I step into the subway train this morning and pass a New York Post open to the headline “The Boy Who Would be King.”
I, of course, think immediately of my blog of yesterday, in which I describe Robert Pattinson and Rupert Grint competing for the part of Prince Harry in a new movie to be called “The Spare.”
But the face that stares out at me diagonally and upside down as I sit down across the aisle has a distinctly American look. Yes, the hair stands straight up, but not in the British-accenty, nearly-stuttering, hand-tousled style of RPatz, but straight up like angry crab grass. It’s looks rougher, more bristly than Pattinson’s, and (although you figure something artificial has to be going on with Rob’s hair), these tresses are clearly dippity-dooed. (Oops—I’m showing my age here.) Gelled.
Then my eyes catch a couple of words of the caption. “Elvis” is one, “grandson,” the other.
I can see the resemblance now, the rounded forehead that’s also square at the edges, a certain set to the chin.
OMG, I think. But not in a truly enthusiastic way.
Yes, I like Elvis. Actually, I love Elvis. And I wish good luck to his grandson. But what dismays me is how oligarchical this country has become. The worlds of both entertainment and politics seem more and more like one huge dynasty trust. (This, in case you don’t know, is a form of family trust intended to go on and on and on, minimizing tax, and building wealth for lucky future generations.)
Famous families, musical families, political families, are, of course, a tradition of sorts. Look at the Mozarts, Wolfgang, son of Leopold. Then there were the Brontes—Emily, Anne, Charlotte and Branwell. (Only they were siblings, so they may not count.) Still, what about the… Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Bonapartes, the Romonovs, the Redgraves….
But they were all European, for goodness sake. The U.S. is supposed to be the land of opportunity, fresh starts, wide open spaces, being judged by your own merits and not because of your birth–
Okay, even the U.S. has had its historical political and entertainment families—the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers, the Barrymores. But lately, it feels as if famous families have multiplied faster than rabbits; there are just so many interconnections: the Kennedys, the Bushes, the Clintons, Evan Bayh (son of Birch), Al Gore Jr. (son of Al Senior), Andrew Cuomo (son of Mario), to name a few.
I have to confess that I really don’t pay much attention to the world of entertainment. (Robert Pattinson is about the only modern “celebrity” I know.) Still, even I can come up with a bunch of actor/entertainer relatives. (And I don’t mean to minimize the talents of any, just to point out the connections): the Fondas, of course, Michael Douglas, George Clooney, Kate Hudson, Liza Minelli, Carrie Fisher, Nicole Ritchie, Sophia Coppola, McKenzie Phillips.
And now, we have Elvis’s grandson.
I just hope he inherited some blue suede shoes.
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