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Re: Di and Dodi Run Over A Land Mine

A Private Email wrote:
> >  Yes, in reality, the story of Diana, the commoner turned Princess,
> >was overblown. 
> Diana, though a high-school dropout who described herself as "a bit thick,"
> was not a commoner. Daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, she was a direct
> descendant of Charles II, and thus carried more "English royal blood" in
> her veins than does Prince Charles Windsor (really Saxe-Coburg Gotha, of
> course.)

  Of course, but "the commoner turned Princess" is the fairy tale that
is perceived by the public. This is because people perceive her as
being a rather ordinary person--like them. Thus it makes the "dream"
possible for them, as well.

> Whether this makes it sensible for some overweight London shopgirl of
> Pakistani descent, with a cockney accent, to "reach for the same gold
> ring," is highly debateable. In fact, for such a woman to dream of being
> accepted into the royal family strikes me as downright loony.

  It _is_ looney. So is the "American Dream." So is going to the moon.
So is the belief that we can end poverty and war, and turn back the
tide of unconstitutional fascism that is building up for another run
at freedom and liberty.
  Sometimes the dreams come true--most often, the dream comes partly
true, or serves to inspire a person on their road to an achievable
goal in a more realistic manner.
> Diana Spencer appears to have been a dear and well-intentioned young woman,
> though no intellect. She bore healthy children, whom I'm sure she loved.
> But Americans' excessive and nearly worshipful fascination with her is a
> bad sign, a sign that we've lost track of our own dream. Our heroines ought
> to be intelligent, energetic women who make their own fortunes, and their
> own celebrity. Instead, we sneer at our own self-made millionaires as
> "nouveau upstarts" and "greedy exploiters of the oppressed working class."

  Yes, but the reason that Diana is so popular is that The Dream (TM)
came true for her, and then, when The Dream (TM) turned sour, because
she would not play her role as accepting pawn, she walked away from it
instead of debasing herself. Then, she overcame the powerful pressures
against her, as well as her own inner frailty, and became the best
person/Princess that was possible for her, choosing to make the best
use of the position and attention that was impossible to avoid.

> If the magazines brought us stories of women who started small businesses
> (often with their husbands), and MADE THEMSELVES rich and successful, we
> might truly be inspired to save that extra $20, to take on a part-time job,
> to start a little part-time enterprise of our own.

  It is true that the stories of the average working joe who lives
frugally and uses his/her money to put a dozen children of others
through college gets short play in the press. Likewise, the Sam Walton
and Bill Gates types of stories don't get constant exposure as do the
fairy tale stories of the rich and famous. But I think that all of
these dreams, of varying realistic levels, serve a function.

> But the hidden message
> of all the coverage of the Dianas of this world is, "You can never have
> this, because you're not of the right blood. So don't even try; just put in
> your eight hours on the assembly line, and then have a few beers and look
> at the pretty pictures of the princess, close your eyes and dream that you
> were there ... until the alarm clock rings and it's time to trudge back to
> work."

  Yes, if that is the "hidden message" that you want to see. The reality
is that we ignore reality in many ways, hence our _ability_ to dream of
things which may be somewhat (or totally) unrealistic. We construct our
own "hidden messages" according to our desires and needs.
> WHICH dreams we choose to indulge, can determine the course of our lives.

  I very much agree with you on this. The same applies to our choice of
role models, as well.
  Of equal or greater importance is our ability to emulate the best 
characteristics, values, etc., of our role models or our dreams, and
to eschew the qualities that are unrealistic for us, or of mean spirit.

  Perhaps Diana could have made a _better_ job of using her knowledge,
talents and social position to make the world a better place for her
having been in it, but to whom of us does this _not_ apply?
  Precious few, I suspect.

  I think that your throwing a realistic perspective on the overblown
fairy tale serves a valid purpose. It is for this type of realism that
I read your works. I don't think your perspective is a threat to those
who need to hold on to a more unrealistic view for their own purposes,
since our minds are pretty good at creating our own revisionist history
when it suits our purpose.
  As a matter of fact, your column gave me a wider base of knowledge
and perspective in viewing Diana's life and history.

  All in all, I hope that more people choose Princess Diana as a role
model of sorts, than choose Diane Feinstein.

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