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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

The Royal Wedding Reality Show

I confess to having an unseemly fascination for the media hoopla around the upcoming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Aside from the undeniable fact that William is slowly morphing physically into his father while Harry has officially become the Hot One (who saw that coming?), the Royal Family’s use of internet technology around this whole thing just feels weird.

The British royals always feel to me about as old school as old school can be, and yet here they are, with an official web page, plans to live stream (and live blog!) the wedding online, and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, talking about the importance of the upcoming nuptials on YouTube.

Actually, I’m not making fun of that video … I like what he has to say about marriage, and about how “to be a witness is more than to be a spectator.”

When Prince William was born back in 1982, my friends and I were at the water park in Oklahoma City, and they actually interuppted the piped in pop music to announce his birth. The birth of a prince was officially a Big Deal, even in Oklahoma.

I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like, to have to grow up with the weight of a country on your shoulders, the world watching your every move, waiting for you to screw up, scrutinizing your face for streaks of tears at your mother’s funeral. Nor can I imagine what it must be like to be Kate Middleton, finally marrying William after years of tabloid media following their every move. The royal family may be loaded, and Kate will ride to her wedding in the fabled glass carriage, but marrying a prince doesn’t come without a cost. Her life will never be her own again.

This whole thing is just weird, isn’t it? And yet, no doubt I will be watching, because it’s an historic moment and all that. Will you?

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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