OK, monarchies in Europe are pretty much useless burdens on their tax payers. No one can claim otherwise (and if you do, prove it). But hey, we all choose to spend our money in our own way on various vices, so for many Europeans the antics of their regal celebrities are trashy fodder for their delectable and ubiquitous gossip rags. Pop culture indeed! We Americans have no such problems what with our disdain for the elevation of one over another … oh, hell, we’re no different, we suppose. So, while our cousins on the stagnant side of the pond are fawning over All Things Kate, we have to deal with Paris and Kim and Snooki. The difference, we suppose, is that no Brit can opt out of their taxes to support the monarctainment, but we actually have a choice of what hotel we stay at, so shame on us for loathing Paris Hilton but still prefering to rest ourselves at a Hampton Inn (part of the Hilton family hotel group) to get Honors points. Bah.
Anyway, the point before the real point of this post is that the monarchies of Europe are whores. Why? Because when someone like Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger (what.the.hell) or Roger Moore can be “knighted”, we know that the royals have sold out. Weirdos like Sir/Dame Elton John or foreigners like George Bush (which must be the biggest piece of kiss-ass of them all) deserve regal elevation as much as current Republicans deserve nods for intellectually sound policy. OK, not really revelation here, we know, but still worth ranting about now and then.
Anyway, to the primary point of the post, 92-year-old Don Antonio Mingote Barrachina (the famous Spanish cartoonist known by Don Mingote) was recently christened 1st Marquess of Daroca by the nice enough, but mostly powerless King Juan Carlos I (although the way he schooled Crazy Hugo (Chavez) was killer (see below)) just a couple of months ago. A cartoonist is now a marquis. Why? Because he’s drawn funny pictures for over 60 years and that made him an icon like Charles Schultz in the U.S. That’s like appointing, oh, let’s say, some goofball like Kal Penn from terribly irresponsible films Harold and Kumar Get High and Do Things or Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj to some important position in high government. What now? He was?! Doing what?! Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Affairs (yes, old news now, and he’s since left the position, but bear with the mock outrage), you say? So a stoner was liaising on behalf of the President of the United States of America with the Asian and Pacific-Islander communities? We’re pretty sure that anyone under the age of 30 was hitting him up for pot whenever he attended community functions.
Well, then. Perhaps it’s not such a stretch for a cartoonist to be dubbed a something-or-other in the grand order of noble poobahs. Granted, Don Mingote was already born into some level of nobility, but he was just elevated to his current rank. Don’t get us started on noble birthright.
So, excelsior, friend. We’re excited to hear what kind of noble deeds you are sure to commit with your newfound powers. Perhaps you can rally the unemployed youth of Spain (40%, my friends, fourty percent…wow) towards some sort of job corps movement to help re-stabilize the economy. Maybe? How Spain isn’t blowing up like Greece is beyond us.
But, enough of that. Here’s one of your cartoons in honor of your age and appointment.
Every once in a while, modern monarchs wield the power that their forebearers held. About 38 seconds into this clip, King Juan Carlos drops all decorum and says to the insolent maniac from Venezuela “Why don’t you shut up?” Bam!
If any of our audience is from Venezuela (and hasn’t had their Internet access shut down by the Chavez pseudo-revolutionaries), your “president” is indeed a nutter. We understand how you ended up with the current stage of affairs — rich and corrupt bastards robbing from the poor, ineffective domestic and foreign policy, mismanagement of oil funds — and we understand that a population sick of this tyranny would push those bastards out, but watch out for the pendulum swing. Now you have things differently in the same kind of way: poor and corrupt bastards robbing from the richand poor, inflammatory domestic and foreign policy, mismanagement of oil funds (still), so not much better off, huh? It’s a shame really. We love Venezuela. Three years in Caracas plus lots of trips to other parts of the country taught us that your country deserves more.