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Pissing in the wind.

I'm fairly fond of a lost cause, it's probably something I need to seek help over.

Lost causes I have espoused down the years have included: wouldn't it be nice if everyone drove less, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, writing, reading and enjoying poetry, Somerset County Cricket Club, trying to pick litter up faster than it gets dropped, advocating councils mow less because I prefer wildflowers to barren verges (at odds with most angry letter-writers to local newspapers on this one), maybe don't fly for your holiday? wishing people would put dogs on leads near ground-nesting birds and hoping against hope that people don't eat so much bloody junk food.

As I've aged I've realised that my tastes are generally fairly divergent from the majority in a number of areas, be it books, music, politics,food, whatever. I'm used to it, and while I wouldn't wish to imply that being wilfully at odds with people is an essential part of my personality(it's certainly not how I'd define myself, I'm fairly peaceable day to day) I'm also highly unlikely to change. It's not a pose. I genuinely do think you don't need to fly for your holiday. I genuinely do dislike people's reliance on cars. But, you know, live and let live.

It's part of the reason for Coastalblog's continued existence. I can opine away, and then people can choose whether to read it or not. To my continued surprise,a reasonable amount do

But the lost cause I wish to espouse today is this. And it's a biggie. I would like to hear less about the Sussexes. Yes,them. Haz n Megz.

Don't get me wrong. I've got nothing against them apart from the obvious dislike of inherited privilege. I couldn't give two shits what they've named their child, or where they live, or, well, anything about them. I don't know them, I don't care about them, they have no impact upon my life except in one deeply aggravating area, and that is their status as a lightning rod for a particularly howling, frothy sort of culture warrior, mouth flecked with spittle to whom they stand for everything that went wrong in this country after we let women have the vote and abolished hanging.

This blog's inspired by a tweet from the Historian Professor Kate Williams,who mentioned that this time last week she was writing an article defending their choice of baby name and steeling herself for the comments. Imagine caring about that,I thought, and as I had a spare minute or two, looked.

I mean,we are pretty weird about the Royals in this country, aren't we? It's self-evidently a bad idea,but we continue to find ways to justify feudalism as being a somehow superior form of government. I'm not about to get into my feelings on the Monarchy now,but suffice to say I'm not pro,bet you could have guessed that. Look, another lost cause!

But that weirdness is ramped up a thousandfold when it comes to those two.Not just all the creepy court journalists who think guessing in print what the Queen thinks about a baby's name is in some way a respectable job for a grown-ass adult, but Lord, do they attract some bile.

It's as if, by divorcing himself from The Firm, Harry has rocked the confidence of all those who rely on a continuing royal soap opera as a background hum to their lives. By publicly stating that he doesn't want to play the game any more, that stately dance of Palace and Press where some stories are reported, and other mysteriously not (you won't find much in the British press about William's alleged affairs, for example, and the famously non-sweating Andrew has got a remarkably easy ride given he was mates with the World's Biggest Nonce,it was only after Phil's death that they started dropping heavy hints that he'd been shagging around), and where St Kate of Middleton is praised for eating an avocodo and Meghan slated for doing the same damn thing (can't imagine why the tabs prefer Kate, there's got to be a reason, but I just can't put my finger on it....), he has drawn the fire of every keyboard warrior that won the Brexit Wars.

I understand that the internet's a great way to make yourself feel like you've been heard,even when you're just yelling into a void, I've certainly sent tweets to various Ministers that they will never read and which made me feel better for a fraction of a second, but they were about things that mattered: accountability, human rights, social justice, lying to Parliament, that sort of thing.

Not about what two people I don't know named their sodding baby. And this is what worries me about these highly-strung, permanently offended times.The unimportant obscures the important. Every single thing becomes a polarising issue and nuance is flung out of the window. This blog is largely a continuation of my last one, about the weaponising of footballers taking the knee. Debate has become post-modern in the truest sense, as literally everything becomes semiotics and appearance is all. Roland Barthes would be splitting his sides laughing,and then firing off a thirty tweet thread taking the piss out of Andrew Neil. People cease to be people and become symbols.

And while I'd love to say don't engage, leave it be, it spreads when it isn't challenged. GB News, for example, has engaged the poisonous Tom Harwood, who cut his teeth at the far-right outrage factory,Guido Fawkes. But it says it's mainstream, and people accept that,and so the venom fills the main veins.Within ten minutes of launching it was pushing Covid conspiracy theories, but it says that it isn't,so those ideas gain a veneer of respectability. It's all about seeming, about appearances, and if these positions aren't opposed,they become unquestioned..

And I suppose that's the biggest lost cause of all, I want this to stop.I want things to matter. Because our day today lives have become an eternal game, an online points scoring exercise.Where a minister is found to have lied but nothing happens because the news cycle's moved on to a baby's name. Where 130K plus people die as a result of political positions and we argue about footballers kneeling down.This relentless trivialising obscuring reality. This never-ending culture war.That's what I want an end to.

And to hear less about the Sussexes, obvs.

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