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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

The Royal Wedding is Over. You May Now Stop with the Snark.

I didn’t wake up at 2AM to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but I get why a lot of people did. The Internet is chock-full of Royal Wedding coverage today — but it’s almost as chock-full of people writing about how stupid the wedding is, or how stupid people are for being interested in it. To which my response is: Really?

Look, I get people not being interested in the Brits and royalty. From an historical perspective –and the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton is, in spite of the hype, a big event, at least in terms of British royal history — I find the fascination of so many people for every last detail of the wedding kind of interesting to observe. I might, even, admit to being a little interested in it myself, if only because both Prince William and Prince Harry have always struck me as being about as down-to-earth as one could expect two princes to be, and because I kind of liked William and Kate’s “we’re doing it our way, thanks” steadfastness about the whole affair.

And I suspect a lot of people who might otherwise not be interested in royal weddings were interested in this one, simply because there’s something appealing about William and Kate as human beings who seem, by all appearances at least, to be attempting to be something more — or maybe something less? — than “royalty.”

Kate’s wedding dress, as far as dresses for young women marrying princes go, was lovely, modest and simple, especially in contrast to some of the hilariously over-the-top outfits — and hats! — worn by some of the wedding guests. I dug that she wore her hair down, in spite of the speculation that pressure from other royal women might persuade her to wear it up, but opted to bend a wee bit to tradition a bit by borrowing a lesser-known tiara from the queen in lieu of the flowers she reportedly wanted to wear in her hair. I like, generally, the spunk and spirit with which both William and Kate have broken with all kinds of traditions, not the least of which was (gasp!) living together before marriage. And I kind of admire Kate for marrying William, in spite of him being who he was born to be.

Because, wealth and pomp and circumstance aside, the overall impression I’ve had perusing all the coverage and excitement over the Royal Wedding was: God, but it would suck to have been born into that. To be born into a life in which what others think and say controls so much of your life, where every move you make, how you choose to wear your hair, every outfit you put on, is photographed and scrutinized, to have every detail of your life pored over, to never be able to just have a shitty day where you want to schlep down to the coffee shop and grab a latte, or get into a spat with your partner, or even just have a bad hair day without someone commenting on it, could drive a person insane.

And then there’s the endless security detail that has to accompany every moment of your life, lest some opportune asshole decide to get famous by assassinating you or kidnapping your royal baby or something. It is, in many ways, a life that many of us would consider intolerable, however many fancy houses and cars and polo ponies and hideous hats we might get to compensate for our trouble.

Beyond that, though, there’s something about the snark around a lot of the “Who cares about the Royal Wedding” posts this morning that’s kind of annoyingly “better than thou,” in the same way that some people will sniff “TV shows? I don’t even OWN a TV!” or “I would NEVER feed my kids McDonalds!” as if not being interested in or doing those particular things grants a person some sort of moral superiority over those who do.

If you don’t care a hoot about the Royal Wedding, hey, awesome for you. But in a world beset by war and economic downturns and rising rents and general gloom and misery and ugliness, if it distracts the common folk for a couple weeks from the mundane sameness of every day life, criminy, who cares? You’re not interested? Don’t read about it, don’t watch it, go do whatever more productive thing you have to do with your time.

But when our oh-so-superior American culture salivates over Super Bowls and college bowl games and March Madness and the World Series, when we celebrity watch, and consume US Magazine and People and TMZ at an alarming (at least to some) rate, when we obsessively watch reality shows, when websites analyze the latest episode of television programs (yes, even the good ones) with all the seriousness a lit professor might give to dissecting War and Peace, when the often silly, action-packed summer movie popcorn season tentpoles Hollywood for the rest of the year, and when we in this industry, for Oscar’s sake, start writing about the Academy Awards five months ahead of time, with endless charts and speculation about who might win those coveted naked golden men — do we really have much wiggle room to critcize Brits and Brit watchers for spending a few hours watching William and Kate’s big day?

People who live in glass houses maybe shouldn’t be so quick to throw their stones of snark.

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10 Responses to “The Royal Wedding is Over. You May Now Stop with the Snark.”

  1. You know, I was not opposed to people liking the wedding. I was opposed to and appalled by the incessant American TV coverage. It is the only time I have gone to the gym and wanted to change the TVs over to ESPN. And the stuff they were saying on the Today Show this morning was appallingly sexist, Kim: “A girl’s wedding day is the most important day of her life” and “Every bride wants to hide before the wedding so she can surprise her groom” and those are not exaggerations. The wedding itself was fine with me, but I could not abide the endless speculation, fake “news” and sexism that network and even cable news shows were subjecting us to.

  2. YHWHSAVES says:

    These people are not Royals. They are Royal Frauds. Their last name used to be Saxe-Coburg. They adopted the last name Windsor to help deceive their way into the Throne! The rightful owner of the Throne is Brian Leonard Golightly Marshall!

  3. smh820 says:

    I couldn’t have said it better. People are welcome to their opinion but not everyone wants to hear their opinion. It was a few hours out of the day. Now most of the channels are back to regular programming. Surely a few hours out of one day didn’t hurt anyone all that much. Now you may return to your constant bad news about rising gas prices, loss of jobs, etc. Why some people go out of their way to be so negative and rain on other people’s parade is beyond me…

  4. Eldrick says:

    Kim you are my new favorite blogger. sorry to say i am quite new to your blog but with elvis mitchell and now this, you basically been a breath of fresh air, compassion and common sense. the snark overload out there is crazy. i was not all into the wedding but i still wish those 2 the best. everyone trying to one up eachother on saying how stupid the whole thing is. sure its over the top, we get it but all the negativity is draining.

  5. Kim Voynar says:

    Jette, I get what you’re saying, but I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call that “sexist,” per se. You can be a feminist and still enjoy some of the traditional things about weddings, like wedding gowns and the bride wanting her groom to see her in her dress for the first time when she’s walking down the aisle to join her life with his. I don’t find that sexist, and more than I think I’m bowing to sexism if I choose to wear makeup, and sometimes wear dresses instead of jeans.

    The reality is that for many (although certainly not all) girls, their wedding day IS the day they’ve been dreaming of and planning their whole lives. My oldest daughter is getting married in July, and for her, it IS a big deal. She doesn’t want her fiance to see her dress before the wedding. She’s planning every detail with as much fun and excitement as Kate Middleton no doubt put into hers, even if we’re not royals and not spending a ton of money.

    A wedding SHOULD be a special day. Two people are making (in theory) a lifetime commitment to each other before their God, their family, and their friends. And in a time when so many marriages end in divorce, and people in general so snarky and negative, I’m not necessarily opposed to a young couple starting their life together with a little pomp and circumstance and nod to tradition, and I hope they are happy in spite of their fame and money.

  6. Curmudgeon says:

    The BBC feed was simply superb: Every sight-line well-conceived, music and sounds well-captured, no commercials, NO commentating, no obnoxious screen logos; just the sounds and images speaking for themselves.

  7. Doris Garrison says:


  8. Then shouldn’t they have said that a wedding day is important for both the bride and groom, not just “girls”? Part of what bothered me was not just the implication that a wedding day is vitally important for a woman, but that it is not important, or less important for a man.

    And I am resentful of “every bride wants…” comments, which imply that if you don’t do something a certain way, or want to do it that way, you’re wrong. A young girl watching the Today Show would get the impression that she HAS to behave this way, not that she has the choice. I think it’s fine if you don’t want your partner to see your dress — or your outfit if you’re the groom, it’s not fair for women to have all the fun — but I’m tired of the implication that traditions like this are mandated, especially for women.

    Of course I am overthinking and overanalyzing banal chitchat thrown around a fluffy news show, but those are just the kinds of things that burrow their way into our heads, children and adults.

  9. SamLowry says:

    So, the snarkers wanted more coverage of Chernobyl’s 25th anniversary? Or more storm coverage from the South? Because those are the stories that would have taken the wedding’s place.

    Maybe the snarkers just love negativity. Death, disease, suffering–that’s more up their alley, I guess.

  10. Ms Miserable says:

    Yes, you’re right — it must suck to have to live like that. Yes, Prince William&Prince Harry seem down-to-earth. Yes, it’s a big deal — because “royal” heirs don’t marry commoners that much, and when they do, there are often big consequences (KIng Edward&Wallis Simpson, anyone?)
    But what’s that got to do with people who don’t have TVs or wouldn’t take their kids to McDonald’s? I don’t have a TV because I don’t need one to keep up with events and as for popular culture, there’s simply no escaping it. Hysteria over every move made by poor Kate Middleton (and really, every celebrity that’s going)is just part of the nonsense.
    Face it, it’s all a symptom of a dying and corrupt culture that’s more concerned with lifestyles of the rich and famous than with where we’re heading, which is disasterville.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon