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23 July 2013

Why the "Royal Baby" Matters

...and You Don't, but That's Okay.

I have not been paying attention to the alleged media swarm around Kate Middleton and Prince William's baby. I do not really know much about it, and I will admit that I had to look up who the baby is, in order to type that sentence. What I do know is that everybody else seems to be sick and tired of hearing so much about it, or so they claim. That baby is, after all, no more important than yours or your neighbour's, correct? Well, not so fast. That baby is much more important. It is more important because you, so tired of hearing about it, keep talking about it. You keep commenting, tweeting, posting, blogging, and reading, sharing, and "liking" the articles about that very child. That baby is more important than yours, and you are the evidence that proves that fact. Here is the kicker: That is okay.

"Stop being so obnoxious!", says obnoxious sea lion. 

For every person who is a comic geek, a football fan, a stamp collector, a film aficionado, or a royalty enthusiast, there are probably a thousand or more who simply could not care less and wish everybody else would just shut up about it. Why should they? You yammer about your favourite topics. What makes you so special? When you openly proclaim that some topic is less important than your topic of choice, what you are saying is that you are more important than your friends. When you share several articles about how much Whitney Houston will be missed, how she was misunderstood, and all the good she has done, and then tell people to "get a life" when they do the same about Michael Jackson or the "Royal Baby", you are passive aggressively implying, "I know what is important, and you do not".

If you shared this, congratulations, you were a jerk.

There is a meme going around that says, "We fought for independence, so we wouldn't have to care about the Royal Baby". I have some disturbing news for you. You absolutely did not fight for that independence. The people who did fight for that independence did it precisely so we could care about any frivolous thing we so choose. The U.S. Declaration of Independence, as you may recall, calls this the "pursuit of Happiness" - with a capital "H", no less. I hope that most of you would agree that said happiness is not limited to particular interests that happen to align with your own.

Can't we all just get along without mauling each other?

You may not find any joy from little tidbits of information about the Royal Baby, but some of your friends do. Likewise, many of them have little to no concern about your hobbies. I sometimes like to express myself by sharing stories about what the next Avengers movie will be about and why I think some Spider-Man plots are silly compared to others. Obviously, that information is not more important than the economy or the lives lost because of a bombing, but it is something that makes me happy. It does not mean that I am indifferent to more important topics. I am able to pay attention to more than one item per day, as are you and your friends. Unless it causes another harm, let us all pursue our own happiness in as many ways as we can. Let us encourage others to do the same. If making a fuss over the Royal Baby makes you smile, good. If not, neither will I begrudge you whatever does. I look forward to seeing you excited the next time you shout "huzzah" for your favourite hockey team that I could not care less about.