I know I am a bit of a dinosaur but there are times when the twenty-first century bewilders me with its inanities. Take reality television for a start – firstly, the very name is a misnomer because there is nothing real about this nonsense at all. As far as I can see it is akin to the medieval practice of putting people in the stocks or the pillory and throwing garbage or rotten fruit at them while they were helpless. It really is pandering to the basest instincts of ordinary people.
And yet these daft reality ‘shows’ seem so popular. I have occasionally watched an episode of one or other branch of this sadistic nonsense – purely in the interest of research you will understand – and it has always seemed utterly concocted from the first grinning face of the show’s host to the final hysterical sign-off. Between these two points, the participants, who clamour to be on the show and thus ‘on telly’ – the very pinnacle of human achievement according to the preening muppets involved – are urged to make complete idiots of themselves, and eagerly do so.
I suppose the only saving grace is that most of these self-imagining ‘stars’ are so thick they cannot work out that they are being humiliated at all. They fondly imagine that they are becoming famous – the other pinnacle of modern achievement.
Those who live entirely in that world – the world of Big Brother, Towie and Love Island – sometimes come to realise just what rubbish their lives have become. Vicious bystanders hide behind their anonymity and scream foul abuse online – another appalling habit of modern society -and that is too much for many of them to take.
Only the fragile plastic world of the phoney protects them and once that is removed, depression and despair may well ensue, as it did for Caroline Flack and others who, in a well of misery have taken their own lives.
The British people used to value human dignity and up to a point I suppose that is still so, as we can see by the stoicism of those with homes ruined by flooding. But if a soaked sitting room needs a clean-up then so does so-called reality TV.
Or we could just watch and copy Queenie and most – but not all – of her immediate family. Despite the knocks they have taken of late with divorces galore and the Duke of York and Royal Biscuit doing their best to break up the monarchy, in general they are a credit to the country.
In total contrast, the inanely posturing buffoons on the idiot box really are a national disgrace.
It would seem that the aforesaid Royal Biscuit is back in this country but without his tame Yank. He addressed some ecological tourist (a contradiction in terms I fear) gathering up in Scotland this week and started off by urging everyone to ‘just call me Harry.’
In many ways it is commendable that the Duke of Sussex only wants to be an ‘ordinary’ bloke.’ But there is ordinary and then there is ordinary, isn’t there?
There is waiting in the rain for a bus ordinary; there is can’t afford it until payday ordinary; there is worrying about getting the kids into a good school ordinary.
His kind of ‘ordinary’ seems to be living in a magnificent and horribly expensive waterside mansion in an exclusive Canadian enclave – something he almost certainly could not afford without his royal privilege and daddy’s cash. There is nothing very ordinary about that, is there?
And on the return journey from Scotland, he commandeered an entire first class rail carriage for himself and his bodyguards – who we are still paying for and will be paying even more for when the Canadians pull out. There is nothing very ordinary about that either.
Harry’s quest for normality is touching but there is an uncomfortable undertow that makes it feel somehow disrespectful, not only to the monarch, but to us as well – the ordinary tax-paying people of Britain.
All I can say to Harry – see I have taken up his offer – is please settle down to reality. I am sure you are a very nice chap but I don’t want to pay through the nose for you to make money out of jetting around the world and lecturing us all. Either be a Royal and get on with your duties or disappear into the commercial world and make money for yourself without telling me how to live my life.
Come back to reality Dear Harry and try living in the real world for a change. You might become more likeable than the spoiled and petulant young man you seem to be at the moment for I fear you remind me horribly of those preening twits in the television reality shows.