all isolated in our tiny worlds, our arms reaching out for each other constantly cut off at the elbows by how we’re forced to compete, mistrust and exploit each other to scrape together the money for food and rent. So all of this pent up love is channelled upwards, blown off uselessly into the celebosphere. The only use it serves is entertainment and to re-consecrate the rule of our ‘betters.’

I do feel genuinely sorry for Catherine Elizabeth Middleton; cancer should not exist. And if anything, I feel even more sorry for her husband. Being raised and trained for a job since birth and facing severe consequences if you rebel – that’s not just child labour; that’s a patriarchal honour culture which we’d be disgusted at if the people carrying it out weren’t hugely rich.

I do feel genuinely sorry for these people – but not very much. Shall I go down the list of all the millions in the world who have cancer and feel for them? If you think it’s callous to not care that a royal has cancer, I’d say no. It’s callous and wasteful to spend your precious energy on someone who doesn’t love you back and who doesn’t exist.

Your neighbour has cancer. Your colleague’s husband has cancer. Give them your love. They might love you back.

~ Knickerless Witcher

Image: Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0 Deed

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