‘Spare’ Me

 

OK, confession time: I am subscribed to the Daily Mirror newsletter that publishes probably 10 times a day (an exaggeration, but you know how I feel). And, of course, “everything Royal” is a persistent feature of their “news stories.” But it’s pretty thin gruel — about a millimeter above “click bait.” Saucy headlines that make something seem current and then, when you dig in, it is talking about something that happened long ago.

The “big” thing just now is the “Prince Harry” drama with his new money-maker autobiography Spare. Call me dense, but I did not immediately recognize to the reference to “an heir and a spare” that inspired the title. I, too, am a spare. I have an older brother who inherited the paternal moniker. I am trying now to recall whether that bothered me as a child. Maybe if I was writing a book…

So Prince Harry resented being a “spare” and all that goes with it in Royal protocol. (Kind of like being Vice President. Few of them ever rose to the top job absent the death of the President.) I get it. But it all depends on how you decide to view your life. None of us chose to be born. Nor did we choose our parents, siblings, and extended relations. Putting “family above all” (as opposed to the friends we choose) must be some evolutionary success strategy because it certainly is not an assurance of warmth, comfort, security, and care. It is supposed to be. But there are far too many horror stories to think it is automatic. The evolutionary success suggests that there is something to genetic linkage. But, then again, it may simply be the clear demarcation of blood that, when the admonition is followed, creates a defensible unit.

I am delighted with the Constitutional prohibition on royal titles in America. But people are people, and thus celebrity culture in America creates a stand-in for the missing title. That, and the extremely wealthy — particularly when those two groups overlap. This popular impulse for royalty is ancient. Recall that according to the Bible, the Jews demanded a king to rule them rather than be guided by prophets.

Why I waste my time reading about “the Sussexes,” I don’t know. Maybe it is the same phenomenon as not being able to turn your eyes away from a train wreck. I suspect marrying Meghan at some deep level was an act of rebellion on Harry’s part. Not because she was partially black, but because she was totally “Wallis Simpson.” He wanted out without the courage of making a full break, but he set in motion the events that could not but result in an estrangement. And now he hangs suspended — his wife wants celebrity and wealth and is willing for him to do anything to maintain it.

I think the spare has gone flat.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Since I turn away at train wrecks, I try to avoid stories about Harry. Someone on the Ricochet podcast said that most people mature over time; Harry seems to be regressing.

    Still, I’ll confess to just loving Kate, and so appreciate her beauty, her intelligence and her fashion sense. Since I know nothing about fashion, she can be my stand in. Harry can keep digging himself into a hole.

    • #1
  2. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Not my problem. I’m bracing myself for the Chelsea or Michelle O power grab. The Brits have a problem. Charles has a bigger problem. 

    • #2
  3. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    EJHill (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    You taking over that from Hillary?

    • #5
  6. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    You know I really do have a strange new respect for Meeghan.  Anyone who can tear on command is a superior person.  Not in a good way, but anyone who can cry from one eye on command, and keep a royal husband on a string, and administer a collective wedgy to the royal family and make millions in the process, and can stay in the public spotlight for years, is, um, outstanding in some weird way.

    And now, considering Harry’s long-standing depression and petulance, maybe what he’s saying is true.  And if (no matter how petty) world-royalty has been giving him a wedgy for decades, maybe he just wants a few people to empathize with him, and at least a public half-apology from those who raised him with his underpants pulled over his head.

    Maybe he liked his army friends because they didn’t do that and they saw him as more or less a normal guy.  Harry may be wrong, but maybe everyone’s wrong in this whole affair.

    • #6
  7. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

     = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words?  And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“? 

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right.  The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @She.  Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @She.  For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves.  I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

     

     

    • #7
  8. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

    = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words? And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“?

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right. The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @ She. Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @ She. For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves. I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

    It depends on what a tongue-lashing is.  Is it a boating term?

    • #8
  9. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Flicker (View Comment):It depends on what a tongue-lashing is. Is it a boating term?

    Old trailer-hitching term. The Trailer-Hitcher’s Guide to the Universe defines it this way:

    1. [Obs.] [pres. part of to lash] vi. A technique used to secure the trailer when weather is coming in, involving the use of fine whipping cord to reinforce the connection of the tongue to the trailer.
    2. [Slang] Excoriation.  Often used for a partial excoriation, where flaps of cori are allowed to remain partially attached to the victim, to enhance the pain.
    • #9
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

    = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words? And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“?

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right. The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @ She. Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @ She. For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves. I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

     

     

    I see you are using a lot of singular personal pronouns; don’t you realize that they are now prohibited in polite company?

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

    = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words? And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“?

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right. The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @ She. Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @ She. For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves. I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

    It depends on what a tongue-lashing is. Is it a boating term?

    Old trailer-hitching term. The Trailer-Hitcher’s Guide to the Universe defines it this way:

    A technique used to secure the trailer when weather is coming in, involving the use of fine whipping cord to reinforce the connection of the tongue to the trailer.

    Oh!  That makes it clear.  I thought it had to do with shoe tongues and shoelaces.

    • #11
  12. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

    = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words? And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“?

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right. The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @ She. Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @ She. For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves. I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

     

     

    I see you are using a lot of singular personal pronouns; don’t you realize that they are now prohibited in polite company?

    Me?

     

    [TAGS: Witty Rejoinders; Clever Repartee; Attempts]

    • #12
  13. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Oh! That makes it clear. I thought it had to do with shoe tongues and shoelaces.

    Couldn’t you just kick yourself?

    Susan was serious.  So this is my last Comment as a hijacker of this thread. Please join me in penitence by self-excoriation.

    • #13
  14. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Rodin: I suspect marrying Meghan at some deep level was an act of rebellion on Harry’s part. Not because she was partially black, . . .

    She is?

    Man, they’ll let anybody be black these days.

    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex - Wikipedia

     

    • #14
  15. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Rodin: I suspect marrying Meghan at some deep level was an act of rebellion on Harry’s part. Not because she was partially black, . . .

    She is?

    Man, they’ll let anybody be black these days.

    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex - Wikipedia

     

    First time I’ve seen a gene express through the phenotype of mascara.

    • #15
  16. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Megan is the train wreck and I greatly pity Harry. She will destroy him as surely as Anne destroyed the 8th of his name.

    • #16
  17. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Oh! That makes it clear. I thought it had to do with shoe tongues and shoelaces.

    Couldn’t you just kick yourself?

    Susan was serious. So this is my last Comment as a hijacker of this thread. Please join me in penitence by self-excoriation.

    I lost my whip cord.

    • #17
  18. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    He is literally one of the most spoiled people on the planet.  

    And being the “spare” meant he had little responsibility or expectations. Somehow people crave victimhood.  Sure, both of his parents seemed more concerned with about their own sex lives than raising their children, but money, servants, and castles must ease some of the pain. Let’s just say, the average person has greater struggles than this guy.

    • #18
  19. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    This guy is also a poster child for the failure of masculinity.  He’s a pathetic simp being ridden about the world like Meghan’s lawnmower in her parade of testicle-shrivelling, man-hating, anti-western hostility and self-love.

    He is an archetype (soz!) of a beloved good man becoming a reviled weak man, Resentment his character flaw, and Wife his Nemesis.  He rejected advice from men and women alike in poorly selecting a mate, and now he will pay and pay.  He hasn’t even figured out step one of a recovery yet.  Going to be a long and poorly-written slog.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Thinking about being born king, or into royalty, or the riches and prestige of aristocracy, or even born the first-born, with all it’s responsibilities and trials and often greater inheritances, and its intrinsic unfairness, I think that cumulatively, over time, the general thinking may have grown to be one that excuses or justifies, or gives meaning to, the position one is born to as something other than a gift, or as a chance break of conception, or as purely random, and especially as meaningless (and unfair) luck.

    Before Darwin people still thought of race and heritage (meaning family lineage) and used it to explain and justify certain people’s behaviors and their receiving special treatment, and a natural superior place above others.

    Now with DNA, and with the popularity of saying that their — and everyone else’ — behavior (and conditions of birth) is determined primarily by genetics, seems to be supportive of this thinking, that what they have been born with is in some way fair and right and just.  And this determinative thinking is used to excuse and permit and explain all the behaviors, good and bad, that people do.  In short, a misty fatalism.

    And yet, no one knows how anyone will present as an adult, and this is, more or less, all confirmed in hindsight.

     

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    He is literally one of the most spoiled people on the planet.

    And being the “spare” meant he had little responsibility or expectations. Somehow people crave victimhood. Sure, both of his parents seemed more concerned with about their own sex lives than raising their children, but money, servants, and castles must ease some of the pain. Let’s just say, the average person has greater struggles than this guy.

    That’s just it – his life is a royal coach but his problems are pedestrian. 

    • #21
  22. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    This is where I recommend Mark Helprin’s Freddy and Fredericka, a comic novel about the royal family that’s also a big wet kiss to America.

    • #22
  23. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Rodin: I suspect marrying Meghan at some deep level was an act of rebellion on Harry’s part. Not because she was partially black, . . .

    She is?

    Man, they’ll let anybody be black these days.

    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex - Wikipedia

     

    There are a lot of people  who look slightly black but keep making a point of reminding us they’re BLACK, because we’re likely to not notice. The pro-wrestler Tyrus on Gutfeld is another one. I just thought he was Mediterranean with extremely high blood pressure.

    • #23
  24. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Dotorimuk

    @Dotorimuk

    “There are a lot of people  who look slightly black but keep making a point of reminding us they’re BLACK, because we’re likely to not notice. The pro-wrestler Tyrus on Gutfeld is another one. I just thought he was Mediterranean with extremely high blood pressure”

    I can highly recommend his book “Just Tyrus”. A fascinating and difficult life. He puts the Sussexes to shame. 

    • #24
  25. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Ann Althouse includes a link in her blog to a Patti Davis piece where she regrets writing about her family in a book —

    My justification in writing a book I now wish I hadn’t written… was very similar to what I understand to be Harry’s reasoning. I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted to set the record straight. Naïvely, I thought if I put my own feelings and my own truth out there for the world to read, my family might also come to understand me better…. There isn’t just one truth, our truth — the other people who inhabit our story have their truths as well….

    I am glad to see Patti Davis got perspective. But the harm was done. Harry is doomed to travel the same sad path.

    • #25
  26. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Ann Althouse includes a link in her blog to a Patti Davis piece where she regrets writing about her family in a book —

    My justification in writing a book I now wish I hadn’t written… was very similar to what I understand to be Harry’s reasoning. I wanted to tell the truth, I wanted to set the record straight. Naïvely, I thought if I put my own feelings and my own truth out there for the world to read, my family might also come to understand me better…. There isn’t just one truth, our truth — the other people who inhabit our story have their truths as well….

    I am glad to see Patti Davis got perspective. But the harm was done. Harry is doomed to travel the same sad path.

    Disfunctional family.

    • #26
  27. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    TBA (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    He is literally one of the most spoiled people on the planet.

    And being the “spare” meant he had little responsibility or expectations. Somehow people crave victimhood. Sure, both of his parents seemed more concerned with about their own sex lives than raising their children, but money, servants, and castles must ease some of the pain. Let’s just say, the average person has greater struggles than this guy.

    That’s just it – his life is a royal coach but his problems are pedestrian.

    Well put.

    • #27
  28. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

    = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words? And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“?

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right. The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @ She. Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @ She. For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves. I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

     

    This morning I remembered this Comment and suddenly wondered if others read it the way I meant it.

    I tend to write very obscurely, and make joking  comments that I should, but don’t, realize no one could possibly understand.

    So…

    About whine and whinge. I was an adult when I first heard the word “whinge”, which I learned that non-Americans  use where an American would say “whine”.

    But is it really just two words for the same thing? Or do non-Americans use  both words, each with a slightly different sense??

    Only someone from, say, the British Isles (like @She would likely or Marjorie) would know. Hence my reference to them.

    What about my humorous reference to getting on @She’s nerves?  

    Well, I forgot that no one who doesn’t live inside my head would know that I have a very painful, distant memory that on one or a couple of occasions, I had Ricochet exchanges with
    @She where she horribly misunderstood something I said—I’ve blocked from my memory just what it was. I am sure it was my fault, a case of my obscure way of expressing myself.  But I realized that she must have a perception of me as an awful human being. I had always assumed that my respect for her was mutual. Why would I assume that? Because of my constant delusion that everyone else lives inside my head!

    So I was making a joke about something that no one would get. So it might be taken as making some comment about @She? I hope not.

    But also, it involved the word “whining”. Just now I had the scary thought that folks might think I was saying something whining in connection with these two admired colleagues.

    That’s why I’m writing this.

     

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    That’s perfect, EJ. I feel I have exclusive rights to whining this year, so Harry can’t even have that!

    Well, just remember, Susan: there is a difference between whining and whingeing!

     

    = = = = = = = =

    NB: I don’t know what the difference is, but there must be one. Why else would they have made two words? And while we’re on the subject…we are always talking about “they“…but who ARE “they“?

    Wait, I have gotten sidetracked. I don’t care who they are.

    What I care about is what I’m talking about, know what I’m talking about?

    Oh yes, right. The difference.

    If anyone knows the difference, it would be @ She. Or maybe Marjorie. We could ask them. We don’t use “to whinge” hereabouts.

    Marjorie, what is the difference between “whine” and “whinge”?

    Someone else, please ask @ She. For some reason, I always seem to get on she’s nerves, or her nerves. I don’t know why, but I am not in the mood for a tongue-lashing, even though I probably deserve it.

     

    This morning I remembered this Comment and suddenly wondered if others read it the way I meant it.

    I tend to write very obscurely, and make joking comments that I should, but don’t, realize no one could possibly understand.

    So…

    About whine and whinge. I was an adult when I first heard the word “whinge”, which I learned that non-Americans use where an American would say “whine”.

    But is it really just two words for the same thing? Or do non-Americans use both words, each with a slightly different sense??

    Only someone from, say, the British Isles (like @ She would likely or Marjorie) would know. Hence my reference to them.

    What about my humorous reference to getting on @ She’s nerves?

    Well, I forgot that no one who doesn’t live inside my head would know that I have a very painful, distant memory that on one or a couple of occasions, I had Ricochet exchanges with
    @ She where she horribly misunderstood something I said—I’ve blocked from my memory just what it was. I am sure it was my fault, a case of my obscure way of expressing myself. But I realized that she must have a perception of me as an awful human being. I had always assumed that my respect for her was mutual. Why would I assume that? Because of my constant delusion that everyone else lives inside my head!

    So I was making a joke about something that no one would get. So it might be taken as making some comment about @ She? I hope not.

    But also, it involved the word “whining”. Just now I had the scary thought that folks might think I was saying something whining in connection with these two admired colleagues.

    That’s why I’m writing this.

    Or perhaps we all just understood you.  :)

    • #29
  30. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Flicker (View Comment):
    Or perhaps we all just understood you.  :)

    Can’t wrap my head around that.

    • #30
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