A lot of people ripped Mike for his last column. Here are some responses — we would have printed them all, but so much hate mail makes Mike a dull Grrr-boy. Enjoy...
Shannon in Ohio: Geez, Mike, that was some unexpected snark about Princes William and Harry. My problem with Matt Lauer's interview was that Lauer wouldn't shut up and let them respond to his questions. Here are two thoughtful, polite, considerate young men who lost their mother quite suddenly, violently and publicly at relatively young ages, yet have gone about their lives the "proper" way ... they've finished school, done humanitarian work in their gap years, William has gone on to and graduated from university, Harry went into the military and now William is also in the military. They both continue to actively support and work for their mother's humanitarian causes. What have they done so wrong in their lives that so offends you? Unlike the American "royalty" you (and countless others in the media) waste so much space on — Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson, etc. — these two young men are contributing to society. Sure, they were born into privilege. Sure, they have family members who put their feet in their mouths (who doesn't?) But compared to Paris Hilton, the American version of the "golden child," they're doing just fine. Many of us would rather read about the Windsors than the likes of Paris, or pampered athlete David Beckham and his anorexic, plastic-surgery created wife. The young princes, Mike, are not bad examples of the children of privilege. And we have Diana to thank for that.
Julie in Canada writes: Mike, I enjoy your column and read it almost every week. You make some great points and make us think about our own actions, and hopefully teach us a thing or two. As for a person's "most noted accomplishment of having been born," I have to chuckle. Those who create enough public interest by being born are fueled by the media, of which I believe you are a member. I'm not a fan of the royals, or Dannielynn, or Tom and Kate's kid or Brad & Angelina's etc., but you have written about them all, so sometimes when I check out your column, there it is. Isn't that, my friend, like biting the hand that feeds you?
Pawel from Canada: Dear Mike, what's happening to the Strakalogue, man? It's falling apart. The column hardly ever gets updated, and I've noticed that I'm not clicking on it as often as I used to. Mike, write some more about Paris Hilton. Honestly, no joke. She's in prison, she made a complete fool of herself crying in that police car, and you're not even writing about it. Incidentally, I do know it's ironic that after having complained countless times about seeing too much of her, here I am asking for more Paris Hilton. It's because it's relevant now. It's time for everyone to have a nice collective laugh at her and her behavior. She's been laughing at polite society long enough. So let's laugh it up now, Mike! How's her prison stint going? I wanna know. Mike, in case you post this and anyone complains about my callousness, let's keep some perspective. She's a convicted drunk driver.
Dave writes: When will you learn that rich and famous people are … just people. You always hold them up on this pedestal, that they should all have to live perfect lives because they are in the public eye. Essentially you seem to think they all should be role models, and you frequently condemn them for not meeting your expectations as a role model. You condemn them for speaking their opinion as if they are not entitled to voice a political opinion, and you label anyone hypocritical if they should speak on conservation but live in a big home, or travel in helicopters. And what does living in a big home have to do with anything … because it takes a lot of electricity to cool that house. Well, most of our energy in this country comes from nuclear and coal, and very little from oil. So no dependence issues there. Now one could argue that CO2 emissions from coal plants add to the global warming issue, but until government allows us to build nuclear plants, currently the safest and cleanest form of producing energy, I’m not going to hold people responsible for not conserving electricity when it's the government and the people who won't allow more efficient and cleaner resources. I digress, but my point is when will you learn that people are people, regardless of their job or social and economic status.
Penny writes: We know you guys do not care, my hubby left the room but my four daughters and I were stuck in front of the TV for the entire interview. My 22-year-old was sad when it was over ... They have the same magnetism that their mother had. I am still a fan of Diana. She stood up to the royals, at a time when I needed to stand up for myself. It gave me courage to see her.
Anne-Marie writes: Royalty obsession aside, I read a transcript of Matt Lauer's interview with Prince William and Prince Harry and I thought, "What? Is this high school? Is Matt Lauer some immature groupie?" His questions were about as deep as a dry river bed. The princes can't help to whom they were born and I thought they were being more than gracious to even bother answering Lauer's most immature questions. I thought some of his questions and the way he stepped all over their answers was insulting to them as human beings and an embarrassment for Americans as we are seen by the world largely through the media. Grrr to Matt Lauer for asking immature questions and stepping on his guests.
Jill W. writes: "Let me start right off the bat by stating I have a problem with any person whose most noted accomplishment is having been born." Seriously ... they were not responsible for being born, right? So cut them some slack. So what if they hosted a media day at their home? They are getting the word out about their benefit, using the media (who are so interested in every aspect of their lives) to do so. Grrr! Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this story was not worth a rant.
Frank S. writes: I have been around for a while. I know for the longest time the princes tried to avoid the press. I can see you Grrring on everyone else, but I think you are off base on this one. They are trying to protect their mother, which seems all that they have ever tried to do since her untimely death. Keep up the great work, I normally love your Grrrs.
Neil writes: I always enjoy your column and I almost always agree with your ideas but I must disagree with you this time. Yes, you are right that the princes from the UK are privileged, wealthy and have lots of loser relatives. I used to feel the same way you do about them and the rest of the royals until I went to live in the UK for two years as an exchange officer with their army (I'm a U.S. Army officer). The princes devote much of their time to charities and helping the less fortunate. Also, I would point out that both joined the Army, went to Sandhurst (the UK version of West Point), where they were granted no special favors (I know this because I had a chance to visit the academy and speak with their instructors) and both are now officers in the Army serving their country. In fact, Harry fought to be allowed to go to Iraq with his unit but was eventually told 'no' by the Ministry of Defense; I'm under the impression that he is now in training for an Afghanistan deployment. Are they rich? Yes. Are they privileged? Yes. Am I tired of hearing about them in the news (like you)? Yes. But, I would just say that unlike the upper crust in America, they feel a duty to serve their country, even though they don't have to. You might disagree with me, but I must ask you — how many Bush, Cheney, Clinton, Quayle, Gore, Kennedy or other "top" American families have close relatives serving their country (as opposed to themselves) in any way that does not directly benefit or enrich them? How many of them would volunteer for an Iraq deployment?
And finally, Helene writes: You’re awesome! I love the dig about being famous for “just being born.”
Oh but wait, just so Mike doesn't leave the Your Grrrs on a positive note, Jane L. writes: Who cares if YOU care? I only read your stupid column because of them. Maybe if you read a little history you might have a little more appreciation of tradition. You are just a leech on the skin of the folks that YOUR sensationalist news media decides to elevate to headline status.
You should try doing something more creative with your writing talents!