What’s the Winston Churchill quote? “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” So it was with that Brian Cox story in the Daily Mail. I strongly suspect that Haute Living New York sent out a promotional email with a few excerpted quotes from their cover interview with Cox, and the Mail decided to create this utterly ridiculous narrative that Cox spent the entire bitching about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I’ve read a lot of Cox’s interviews in recent years – this dude is a socialist and he hates the monarchy and he wants Scotland to vote for independence. I simply didn’t believe that he would save his biggest criticisms for the Sussexes. And he really didn’t. Within Haute Living’s story, it’s clear that Cox is rambling on about economics, politics, the British monarchy and more and there is a larger context. Some highlights from the interview:
On his Succession patriarch Logan Roy: “Logan’s not that bad. I actually have a lot of sympathy for Logan. [Logan] comes out onto the street and he just sees how run down New York is. There are rats everywhere, and a guy eating his supper out of a tin can. Logan sees that and goes, How did this happen? How did we get to this state? It’s a parallel to his own life: he has these awful, entitled children, but he himself does not have that entitlement; he has empathy that his children do not. He believes that everything he’s done, he’s earned … and he’s not wrong. It’s always said that a cynic is a disillusioned romantic. I think that’s true and also the root of who Logan was as a young man. He sees that life doesn’t operate the way one would like it to, but in a more mercenary way. His children, however, don’t realize that if they don’t work, that if they don’t commit some kind of integrity to what they do, that they can’t succeed, and he can’t do anything about that. It’s just the nature of the beast.”
Pretty much an atheist: “I think one of the most fundamental problems we have as humans is that we let religion get in the way so much of the time. I’m not anymore, but I was born a Catholic. I’m pretty much an atheist now, because I don’t think religion serves anybody. I think God is one of the great illusions we cling to in order to give us sanity, but I actually believe in human beings, that they’re much more interesting.”
Why he loves America: “The reason why I live in America, and why I love it, was that I was very attracted by the notion of egalitarian thinking. This country was built on essentially egalitarian principles. And I feel horrible for the immigrant population that comes here with this notion that America represents freedom, because it’s certainly not as free as it purports to be. We’ve allowed so many things to get in the way of that freedom. For me, one of the tragedies of America — because I do love this country and what it represents — is that it isn’t living up to what it represents. It’s not living up to what those principles were built on because all these other distractions have come in.”
On the British monarchy, this is the full section: “I find that it’s really just so sad that we don’t acknowledge our own humanity enough. We don’t acknowledge what we’ve been through on behalf of a family — a ruling family. And that’s why, when you look at what’s happening with Meghan and Harry [there they are!], you go, ‘Well, Harry, there’s an innocence about.’ And with her, too. But you can’t go into a system where somebody’s already been trained to behave in a certain kind of way and then just expect them to cut themselves off. I mean, she knew what she was getting into, and there’s an ambition there clearly as well — the childhood dreams of marrying Prince Charming and all that sh-t we see as fantasy that could be our lives in our dreams. I’m a Cinderella person, you know.” He shrugs. “In my opinion, we shouldn’t have a monarchy. It’s not viable; it doesn’t make any sense. It’s tradition and all that, they say. I say, ‘F–k it! Move on!’”
[From Haute Living New York]
Now, I’m not saying his full comment in context makes more sense, but it’s nowhere near as harsh or anti-Sussex as the Mail would have people believe. My interpretation of his comment is: Harry was very innocent and so was Meghan; it must be difficult for Harry to cut himself from the regimented royal life and his toxic family; and Meghan’s innocence was that she was wrapped up in a princess fantasy and the dream of what their lives could be. Now, I think he’s wrong that Meghan knew what she was getting into. That’s such a stupid conversation, because it’s such a self-own for British people and the British media, because it’s like they’re mad at Meghan for not understanding that they were going to be awful and racist towards her. They’re like “how dare she not realize that we’re utter trash!”
Anyway, it’s still perfectly clear that Brian Cox wants to abolish the monarchy. I tend to think he was just talking about the Sussexes more as a character study than political actors, but what do I know.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, cover courtesy of Haute Living.
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