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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 11, 2005 / 2 Nisan, 5765

Two Doofuses, Too Adorable

By Michael Kinsley


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco, who died last week, were your textbook royal marriage. But for a royal romance that reaches depths of profound emotion that seems almost human, give me Charles and Camilla any day.

Could it all be a brilliant PR stratagem? Years of tawdry royal shenanigans have drastically reduced the British people's interest in being patronized by the royal family. But maybe some royal functionary ("Keeper of the Queen's Spin"?) had the brilliant insight that patronizing this collection of odd ducks and losers can be just as effective a bond as being patronized by them. Repeat after me: What an adorable pair of doofuses!

Under the British system of government, the royal family is supposed to keep the nation supplied with gossip on the one hand and be a positive moral example on the other. This is a tough combo. Here in the United States, by contrast, we believe in checks and balances. So we split these responsibilities. We have Hollywood celebrities to supply the fodder for gossip, and politicians to supply the positive moral Well, we have politicians to supply the gossip, and business leaders to supply the positive OK, we have business leaders to supply the gossip and clergymen to supply Oh heck, I guess it's up to journalists to supply the positive moral example.

In the United States, we don't split the role of head of government from the role of head of state. In Britain, they do. And this is the best defense of the monarchy: People can express their love of country by adoring the queen without implying any view either way about the prime minister. This is pleasant for the queen. And it's healthy for the prime minister. Keeps him humble. Or at least humbler.

By contrast, the U.S. presidency is an ego-inflating machine. The president moves in a vast imperial cocoon, unsurpassed in grandeur since the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. (And those guys didn't get the really over-the-top stuff until they were already dead.)

It would take a level of humility incompatible with running for public office in the first place for a president not to think, "Hey, I'm a pretty cool guy." Every time George W. Bush hears "Hail to the Chief," the odds go up that some unsuspecting country is going to find itself getting democratized — with all the violence, anarchy, foreign occupation, arbitrary arrests, torture of prisoners, suppression of dissent and random deaths that word has come to imply.

By making itself a laughingstock, the British royal family has adapted to the needs of the current moment. We don't worry too much these days about the problem of politicians being held in excessively high regard.

Thanks to modern political science, we enjoy politicians who dangerously overvalue themselves and a citizenry that dangerously undervalues them at the same time. Once again, the royal family is there to help.

Instead of an outlet for surplus admiration, the family turned itself into an outlet for excessive mockery and contempt. This allows the politicians to retain a minimum of dignity and respect as they go about the people's business.

British journos are doing their best, mocking Camilla's dowdiness, Prince Charles' eccentricity, and the bumbled details of the wedding. But they can't destroy the romance of a love story that exposes Charles and Diana, and Edward and Mrs. Simpson as the cold, calculated contrivances they were.

There's no special magic about a prince approaching middle age who marries a young society beauty. And the more we learn about Princess Diana, the less magical that story seems. A king who gives up his crown for a witch is more in the Brothers Grimm tradition. But the abdication tale remains far from inspiring.

Now, what about a prince who marries a young beauty out of his sense of duty, who waits for decades until a car crash frees him and then marries the woman he really loves — a woman who almost everyone else in the world finds remarkably unattractive, a woman he didn't need to marry in order to enjoy her companionship as he had for decades, a woman his family and the world didn't want him to marry.

And what about a woman who watched her longtime lover marry a much younger beauty; who married someone else herself out of some kind of bitter realism, who fell in love with a young future king but is marrying an old weirdo who very likely won't ever occupy the throne, a woman who is inviting a lifetime of public mockery for every aspect of her public appearance — now that is a love story.

And an instructive one. It teaches us about the virtue of patience, about the shallowness of physical appearance, about the courage to resist fashion.

Camilla's values aren't original; they're the values of the British upper class, and they're not as innocent as they seem. The shabby clothing and the perennial bad hair day are not the ingenuous result of indifference to fashion; they are a calculated statement of superiority to fashion.

But this isn't 1805. The global forces of fashion and celebrity are way more powerful these days than the once-triumphant British upper class. What once might have been seen as insufferable snobbery (and what may even now be intended as snobbery, which is endearingly hopeless right there) seems charming and touching.

So I'm going out on a limb here and declaring Camilla and Charles the greatest love story of the 21st century, so far. And they had better live happily ever after.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Michael Kinsley is Los Angeles Times Editorial and Opinion editor and former editor of Slate.com. Comment by clicking here.



04/04/05: Democratic Superiority, by the Numbers
03/28/05: Life as we don't know it
03/21/05: Girl problems in Op-Ed Land



© 2005 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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