Monday, November 12, 2007

Royal Put-down

Apparently, King Juan Carlos of Spain recently told Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, to "shut up". I don't know whether I'm more amused by the event itself, or Chávez' response, in true esprit de l'escalier, of "The king is a head of state like me, only that I have been elected three times with 63% support."

There's a whole raft of clichés and archetypes in here; mannered Old World vs. brash New World, noble privilege vs. democratic rabble, and I can't help a feeling that King Juan Carlos got the better of the exchange. Chávez does rabbit on, and he does interrupt other people, and that would bug me as much as it did the King.

I'm still not sure where I stand on the notion of monarchy as a form of government. On the one hand, it's outdated, undemocratic, archaic - and on the other, I have a sneaking liking for it, and a notion that democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be.