Opinion: New baby causes frustration
Ever since the new baby arrived, I’ve been frustrated. When the phone call came in from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on the morning of Friday, June 4th, I was informed that “It’s a girl.” Of course, that wasn’t a surprise because the sex of the baby was revealed during an interview in March. An overly emotional reporter exuded, “Both mother and child are healthy and well, and settling in at home.”
The baby weighed 3.49 kilos (which probably means something in pounds and ounces, but the kid is another one of those annoying British royals). Mom and Dad named her Lilibet (which, I suppose, is a name in England) Diana Moutbatten-Windsor. They say they’re going to called her Lili. That’s nice. At least the kids in school won’t laugh at her a few years from now.
Lili will be the fourth member of the nobility in the U.S. and eighth in line to become the monarch of a foreign country from which we freed ourselves in the late 18th century. She’s behind her grandfather Charles; her uncle William; his children George, Charlotte, and Louis; her father Harry; and her older brother Archie.
As I’ve mentioned in former rants, the United States is not supposed to have a nobility. George Washington said so, and Washington was probably the last president whom we could trust because he didn’t run for the office. So, he didn’t make any fake campaign promises and, after being elected, he didn’t have to renege on any declarations.
In Washington’s day, a child like Lili would have been viewed with great suspicion. After all, she could grow up in our country, learn our customs and — perhaps — our secrets, and then go to England where she could spill the beans, giving our former “owners” an advantage in an attempted war of reconquest.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that she could become President of the United States. You see, Lili has dual US/UK citizenship. Moreover, if her seven seniors should all die (possibly under suspicious circumstances), she could become Queen of Great Britain and President of the United States. Alternatively, one of her seniors in line for the throne could become Monarch of Britain and she could become President of the United States. Then she and her relative could merge the two countries, and we’d end up wearing plaid, having to learn the rules of cricket, and satisfying ourselves with tea and scones with clotted cream after work instead of guzzling a Bud.
Comfort at home
For now, however, Lili is resting comfortably at home, a multi-million-dollar house in a nice neighborhood. Probably similar to the homes of the other 10,623 babies born in the U.S. on June 4, 2021. For some reason, the other 10,623 babies didn’t get much journalistic ink.
There were no talking heads on TV entertainment shows, many of which masquerade as “The News,” waxing ecstatically about them. But that’s understandable because the residents of their neighborhoods don’t include Ellen DeGeneres, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, Carol Burnett, Angelina Jolie, Rob Lowe, Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, or any of the tech billionaires who inhabit Montecito.
Unlike many of the other 10,623 babies born on her birthday, Lili will never have to worry about food insecurity. Even if her father squanders away his $40 million and Mom somehow loses her fortune, Dad will still get his annual income of $450,000 just for having been born Duke of Sussex.
Don’t take it out on the kid
“You’re just jealous.” I’m sure that many readers will be thinking that when they read this column. “You covet the lifestyle of the rich and famous.” I could deny this until I’m blue in the face, but I’d be lying. Of course I’m avaricious. Who wouldn’t be? But that’s not the cause of my frustration. And, I have nothing against the kid. It’s not her fault that her father is a parasite who lives off an inheritance and the blood of the people of Sussex who pay the taxes that provide his generous allowance.
My frustration stems from the difficulty in finding just the right baby present for cute, little Lili. I thought about buying her a moat to put around her parents’ house in the most exclusive neighborhood in America. But I worried about Oprah falling in when she hikes across her acreage to visit or deliver a platter of home-baked cookies.
Giving Countess Lili a Barbie doll seems somehow inadequate when her parents could buy the whole Mattel Company. Besides, Barbie isn’t even a countess, a point that would probably be made by Lili’s brother, the Earl of Dumbarton. So, I finally decided to get her a U.S. passport, something that neither her father nor her brother can get because they’re not U.S. citizens.
Getting Lili a U.S. passport may even be patriotic. By reinforcing the fact that she’s a natural-born U.S. citizen, I might be discouraging her from becoming Queen of Great Britain and subjecting the rest of us in this country to meals of kidney pie and bangers and mash.
Note: A U.S. citizen under 16 years of age may obtain a passport only with the consent of a parent.
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Jim Glynn is Professor Emeritus of Sociology. He is an admitted Anglophobe and curmudgeon who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.