April 28, 2011

· News · Sociology

By way of Stewart Lee in the Guardian:

Once upon a time, royal marriages were political acts that forged links between different nations. Instead, William and Kate’s wedding will bind this nation to itself, and in marrying so very far beneath himself, I believe the young prince has made a heroic and deliberate sacrifice to achieve this end. … The Fisher King must search the devastated terrain for the Holy Grail, and drink from it to heal the land. Broken Britain is that wasted land. William is that Fisher King. Kate Middleton is that lovely grail, full not of the blood of the crucified Christ, but of the blood of the Middletons, who run a children’s partyware business in Berkshire. And Kate’s wedding to wise William is a ritual that may help to fix what David Cameron’s vision of the Big Society so far has not. For in choosing Kate, a simple girl from a school near Swindon, as his bride, William is in fact taking each and every British subject – man, woman, old, young, black, white, Christian and Muslim – into his royal bed, and binding us all to each other in the white heat of his princely passion. … The prince has taken his lowly bride from within this charged landscape, where our ancestors celebrated the union of man and woman in stone and earth, and began the communal processes that forged a nation from their descendents, the broken nation that William the Fisher King must now heal. Our shaman-prince could not have chosen a better receptacle for his magical purposes than Kate Middleton, a peasant-spawned serf-girl, sodden with the primordial mire of the Swindon-shadowed swamplands.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.

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