The Duke and Duchess of Woke (or Woe)

JOE PUGLIESE/HARPO PRODUCTIONS
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opened up about the royal family when fellow Montecito resident Oprah Winfrey interviewed them for a CBS special last year.

The relevance of the resident Duke and Duchess of Montecito seems to be diminishing along with wokism.

If their recent visit to London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee proved anything, it’s that the British Royal Family is more popular than ever and has evolved mightily despite Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s efforts to smear the image of the Royal Family throwing the dirty laundry on an Oprah Winfrey special for everyone to hear.

The Duke’s new nickname might as well be ‘Second Row Harry’, based on the seating arrangement for a service of thanksgiving inside St Paul’s Cathedral, at which, upon arrival, the Duke and Duchess were booed by onlookers.

This would turn out to be the first and last event during the four-day extravaganza that Harry and Megs would attend. Afterwards, perhaps mortified by the public’s disapproval of their presence, they snubbed a reception at the Guildhall (leaving the revelers without a royal, as promised) and abruptly returned home to Montecito before the jubilee culminates with a show. It didn’t matter, anyway, since they weren’t invited to take a bow from the Buckingham Palace balcony with the Queen and her family. (And maybe that’s why they left when they did.)

There are also reports that Prince Harry was rebuffed after asking his own photographer for permission to take pictures of Queen Elizabeth II greeting her namesake grandson, Lilibet, at a private meeting. And it may also explain why – to prevent photo ops – the Duke and Duchess were choreographed away from senior royals.

“I heard that Netflix wanted these photos of them with the royal family because they would have sold them,” royal biographer Angela Levin told British talk show ‘GB News’. “It would have been very valuable to them.”

We wonder if Harry is starting to feel like the Tom Hanks character portrayed in the 2000 film “Cast Away.” Judging by the sullen expression he wore when he arrived at the Santa Barbara airport, the cold shoulders he encountered at his old stomping ground may be taking a toll on his psyche. Or maybe he lacks the pomp and circumstance he once found imprisoning. (Where is Wilson when you need him?)

And then there is the problem of reconciling a green attitude with the desire for personal comfort. Just last year, Harry said climate change was one of the “two most pressing issues” in the world today.

But just like fellow green fictitious Al Gore and Prince Albert of Monaco, the Duke leaves a huge carbon footprint as he travels the world in a private jet, telling people why they shouldn’t drive their car to work but take a bus instead – an unassuming posturing of “Don’t practice what you preach.”

On that last round trip to London, lasting a total of 24 hours, the Bombardier Global 6000 jet he and his family flew on emitted 112,800 pounds of carbon dioxide.

By the way, that’s a lot for a trip for a family of four.

Are we the only ones to see such hypocrisy? Well, with her own private jet, Oprah, another part-timer or part-timer, probably won’t ask that question with Harry and Megs.

The Duke’s disturbing Platinum Jubilee experience follows Netflix’s cancellation of the Duchess’ animated series ‘Pearl’ before it even launched.

Royal insiders believe Harry’s memoir, for which Penguin Random House has yet to announce a release date, could be the final nail in a coffin that seals any chance of reconciliation or resurrection to a royal existence.

(Message to Harry: Cancel the contract for the book; you don’t need it.)

On another front, our anti-social media war correspondent reports the latest internet buzz: ‘Megxiteers’ are flaring up their belief that the posted photo of one-year-old Lilibet is fake. “Lilibet is not from Meghan’s body” is their latest mantra.

“The Sugars” leader (and Sussex Squad apologist) Omid Scobie responds with cease and desist orders and a removal from YouTube. Lawyers have now entered the fray.

While Mr Scobie argues the British monarchy is ‘boring’ without Harry and Megs, rival ‘Megxiteers’ claim the Duke and Duchess ‘had recording devices on them at church’ and that ‘the Queen watched them like a hawk”.

According to our experience in the Principality of Monaco, there is nothing more ruthless than a royal court.

NOT AWAKENED

The following plot belongs to (choice pronoun) Woke Wokester, with this tombstone epitaph: “Here lies Woke, awoken as a joke, missed only by people hopelessly deceived.”

Keep in mind that we understand that awakening had an honorable beginning. Few know (and even fewer wokesters) that it stems from a 1938 folk song by Huddie Ledbetter, popularly known as Lead Belly, about nine black teenagers accused of raping two white women with these words: “Be a little careful when they go along around here – better stay awake, keep your eyes open” on racial prejudice and discrimination.

Our generation grew up with eyes open to racial prejudice and discrimination. President Harry S Truman launched the crusade to reform an unfair system, and President Lyndon Baines Johnson pushed it through and took all the credit for it. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed his dream, and we as a nation are all better off for it.

And that’s why we don’t believe in identity politics. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, we – most of us, anyway – looked upon all humans with respect, regardless of color. (And for some of us that extends to a 49 day old fetus inside the womb, the irony…)

But guess what?

Woke-ness has been corrupted in a movement that has broadened its definition – a movement hijacked by critical race theory and the call for reparations with a focus on sexism and an overlap with #metoo, leading, as the said filmmaker Don Letts, “a world so woke, you can’t make a joke.

In the end, it was a power play, as Mitch Kokai wrote last month in American Thinker: “They just want to rule over us all. They tried to make it illegal to hurt their feelings. Yet they can offend us all the time. They insist that we are such terrible people that they refuse to even talk to us. Yet they claim that we are among those who are intolerant.

Ricky Gervais, the British comedian and actor, astutely said in 2021, “I want to live long enough to see the younger generation not being awake enough for the next generation. It will happen.

In fact, it is already happening.

Like a black hole, woke implodes, victim of the cancel culture it helped create. And now even the mainstream media are calling it out for what it’s really about: grievance and division; political correctness gone wrong. Or in other words: most will laugh, a few will cry, we’re delighted to toast farewell to mindless enlightenment.

Cheers!

BAN IS THE NEW CENSORSHIP

Remember the good old days when you got 86 from a saloon for dancing naked on the bar at midnight or getting into a drunken fight?

The times have changed.

For several months now, this columnist has been banned from a Coast Village Road bar and grill, not for dancing naked or for any sort of rowdy misconduct – but for expressing in these pages his opinion of their vibe and their food.

Their ban doesn’t matter to us as we stopped frequenting their establishment a long time ago and we don’t miss it one iota.

But banning a journalist for a bad review?

A more rational approach would be to put the ego aside and learn from what others say; strive to improve if necessary.

We asked for feedback, but heard nothing back.

We will of course wear this as a badge of courage as we continue to demonstrate that the pen is mightier than the martini.

Robert Eringer is a longtime Montecito author with extensive experience in investigative journalism. He welcomes questions or comments to [email protected].

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