Ever since moving back to the UK, after years of being steeped in the rhetoric of the American Revolution – which I rather like – I have been blown away at the failure of many intelligent people to recognize the inherent incompatability between basic (and I mean like, really basic) principles of democracy and a monarchical system of inherited privilege. It is truly amazing and I have even lost friends over differing views on the English royalist question. Yes, you read that right: actual living people who have had real-world friendships with me, enjoyed my company, maybe even been hired by me to do paid creative work, people like that have unhesitatingly decided to insult and dump me as a friend, in loyal preference to people that s/he will never, ever meet, except MAYBE for 5 seconds some day in a public crowd.
I do find that weird.
I have never yet heard a single convincing argument that is not based on some kind of irrational identification with an elusive sense of tradition that is neither quantifiable nor shared by many of her madge’s so-called subjects. Certainly the piano-player I refer to, obliquely, above could not produce a rational justification for s/his intense loyalty to a bunch of rich strangers who don’t have to testify in court. In fact, come to think of it, it was right when I offered to ease up on the barbed witticisms (I had been having a bit too much fun, true that) and consider with an open-mind any rationale s/he wanted to lucidly present, that things got really out of hand!
Instead of a calm and devastatingly inarguable articulation of exactly why I should crouch into an odd posture when in the presence of people of a certain genetic grouping imagine this: I received a furious missive that nearly scorched my laptop screen with its ire! It somehow managed to invoke an Italian grandmother, some kind of concentration camp experience, Winston Churchill, an unfortunate theft of sentimental jewelry that had taken place in Hackney in 1974, veganism and the importance of banning GMO corn (actually s/he made really good points about that last one that were totally convincing; only I already knew that).
I forgive myself really easily (thanks to Linda Serbu for that awesome life philosophy) and so I don’t really feel all that bad about admitting that I responded by asking s/him why and when s/he had begun dressing like Adam Ant (s/he WAS though! had just changed s/his profile pic ‘n all!) and inviting s/him to demonstrate s/his uber-patriotic fervour by leaving sunny, cheap and well-fed California to see how s/he’d fare in post-modern “Broken Britain”. I told s/him he’d gone soft and wouldn’t last a week in the damp and overpriced mould of London. S/he didn’t take kindly to that and insisted that not living in rainy, overpriced, overcrowded and confused modern Britain was a pulsating wound that would never heal; my earnest efforts to inform s/him of the wonders of transcontinental flight and how indeed, it was still yet possible to exchange the sunny vegan groves of Marin for a bedsit above a condemned kebab shop in Tottenham merely fell on deaf screens.
You get the gist. So yeah, that was the end of the friendship and I’ll never use the mix s/he did of a song of mine.
It’s crazy how rabid royalists will get when their failure to provide a single solid argument in favour of the monarchy drives them into a sputtering rage of irrational pretzel-logic. The usual unprovable declarations of the millions earned in tourism (great, let’s check that out then – oh, royal secret privilege = total lack of transparency? so you can say anything and not have to show any evidence? your word yer honour?) – let’s just get that out of the way. And don’t forget to subtract the lost revenue from the millions of horrified residents who always flee the country when royal pageantry ensues so as to avoid even-worse-than-usual-English-levels of ineptitude that are sure to extravagantly reign in the public transportation and highways sector. Surely that’s a few kabillion exiting stage-left?
NO no no. It’s a crock of shit, and while I’m getting all into it let me just say that every aristo I ever befriended since being here in the UK these past 7.5 years has turned out in the end to totally believe in their own inherent superiority despite, in several cases, displaying few honourable characteristics beyond superficial charm, what Evelyn Waugh’s wonderful queer stutterer in Bridesehead Revisited referred to as “the English disease”. (Or was that meant to allude to a penchant for caning?)
Whatever. It’s true and until I meet one who’s given up their title, I will always challenge people from the so-called gentry. Inherited titles are fundamentally ridiculous. Even the ones I’ve met who were big campaigners against the war on (some people who use some) drugs were Tories in the end and in the end they just view themselves differently.
After one such friendship revealed the truth of the above, one truth-telling night on mushrooms, I wrote this poem. I’ll be performing it in the street at this weekend’s protests. I found an updated written version of it after recording it so there are a couple minor discrepancies between the audio and text but I decided to keep the improved text in written form, rather than fix it to match the audio.
Can you feel me?
I’d like to thank Paxus Calta for dubbing me “MC Hazard to the Status Quo” a buncha years ago because it’s become a sort of alter-ego for certain of my more controversial, I suppose, pieces.
The authorship of this work is definitely attributed to MC H2SQ
Monarchy in the UK!
It’s got no place in a democracy
It’s nothing but hypocrisy
When some are born to reign
“Let’s put on our bestest whitest sockses
Get all dressed up and go kill foxes
‘cause that’s what orthodox is
We’ve got traditions to maintain!”
It’s an anachronism
Not like Mr Rotten’s anarchism
Which shed a light upon the schism
The separation of the classes
It’s still as relevant as ever
Our little Johnny seems quite clever
And still the future dreams forever
Of liberation for the masses
My message shouldn’t be a mystery
Let’s help make monarchy history
Because my hands are getting blistery
From hanging tightly to the edge
Meanwhile privilege’s progeny
Are enforcing a homogeny
As they’re chugging Perignon for free
singin’ “We are Family!”
just like the Sisters Sledge
Yes everybody is a cousin
They’ve got at least a banker’s dozen
And like a bee just can’t help buzzin’
They can’t help sticking with their hive
Just place a call to Lady Anne
She’ll do the jolly best she can
For any blood-related man
To keep the club of blood alive
Once knew a guy and he was posh
But still he hadn’t any dosh
We’d go and grab a bite of nosh
I ‘d pay my way and then the tip
What is the point, I’d say to me,
Of name, land and heredit’ry
If you’re cheap as cheap can be
As cheap as that proverbial chip
He sodomized me once on shrooms
At least he tried in his front rooms
If that was sex then men have wombs
I tell ya boarding schools had warped this lad
Kicked out of school and hooked on smack
He’d left the hive and not looked back
But it’s not hard to pose as slack
When all your tabs are paid by dad
“It’s important to have an emblem of
The things you want to be a semblance of
And note the family resemblance of
The lineage that shaped the past.
You’ll see them in the National Gallery
And in the spirit of equality
We’ve even put them in the part that’s free
So all can see our clan is built to last”
But the little people get forgotten
Just down the mine or pickin’ cotton
Don’t get to keep what they have gotten
Aint no statues of their kin
So if a miner was your great-Grandad
A rendering his visage never had
He never ordered war nor birthed no fad
Til the coal dust did him in
Got no place in a democracy
Some may call it heterodoxy
When I call it weird and vain
These silly titles are beyond absurd
A princess is like any other bird
Got just two tits but by that single word
Our deference she can obtain
I have a dream like Dr King once said
When people everywhere blue, green and red
Mutts and well-bred, the hungry and well-fed
Will recognise we’re all the same
So let’s not rest ‘til it’s demolished
This silly system is abolished
Until the “honours list” is polished off
Cuz only that will end our shame
I’ll never curtsey and I won’t kowtow
Except to take applause I will not bow
You disagree? OK then, show me how:
You can start by kissing my ass
Me, I prefer a meritocracy
Where talent and hard graft will set you free
To be the ultimate that you can be
That’s the true meaning of Classsss