The servants stole the fishforks

by Yule Heibel on November 8, 2003

The breaking scandal over the Royals in the UK might be turned into a morality play, but I think that it’s really a management question. To me, the scenario that derives from the innuendo thus far is that Prince Charles was on the receiving end (so to speak) of sexual services provided by Michael Fawcett, his servant. Fawcett’s dominant position could have swelled his head of course, and when his fancy then turned to another royal servant, a misguided sense of entitlement “allowed” him to male rape the other man. Fawcett would have been doing so under the delusion of impunity, fed by the knowledge of access to the royal arse. The Royals can’t live by modern management techniques. They don’t even understand management, the bane of modernity. In the world of management, you have to want to live safely if you want to keep your job reasonably secure, and this means that you do not have sex with subordinates. You cannot let a subordinate develop delusions of grandeur based on sexual misconduct. As a good manager, you do not allow your employees to exploit privileged positions to assault or intimidate other employees. It’s just not done. Anymore. Because among other things, management makes sure that all is public. There is no private. Foucault was right, as were Adorno & Horkheimer: we do live in an age of constant surveillance and “regularisation” of drives. It’s seeping into our private lives via advertising and the normalisation of pornography — your sexual fantasies are colonised to the point of no return, baby: there is nothing, but nothing, left for you to imagine. It’s all designed to make you behave according to “norms,” which are managed. As for the workplace, there is no room for unregulated behaviour. It’s sad, but true: Chuck wants Fawcett’s faucet where? Forget about it, those happy-go-lucky days are over. Unless of course Chuckie-baby has a death wish and wants off the management team. In the managed world, there is no continuity, but everything is always the same. Not very royal-sounding, is it? I would almost prefer to have the Royal family say, “Well, bugger me with a fishfork! And to hell with you all, we do whatever we please.” At least then they’d be different. The very worst thing that’s happened to them and with them is that they tried to be like everyone else. How boring. They should go away if they’re going to do that. With any luck they will.


Betsy Burke November 9, 2003 at 8:46 am

I’m just waiting for the part when the sons, quietly seething over the possible causes of their mother’s death, use their father’s head as a stepping stone to the throne in very Shakepearean/Adderesque coup d’

Ion November 9, 2003 at 7:18 pm

I don’t know about the colonization of fantasies by modern porn. I would say that they never were “original”, to begin with, but always followed a previous script to some extent. To some extent: the “I-wanna-be-your-tampax” thing whispered by Charles to Camilla over the phone reveals that there’s always room for something new :).

And Betsy, you’re right about the whole “Black Adder” flavor of the whole thing: life imitates art, as Wilde said a long while ago.

Yule Heibel November 9, 2003 at 11:25 pm

I think porn-slash-advertising does colonise fantasies that used to be — how quaint — “taboo.” (See the recent Galerie Lafayette [Paris] campaign for sexy underwear: unlike the poor Catholic schoolboys of 1920s & 30s France, today’s schoolboys no longer need to feel confused about their butt-banging fantasies — it is instead a now quite de rigeur part of normal sexual relations. As a friend of mine put it 2 decades ago, “You just have to get greased up enough.” Being of a suspicious nature, however, I can’t help but suspect that there’s always an element of coercion in capitalism that extends into the most private exchanges.)

As for Charles’s tampon-fantasy, maybe it had more to do with getting wet, very wet. Soaked, in fact. (Anyone remember the uncut version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood‘s “Relax” video? Hmmm?)

Blackadder had it sussed with his irony & cynicism, though. But Betsy, I’m not sure I want to see William or Harry get smart enough to walk on their pappy’s head, though. Can’t these guys just go home? It’s ridiculous that we in Canada, for example, still should swear loyalty to the Queen.

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