Home / General / The Choice of Firvolous Interests is Inherently Arbitrary

The Choice of Firvolous Interests is Inherently Arbitrary

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As someone with no interest in and political disdain for the royal wedding I found this chart funny, but that isn’t to say that Matt isn’t right. What you find entertaining you find entertaining, and watching the royal wedding is no more or less defensible that watching baseball or television of the scripted and unscripted variety or whatever.

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  • howard

    actually, scott, virtually everything in the entertainment sphere is less defensible than watching a baseball game!

  • Some Guy

    The linked chart implicitly accepts the frame where “The National Debt” is the biggest problem with our economy. At first I thought this meant the author must be a conservative, but it seems not to be the case. I guess this is another memetic battle they’ve already won.

  • C.S.

    . . . watching the royal wedding is no more or less defensible that watching baseball or television of the scripted and unscripted variety or whatever.

    Well . . . no. I don’t think this is true, although I suppose it depends on what analytical system you’re going to use to defend or attack it. Myself, I can think of many more defensible reasons for watching basketball or tennis than the wedding, whether from an aesthetic perspective, a political perspective, or even a moralistic perspective. Scripted comedy, too.

    • Malaclypse

      Yea, baseball involves some demonstration of skill. Royal weddings involve a demonstration of conspicuous consumption and economic parasitism.

      • NonyNony

        Seriously? Professional baseball also represents a glorification of capitalist excess – in some ways more than a royal wedding could ever manage.

        Watching a baseball game is watching the expensive hobbies of two very rich men duke it out on the ball diamond to see which rich guy spent his money the most wisely. And as an added bonus you can watch a bunch of millionaires hit and field balls.

        Sure there’s skill involved in the players – and they get paid very handsomely for doing something that is utterly useless to society as a whole except as entertainment. Their high pay (and the money raked in by those rich owners) is the very definition of capitalist excess.

        I have no great love for people glorifying royal weddings, but you’re kidding yourself if you think professional sports is anything other than the same kind of spectacle, just for a different audience demographic.

        • Joe

          “utterly useless to society as a whole except as entertainment”

          which is an important part of society

  • Stag Party Palin

    Is a Firvulous Interest anything like a Fruminous Bandersnatch? If so, I’d bravely Run Away from it.

    I’m recording the wedding because it’s got to be better than Sunderland vs. Fulham. Try to think of the wedding as a kind of Royal Relegation match.

  • Stag Party Palin

    Sorry, *Firvolous*. My bad.

  • laura

    Here in the grand old UK, the royal wedding was a perfect excuse to leave work at 4:30, head to pub and toast the happy couple for a few hours before tottering home, flopping into bed and preparing to sleep til noon in honour of the long (four day!) weekend. I’m just getting to the tottering point now.

  • Kadin

    Watching the royal wedding indicates tacit (very tacit) acceptance of monarchy as a legitimate system, thus it is less morally defensible than watching baseball.

    • Duvall

      Is that better or worse than tacit acceptance of Bud Selig as a legitimate authority?

      • mark f

        Someone just earned home field advantage in the Internet World Series for his league’s champ.

    • pv

      Though one could argue that watching baseball indicates tacit approval of publicly funded stadiums, or more broadly of a political system where public money gets funneled to billionaires. I think a lot of popular entertainment has those moral problems hanging around the fringes, that a fan either ignores or acknowledges grimly but is unwilling to give up the object of fandom.

      • elm

        Particularly, say, any NCAA sport.

        Plus, it’s not like the Royals have any real power in England anymore. Watching the wedding provides tacit support for extremely well-paid mascots. If a country wishes to piss away part of its budget on such firvolity, I say that’s their choice.

        • After Brett retired, have the Royals had much power anywhere?

          • elm

            Did they play any interleague series in Coors before the humidor? Maybe there.

        • Ed

          The royal family actually wield a great deal of power of an informal kind. Prince Charles’ dotty views of whatever cause a fuss because what the heir to the throne says does matter. The future Queen Catherine, should she get that far, will be sitting on a lot of boards and will have a great deal of clout to further her personal interests and causes if she wants. The family’s social power is also considerable.

          Fortunately, it’s the British taxpayers’ problem and not ours. They don’t seem to mind paying not only for the wedding but for the many, many lavish vacations the newlyweds took together during their long courtship. And considering that they have a national health service and recent reports indicate more social mobility over there than over here, it’s hard to say that they’re worse off for it.

    • Putting aside the fact that Britain is actually governed by a monarchy, am I the only one who finds these moralistic pronouncements about the awfulness of Britain’s symbolic monarchy from Americans a bit distasteful?

  • thebewilderness

    People watch golf on teevee. KWIM?

    • Henry Holland

      I am presently watching Graeme McDowell pitch from a bunker on the 12th hole at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans while doing my nightly Net surfing. Um, I’m presently watching Graeme McDowell overshoot the hole by a good 20 feet.

      Yes, people watch golf on TV and not just the tournaments that Eldrick Woods plays in.

      Mmmmmm…..Luke Donald……mmmmmmmm.

  • rea

    Wait a minute–are you telling me that this “Royal wedding” everybody’s talking about wasn’t Kila Ka’aihue and Alcides Escobar running off to Iowa together on an off day?

  • Pingback: Defense of (Royal) Marriage « Dialogic Magazine()

  • Julia Grey

    Watching the royal wedding indicates tacit (very tacit) acceptance of monarchy as a legitimate system, thus it is less morally defensible than watching baseball.

    I think it is even more morally defensible to fart in your general direction.

    FANCY HATS FOREVER!!!!

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