Brianna Jentz
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Not Cole Porter's Kate, but Kate Nonetheless

November 20, 2010 @ 2:53 PM | Permalink

 

Royal Fable

Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince who was forced to grown up without his beautiful mother. What should his name be? Good idea, let's call him William. Prince William's life was heavily scrutinized because he was the second in line (only behind his father Charles and his usually criticized stepmother Camilla) to inherit the royal British crown. William attended college at St. Andrews and met a smart and pretty girl who was studying art history. What should her name be? Good idea. Let's call her Kate. Still William was not happy at the university. Kate and William became friends and she was credited with convincing William to switch his major instead of dropping out of school. This only helped solidify their bond Kate and William dated for nine years until William finally proposed to her in 2010. And they lived.... under the speculation of the media for the rest of their lives.

The end.

Who knows if William and Kate will live happily ever after? The media doesn't seem to think so, but one thing that is definite is that their every misstep will be categorized and scrutinized by the media. There are countless stories already on CNN and the BBC about “where will the wedding be?”, “will Kate be as stylish as Princess Di was?”, “will William be asked to rule instead of Charles?”, and finally the biggest question, “who will make Kate's wedding dress?”. I wonder what Eastern countries think about the hubbub that is created whenever a celebrity in the West decides to get married, divorced, married for the second time, divorced for the second, married for the third, etc. It is very evident in the United States and in Britain that these stories become sensational and well known. Probably more people know that Prince William is engaged than the number of people who know that NATO is creating a missile defense system to guard most of Europe and the United States. This may have something to do with the tendency for people in the United States and Britain to be individualistic. Many only pay attention to the stories that interest them; not the global news that has implication for more people than just them. I also think that the fascination with celebrities may be viewed very differently in the East because of their collectivist tendencies. While I do not have that much experience with China, where there is mass censoring of the news and the internet, I believe that I could make an educated guess as to how much attention their celebrities would get. It is quite possible that the need to keep social harmony and the face saving traits would make many journalists skeptical if they should publish a story about the “worst dressed celebrities” or “will the royal marriage last?”.

Being a prince or princess is not as magical as Walt Disney and his compatriots would like youngsters to believe. Fairytales don't say “hey kids, you should want to grow up and be a princess because then you can spend tireless hours waving your hand in the air” or “you will be expected to have a child to carry on the family crown.”

Sport Stories are another fascination of the media and many people. I had an awesome experience at the rugby game on Saturday. It was the first time since 2002 that Scotland beat South Africa. The atmosphere of the rugby game was intoxicating. There was so much national pride for Scotland. The bleachers were full of blue and white. I was also surprised at the number of South African fans that were there. That is a pretty long journey to travel to watch a rugby game. Sports are so entwined in the American and British cultures that many are willing to travel such great distances to watch and support their team. Before the game, I had not thought that many South Africans would be there because I hadn't considered that sports would be so influential there. Then I remembered that South Africa was colonized by the British at one point. Therefore, there are strong western characteristics present there. This reaffirms the need to study a society's history when trying to understand their culture and worldview. South Africa's history involving colonization and a struggle to bring equality to the lower African classes who were treated poorly by Caucasian settlers is very fundamental in understanding their culture. It is the same way that the Union of 1707 explains an element of tension between Scotland and England and why some Scots say the are “Scottish” not “British.”

No matter if one is listening to a fable that teaches youngsters about the norms and taboos of society or if one is reading a textbook describing the past, it is important to remember that each culture has many traditions, values, and beliefs. Without having knowledge and very importantly the motivation to learn about another culture, one is doomed to be ignorant.

 

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Please disregard this post and read the one titled "Invisible Packback 2" for a better representation of grammatical correctness.

Brianna Jentz on Invisible Backpack 2010-09-12

I apologize for a very grave error that I included in this paper. The right for women to vote came in the 19th amendment which was passed in 1919 but ...

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