The Queen (2006)




Message 1: Maury Povich, Greta Van Susteren, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Montel, The National Enquirer, Geraldo, Parade Magazine, People Magazine, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, Oprah and ilk are A-OK. Exemplars.

The Queen is really yet another recycling of the Diana death in the Paris auto crash, told with as much schlock as ever. Millions make this schlock profitable–usually it turns on celeb worship–and there are national outpourings of grief (when the weepers are actually having a great time awash in schadenfreude). The media relentlessly stage this stuff month after month on virtually any pretext. The schlockmeisters, such as those who have given us The Queen, are usually devout Menckenites: They believe they’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of their audience. The schlockmeisters, at least the smarter ones, hold this audience in contempt but realize the little darlings pay for the schlockmeisters’ cars, tuitions, etc.

Message 2: The Royalty are bad. They’re a hated rebuke to these times.

“Hello, your Majesty? This is Maury Povich. I’ve got Greta and Dr. Oz here with me. We think you can still be saved. We’d like to help you get in touch with your feelings. But excuse us for sixty seconds because we need to air a commercial for a bladder-control drug. Your Majesty, it’s a drug for guys who have to pee all the time, you know, during concerts and at the grandkids’ school plays.”

Those pictures of Mary visiting the rubble during the bombings of London–this film doesn’t want to go anywhere near that.

Seeing this film–I lasted about halfway through–makes you a nasty person, probably mainly out of self-defense.

So: I think the pandaring types who made this drivel should be chained to their seats in a shabby theater and forced to listen to Hugh Trevor-Roper, brought back from Elysium just for the occasion, deliver some of his nastier lines, such as:

“I am continually disgusted by the triviality and vulgarity of the great world, and bored by its lack of education.”

“I now believe that pure farce covers a greater field of history, and that Gibbon is a more reliable guide on the subject than Marx.”

“Socially I am a snob. I value the opulence needed for a life of leisure and grace.”

He’s terrible, I know. An affront to all our democratic impulses and traditions. But just for an evening….

Perfect antidote to The Queen, should you be trapped into seeing it.

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