For those of us, living in the US, the idea of royalty is enchanting. It seems like every girl has the dream of being a princess with a herd[flock?] of unicorns to ride on. And when we travel, who are all the nitwits agape as they look at the castles in Europe? Yeah, Americans.
I’m as guilty of it as anyone. I flirted with the idea of getting married in a castle in Spain recently, until I realized the the cost of the whole shebang would make my dreams smash into the cold hard face of reality. Even still, I do love castles and when I mentioned to my cousin in Slovenia that I’d like to visit some of the castles around his town, I got the simple answer of, “Oh? Really? Why?”. Castles are everywhere over there after all.
But, beyond castles, there is the dream of having a royal family. This, I don’t get in to. Countries in Europe waste millions and millions of dollars supporting royal families each year. I might add that these are millions and millions of dollars that do nothing but support a tradition that people think they need, which they could really be “wasted” on social programs such as feeding the homeless. Nowhere is this more the case than in Spain, where, once Franco died, their king managed to weasel himself back in to power and re-establish the throne and more importantly the kingdom. This is why it is the “Kingdom of Spain” and not the “Republic of Spain” not matter what the Bush family says. A rather silly thing given that they formed this “new” kingdom in 1978.
This year in Spain has been one of those years that has forcefully and repeatedly begged the question as to why the royal is really needed there anymore. One the biggest flaps came with the cover of El Jueves that took a serious jab at the prince and was recently fined because of it. You can see the cover below. I think it’s hilarious, but then again, that’s not my royal family on the cover.
But, the latest deal has been that the king told the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, to shut up. Naturally, it was called for, but very surprising for the king to say. And, no it wasn’t some simple, “Please now sir, kindly wait your turn to speak.”, because you can’t do that with Chavez the Thickheaded. No, the king said, “¿Por qué no te callas?” which is the informal and impolite way to say something along the lines of, “Hey dude, shut your pie hole.” Not the kind of thing you say at a diplomatic meeting like Ibero-America. For reference, you can have a look at the video below to see how it all went down.
It’s really quick, so watch it again if you missed Juan-Carlos coming in with the right-handed hook that for a very brief second in time, made Chavez pause.
The bigger deal in all of this, is how Spain reacted to it. This video was remixed. And of course, it’s been the talk of all media in Spain for the last week. And of course, other media and the blogosphere at large.
Naturally, the big question is, why? Obviously, it’s because he’s a king and he shouldn’t be speaking like this. But really, who cares? The media, that’s who. We need to all sit back for a moment and realize that no matter how hard we’re working for the dollars (or euros) we get, that in Western Europe, the USA, and Canada, life is pretty damned good and we don’t have the problems that plague the rest of the world. So, in lieu of actual news, we get to see the king of Spain telling a despot to shut up. Silly yes, but let’s see if you can find news that’s more important. Oh, you did? Huh. Well, por qué no te callas?