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 On the one hand, it's outdated, undemocratic, archaic - and on the other, I have a sneaking liking for it, and a notion that democracy isn't all it's cracked up to be.


At Monday, November 12, 2007 1:50:00 p.m., Blogger davew said...

The response would seem a bit more sincere if Chávez hadn't called Spain's previous elected prime minister a fascist, and then repeatedly interrupted its current elected prime minister when he took exception.

It sounds like he was being, well, a bit of a tit. I'm with His Majesty on this one.

At Tuesday, November 13, 2007 12:58:00 a.m., Blogger Deirdre said...

I particularly like the fact that the king used "tu" instead of "usted"; a pointed "you little man" moment.

At Thursday, November 22, 2007 10:32:00 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

The interesting thing about the Spanish King is that he's a rare example of a monarch who is, in some sense, a genuine protector and proponent of democracy. While it may be that there's some spin about his role in Spain's transition to democracy, my hunch is that Juan Carlos is more of a democrat that Chavez.



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