« Murder, Inc. | Main | Back in the saddle again »

The Horror

Good grief. I'm sitting here listening to the oldies station, and an announcement comes on: the Lifetime channel is going to feature a movie called "The Murder of Princess Diana." No, it's not a parody, either. I'll bet you the Lifetime demographic will eat it up too.

I never could get the fascination with the whole Diana thing. For some reason my Anglophilia didn't extend to the British monarchy, which just bored me. If you ask me the British royals haven't been interesting since 1066. I'm a true atavist -- I can identify with dour Anglo-Saxons in their drafty mead halls, and even, just a bit, the theological obsessions of the High Middle Ages, but the velvet-robed political maneuvering and matrimonial inbreeding that came after that just leaves me cold. However, most of my fellow Americans, at least the distaff side, disagreed with me, and in the early 80s everywhere you looked (that wasn't at me) women were sporting that shiny golden Diana helmet hairdo. True story: I went to a party in, I think, 1985, being held at the home of one of my coworkers. I entered her house to be stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of an entire wall devoted to Diana: 8x10 photos, books, commemorative figurines of the marriage... "I'm kind of obsessed by her" the coworker said frankly.

But I don't get it. I never did. Diana wasn't even the sort of British woman who interested me -- she was blond and bland, and gave off that air of "preppy" which at the time was anathema to budding alterna-goth me. I found her boring, and just as I couldn't figure out what was so fascinating about the blond, healthy, ordinary tribunal of popular kids who stood at the top of my high school's social hierarchy, I couldn't figure out what made this vanilla creature so worthy of obsession. If you ask me her manner of death was the only really interesting thing that she "gave," if you will, to the world -- and it was just a common traffic accident after all. Perhaps that is why so many of her "fans" really wish there had been something more to her death, and therefore make up ridiculous conspiracy theories about it -- even they sense that there wasn't anything all that fascinating after all about their hobbyhorse.

Anyway, I'm here at home due to one of those stomach bugs (I've lost three pounds in the last two days), and still hitching a ride on someone's unencrypted wireless. I can't wait to get my own connection, though -- this one keeps dropping.

Update: after thinking about it I should rather say that I don't so much identify with the Anglo-Saxons of eld as I am stirred by them, or rather the thought of them, while the well-worm pomposity of latter day British Royal ceremonies rather bores me. Still, Beefeaters and Buckingham Palace and all of it beat the crassness and flatness of most of our modern, "hang loose" way of life. Diana and her Peoples' Princess shtick contributed much towards the grinding down of Western civilization into a gray paste of multiculturalism, which was even more of a turnoff to me than her upper-crust blandness; if she'd just been an arrogant bitch who never let the commoners forget their place she would have been much more interesting. Instead we have to go to actresses and models for imitation high-class tantrums, and as such people tend to be low-class they can't get it quite right.

Comments (7)

Last night I turned off The History Channel in disgust because they were running a Twoofer show.

I guess now that "Ice Road Truckers" has run its course they have to fill the time somehow until the lakes freeze over again.

Sigivald [TypeKey Profile Page]:

As someone on some blog said, didn't we fight a war so we wouldn't have to care about the British Royal Family?

Pedro the Ignorant [TypeKey Profile Page]:

Fairy Princesses, Prince Charmings, crowns, jewels, shimmering dresses, horse drawn carriages with uniformed footmen, castles, dancing under chandeliers, blah, blah blah.

Never underestimate the capacity of the lumpenproles to worship their betters from afar and vicariously live their lives via the colour magazines and TV specials.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but seriously spooky to many others not similarly obsessed.

ricki [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I never found the whole pseudo-fairy-tale story interesting. And I'm sure that a lot of people WILL eat up Lifetime's revisionist history/conspiracy theory.

And I'm baffled by the odd obsession that seems to follow her after her death...there's something weird and almost pagan about the mythology people are willing to build up around her. It's almost like people used to believe about King Arthur...except I can't see a justification for Diana needing to return to Britain in the future...

I don't know the answer to this but: is the obsession as great in the UK as it is here? It seems to me it's more of an American phenomenon. (Although, I suppose venerating Diana is preferable to venerating Lindsay Lohan.)

AK [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I used to work with some, as we unkindly referred to them, Italian princesses who adored Diana. She was their role model. I horrified them by arguing that Di kinda seemed like pretty much of an idiot. These were the early days, when most of what we saw of her was what hat she wore to what public event. If I had known she was banging her riding instructor, making Charles miserable, and calling old boyfriends in the middle of the night, I probably would've liked her better. Later, I just felt sorry for her. I think she clearly would've been much happier as a soccer mom married to someone who works in the City.

I will admit, though, that my friend and I developed terrible Anglophilia in the 80s. I never thought the English aristocracy were my betters (or anyone's betters), but ut seemed at the time much more interesting than being an office worker with an apartment in the suburbs. So back when the Tatler was mean and snarky, we'd pore over the back pages' photos of the quality getting drunk at various parties. And we both had an unhealthy obsession with Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown.

Wasn't that History Channel show a debunking, not a promotion?

You're right, which of course makes you even more annoying ;-) -- but I didn't have the patience to spare even for a debunking. And I'm not sure what good it did anyway; the people who need it either wouldn't watch it or would deny all of the facts presented against their doctrines of faith.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 21, 2007 9:43 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Murder, Inc..

The next post in this blog is Back in the saddle again.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33