Folks, I’ve got some crazy ideas running through my head this week. At least, they sound crazy, but I’m hoping you’ll stay the course while I connect the dots, which is what we do nowadays with ideas on the ground, if you will: We connect the dots. The last thing we’d want to do is cut and run from an idea just because it’s nutty. Why, there’d be no end to it! If we cut and run from every nutty idea that comes along, thousands will have died for nothing and might prevent thousands of others from dying for the same reason. On the ground, if you will. So, please, stay the course with me while I connect the dots. OK?
Frankly, I get tired of all these media phrases (“on the ground,” “if you will,” etc.). But frankly, also, that’s where the craziest of my crazy ideas comes from this week -- repetition. You know -- saying the same thing over and over. And over. “Catapulting the propaganda,” as Mr. Bush might say. Repetition. I woke up this morning and saw what must have been the 50th story about the death of TV producer Aaron Spelling, the 300th story about Al Gore’s global-warming movie, the thousandth story about Hillary Clinton’s “fundraising savvy,” the millionth story, each, about Iraq, bird flu, hurricanes and the “war on terror,” and finally -- I’m not making this up -- the billionth story about Angelina Jolie and her baby, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, born in the movie-star equivalent of a manger in Namibia and destined for a glory as yet unknown and, presumably, unscripted.
Which is why I decided that what America needs, right now, is a monarchy, and that Angelina Jolie should be queen.
Like I said, it sounds ridiculous, but hear me out -- I’m just connecting the dots. Not only does America need a monarchy, but, in my opinion, it needs an absolute monarchy. Not one of those squishy “constitutional” numbers they have in England, for instance, but an honest-to-God, autocratic, crack-the-whip, Russian-style despotism, with all power invested in a single person, whose will is law and who is, in the end, inseparable from the State itself. We need someone at the helm who rules by fiat, with an iron fist -- or, in Angelina’s case, iron lips -- and who’ll get America back on track as quick as you can say “Coochie-coo!”
I know -- you’ll tell me that we already have one of these in the form of George W. Bush. But the problem with Bush is that he was elected -- or not elected -- into office, and we need to do away with elections altogether. First, they’re fraudulent. Second, they cost a great deal of money, which could be better spent on diamond-studded pacifiers and gilded bassinets. Third, we need someone at the top with genuine spiritual values and a reputation for good works, such as Angelina has, not some cross-eyed Presbyterian cracker with shoulder padding. And this person would have to be a woman, because, let’s face it, a woman as dominatrix is easier to sell. We’re going to need some advertising to get the idea of absolute monarchy across to the four or five hundred Americans who still believe in representative democracy. Under Bush, most Americans have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they don’t care a hoot about democracy, but those few remaining holdouts are a hard nut to crack, and only a woman with iron lips can do it.
But the real beauty of Angelina Jolie as queen of America is that her reign wouldn’t change a thing. Congress could go on doing what it does best, which is passing money around to itself and its donor base. The Supreme Court can stay just as it is, since it works for the Ruler already. Bush and his friends could keep on having wars in the Middle East -- only they’d have to pay for them out of their own pockets and send their own children to die there, because Angelina doesn’t like war. No, not at all -- she’s against it, except as it provides her with an opportunity to adopt abandoned babies and give them silly names like Zahara. Angelina could even keep the tattoo on her arm that says “Know Your Rights,” but since she’s the only person in America who’d have any rights, this would need to be seen a personal rather than a collective expression.
Lest you think I’m being entirely frivolous, let me say that I did consider other candidates for queen of America before I landed on Angelina Jolie. I thought first of Cicciolina, “Italy’s most famous porn star,” who recently offered herself to Osama bin Laden, saying, “I’m ready to make a deal. He can have me in exchange for an end to his tyranny. My breasts have only ever helped people, while Bin Laden has killed thousands of innocent victims." But I had to disqualify Cicciolina because she’s foreign-born, and besides, I don’t think bin Laden is really a breast man.
Next, I thought of the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori, who’s already proved herself to be an amazing nebbish -- I mean, unifier -- over the gay marriage issue, but who declared in her first sermon as Top Episcopal Banana, "Our Mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation, and you and I are His children." So I had to disqualify her, too. I’m all for the Divine Feminine, but I’m more for the English language, and that sentence, I’m afraid, ain’t grammatical.
So, Angelina it is. I rush to assure you that, as queen, Angelina’s husband, Brad Pitt, would play no political role apart from Prince Consort and farm stud. I suppose he might be allowed to help Angelina decide which war-zone should cough up their next adopted child -- Somalia? Darfur? South Central L.A.? -- but that’s as far as it would go. Of course, as an absolute monarch, it would be Angelina’s choice what to do with Brad in the long run, but consorts have been throttled behind staircases before, and I’m not sure anyone would mind if Ocean’s 13, 14 and 15 never got made.
One last thing: Someone will need to look out for Jennifer Aniston. First, she needs better parts in better movies. Second, absolute autocrats have been known to lose it sometimes, throwing their slippers at the wrong people, and we’ll want to make sure that Angelina doesn’t have Jennifer stuck in a tower or walled up or something. I happen to know -- because I was at the supermarket and saw the headlines -- that “It’s Jen’s Time For Happiness,” and, if she can’t be queen, the new Jolie-Pitt dynasty could at least make her Duchess of Alimony. Then she could have a baby of her own and call it Gettysburg Passé or something just as cute as Shiloh Nouvel. That’d show ‘em, right?
After that, I see no problems on the horizon.
Peter Kurth is the author of international bestselling books including: Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson, Isadora: A Sensational Life, and a biography of the anti-fascist journalist Dorothy Thompson, American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson. His essays have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, New York Times Book Review, and many others. Peter lives in Burlington, Vermont. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at: www.peterkurth.com/.
Other Articles by Peter Kurth