Why It’s Hard To Take The U.N. Seriously

Does the United Nations have much credibility anymore?  The principal function of the U.N. these days seems to be providing ineffectual peacekeeping forces, providing an international forum for nuts like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to spout his crackpot, anti-Semitic theories, and provide legitimacy for the governments of dictators and thugs.

Here’s the latest case in point:  Syria — bloody Syria, where the despotic government is shelling and shooting its own citizens for having the temerity to protest for a more democratic government — is in line to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council.  Of course, that Council has always been a bit of a jest — it includes Cuba, China and, until quite recently, Libya.

If UN processes and procedures allow a state like Syria to don the mantle of protector of human rights, why should the UN or its pronouncements have any credibility on the world stage?

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Royal Wedding Versus Jersey Shore

On Friday many Anglophilic Americans will get up extra early, brew some good strong tea and let it steep, heat up scones with clotted cream, and tune in the royal wedding.  Great Britain’s Prince William is getting married to Kate Middleton, and the royal watchers will be agog at the extraordinary display — commenting on every nuance of the ceremony, the cost of the event, the origins of the silks and satins in the bridal gown, the nature of the floral displays, and countless other details that no rational person would even notice.

The British people have a hereditary monarchy; they more or less have to pay attention to this stuff.  Why do any Americans, who fought the Revolutionary War 235 years ago to throw off the British monarchy, care?  Who knows for sure?  But Americans do like celebrity, and the British royal family are just about the essence of celebrity.  They’re super-rich and seemingly stylish, they live in castles and palaces, they take fabulous vacations and holidays, they wear crowns and medals and kilts and fine hats and gowns, and they don’t have jobs in the normal sense of the word.  What’s not to like?

Some haughty Americans will use the occasion of the royal wedding to make fun of the Brits and their American cousins who are obsessed with the royal family.  However, in a land where the dim-witted cast members of Jersey Shore are famous, we shouldn’t be so quick to cast judgment on our friends across the pond.  After all, even “Fergie” is not more appalling than Snooki.  If you have to live in a culture that seems to inevitably make otherwise unremarkable people famous, at least let it be folks who can speak the King’s English properly, who live in Windsor Castle, and who don’t apply make-up with a trowel, flaunt their perma-tans and cleavage and pumped-up muscles, blather to a camera about their inane personal problems, and routinely engage in drunken misbehavior.

So, good luck and best wishes to the Prince and his bride!  Now, let us get back to our fixation on American low lifes.