TGIF: “Royal Pudding”

The Prince and Princess of Canada

South Park sends up the royal wedding by setting it in Canada. As always when it comes to South Park portrayals of Canada, the joke is that massive ignorance about us means anything can be attributed to us. We speak with sort-of English accents and have an insatiable appetite for fart humor. Our favorite expression is “You’re a dick.” And, of course, our royal weddings have traditions all their own, including showering the royal couple with Captain Crunch as they make their way down the aisle. You can watch the episode here.

Here’s Frye in A Natural Perspective on the genesis of sentimentality regarding the royal family which continues to this day, even as the royals themselves begin to look more and more like b-list celebrities. The “fairy tale” aspect of a royal wedding retains an absurdly sentimental hold upon the public imagination, even thirty years after Diana Spencer’s Grimm’s fairy tale version of it:

There is a famous story about the reaction of a Victorian lady to Antony and Cleopatra: “How different from the domestic relations in our own royal family.” The basis of the remark is the mental attitude of the audience appealed to by the sentimental domestic comedy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (CW 28, 208)

The enduring literary jimmying of this kind of sentiment is pretty remarkable. If, as Wilde says, life imitates art, it could do better than this.

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