That kiss! Jacinta Nandi thinks it was one of the most barbaric moments she has ever witnessed live on television. But not everyone agrees with her.
My colleague and I had different interpretations of The Kiss on Friday.
I thought it was one of the most barbaric moments I’ve ever witnessed live on television. Kate and Wills, shyly kissing – the public baying for more, thinking: “We’ve paid for this; now stick your tongue in!” Kate and Wills giving in, and doing as they were told. I thought it was a horrible moment, and hugely ugly, and really no different to when Hindu villagers hang bloodied rags out of the window to show the bride and groom’s families that the deed’s been done.
“Oh, come on, Jacinta,” said my colleague. “It was lovely how they did it. They gave each other a cheeky grin, like, shall we do it now? And then they went for it – and the crowd went mad – and they did it again. Like, they fully knew the crowd was going to go mad. They were playing the crowd, all cheeky-like.”
So the way we view that kiss is totally different. We both see Kate and Wills as enslaved, but whereas I see them, in a really boring, old-fashioned way, as passive victims of their slavery; my colleague sees them as willing, knowing, winking participants. They are thirteen-year-olds pouting on MySpace, they are a reality TV porn star painting her toe-nails subversive colours, they are, above all, Jane Austen heroines – enmeshed in slavery, but fully aware, and above all, determined to carve out whatever freedom they can – even the tiniest speck of it will do them. Think of Fanny Price refusing to marry Henry Crawford or Elizabeth Bennett marching over to Bingley’s place when her sister is sick because her father does, after all, need the horses today.
But they’re still enslaved. A modern wedding for a modern Britain? Bollocks.
What if William had decided to marry a Catholic?
What if he’d decided to marry a Jew?
What if he’d decided to marry a Muslim?
What if he’d decided to marry an agnostic? (Actually, that is basically what did happen, but it’s halb so schlimm, coz the good thing about agnostics is they’re kind of flexible.)
WHAT IF IT HAD TURNED OUT WILLIAM’S GAY?
What if Kate had changed her mind? What if she fell in love with a plumber? No wonder she lost so much weight before the ceremony – she knew she wasn’t allowed, in the same way women under the Taliban aren’t allowed to wear make-up or drive cars – to change her bloody mind. No wonder she walked up the aisle – and for sure, she looked gorgeous – weighing approximately 25 kilos.
There’s no place for slavery in the modern world – not even in a postmodern-ironic type way. And that’s all the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are – slaves. It’s not postmodern. It’s just totally archaic. And for fuck’s sake. Just imagine how much you’d fancy Muslims if you knew you’d never be allowed to fuck one. I wander around Kreuzberg in a permanent state of semi-arousal as it is. They better not go to Tunisia for their honeymoon.