Britain's Dead Monarch Parade is An Affront to Me Personally
This is utterly absurd.
Mourning an international celebrity, particularly a politician, is often a competitive sport. I thought that the U.S. had perfected the art form with George H.W. Bush and John McCain and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but lately, it is clear that we must, for once, accept defeat. Britain has truly lost its mind — mourning to the extent that daily life in the country is irrevocably disrupted, that freedom of speech in its former colonies is suppressed, and that even the footie isn’t on.
Let me just focus on that last point first because if we’re being honest that is the real reason for this blog.
Last weekend, shortly after Queen Elizabeth’s death, the English Premier League announced that the following weekend’s matches (Saturday to Monday) would be postponed out of respect for Lizzie, who famously did not really give a shit about football at all despite the Royal Family’s ceremonial place in it. This was a monumentally stupid and annoying decision for many Brits. Per the Guardian:
For many supporters the inconvenience will prove costly, with non-refundable flights, hotels and trains having to be written off. Casual workers – stadium staff, security, car-park stewards, swag sellers, burger flippers, even humble hacks – will lose out, too. It remains to be seen how the football authorities respond to the inevitable complaints, though breath ought not to be held. The FA’s decision that all grassroots football would be cancelled also leaves kids, parents, and park/pub players kicking their heels this weekend.
You know who else it was annoying for? Me! Every single weekend (and often during the weekday) I wake up at whatever time is necessary and I watch my stupid problematic football club Chelsea play their little matches on NBC Sports or the Peacock app, which my dad pays for because he also gets up even earlier on California time to watch the matches too. This is a thing that I have done for years and years now and every game I text my dad and we send messages back and forth with things like “aagh,” and “god Havertz is shit today honestly what even is our formation.” The Queen took that from me! This is absurd.
It gets dumber! While the EPL as a whole has largely resumed play, selected matches (including Chelsea’s planned contest with Liverpool) have also been postponed this weekend, because the cops required to do security for them have been redeployed to do security for the Queen’s funeral procession, an utterly horrific event that is currently snarling up traffic throughout London and bringing some of the most ridiculous people on earth out to literally sleep in the rain on the street for a chance to see the car bearing her body go past or to bow at the coffin containing her corpse. But most importantly there’s no Chelsea game this weekend!!!!!!
This cannot stand! All I have gotten of my team is a 1-1 draw with Red Bull Saltzberg yesterday which was also our new manager’s debut with the team which he marked by playing the exact same formation as our old manager and achieving a near-identical result to most of the old manager’s games. And yet I crave more!
It is possible that with British ancestry comes a certain disease of the brain that makes you think this way about football, or about the queen (there is surely some overlap). The people in the latter camp, however, have become deranged to a degree I have never seen before: closures of everything from funfairs to telephone boxes, a ban on busking in Tube stations “out of respect” for the queen, public bike racks cleared out to make space for floral tributes (outside the Norwich City Council, of all places), delayed flights at Heathrow airport so as not to disturb the two minutes of silence at her funeral, et cetera. People are waiting in line overnight just for a chance to glimpse the coffin! What is the point of this? The entire country has gone nuts.
And all of this is basically surface-level chaff. Elsewhere in the British Isles and the former empire, there are things even more insidious afoot. In Australia, an indigenous rugby player was threatened with a fine of 25 percent of her salary unless she completes a social media training after posting on Instagram that the Queen was a “dumb dog.” Multiple people in the UK have been arrested for holding up signs that say things like “abolish the monarchy” in public as well. Just “abolish!” The signs didn’t even say, for instance, “arrest all surviving members of the royal family now and nationalize all of their assets, diverting their funds to public use, as the monarchy is an amoral relic of a dated system of government that is fundamentally unjust to all people living under it,” which is probably a bit much to fit on a sign but would certainly be possible to write, if you had a big enough sign. I’m not saying you should write that but I think it should be legal to write that. In the UK it is, apparently, not.
Above all else, logistically speaking, the Queen’s funeral is just absurd. It’s probably unrealistic to suggest that the UK shouldn’t give all of its milk-brained royalist simps at home and abroad another one of their little pomp and circumstances to coo and fawn over, but to this extent? At this cost? There’s no solid estimate of how big a bill British taxpayers will have to foot for this, but it’s sure to be in the tens of millions of dollars. Think of what you could do with that money! Think of all the social programs that could benefit! For that price, Chelsea may even be able to sign a decent goalscorer! One can always dream.