Thursday, 19 February 2009

Jade Goody: Kill Your Television

A long time ago one of best friends told me to start writing a blog. And so I did, right as Celebrity Big Brother 2007 kicked off (but before it kicked off). How detrimental writing this blog has been to my 'real' writing, I don't know. But there's always another way to waste time, and this is one of the better ones, at least it involves words. And so it continues.
In one of my first ever posts on this blog I wrote of Jade Goody 'I would LOVE to see Jade's empire fall to bits around her. I bet I'm not the only one.' Yet in the same post I wrote, 'I felt warm to Jade, even though she is a hateful moron.' And I did, actually, until that thing that happened that we all know about, and which killed CBB for a year and made the whole country feel ashamed to be British.
When it was announced she first had cancer, like you, I thought 'yeah right.' The fact it was announced on Big brother India seemed highly cynical and designed to make us magically forget you know what; but something that seared into public consciousness never gets forgotten (does it, Jonathan Ross?)
But now it's serious. She really is dying (she must be right, still I feel doubtful, like it can't be true, is that awful?) at 27. You have to feel sorry for her; getting married to that plank of wood is bad enough for starters. He appeared emotionally and socially incontinent on CBB so the thought of him looking after her is quite terrifying. The fact he's tagged and has a curfew must be painful, too, come 7pm. Let’s hope she doesn’t leave the twonk a penny, even though he’ll gobble up some crumbs from the red tops.
And then there's all the other stuff, like, you know, dying. 27 is a pitiful age to die, even if it is the age of the rock star death. Jade’s no Kurt Cobain.
So on one side there’s the ‘good on her, making cash for her kids’ camp, and on the other ‘how undignified, isn’t she crass’ crowd. And the ‘oh I’ve been to the doctors for a smear test since’ gang. Well if it took Jade Goody to get you to look after your sexual health like that, I pity you. And in the middle is Max Clifford rubbing his hands together, innocent as a choir boy.
And yet I, who during CBB ’07 probably silently and not-so-silently wished Jade dead on a few occasions, feel nothing. I DID want her empire to crumble. I don’t like stupid people being celebrated as geniuses (hands up, Jordan), I don’t like people being ‘famous for being famous’ and I didn’t like Jade’s personality. That doesn’t mean I want her to die. But it doesn’t mean I care wholeheartedly. And people pretending they do; well, I just don’t buy it. It’s just the chance for a bit of celebrity rubber-necking, the old Princess Diana circus for chavs.
When she dies, it will be a shock, I’m sure. It will end an era in which we lived vicariously through a bunch of idiots in a house, or on a beach, or in a jungle for nearly a decade. This time around I think Jade could kill 'real' Big Brother, and maybe even reality TV itself. Davina’s cavorting will be harder to bear than ever when their anti-queen is dead, the queen that they built up, mocked, knocked down, and threw away. She took her money and ran, and still is, but it didn’t give her much else, did it?
This could even be the death of Heat. Who knows what power Jade yields. Watch this space. (Saying 'watch this space' is cool.)
PS: Grammar Nazi... how DO you pronounce cervical cancer? I keep hearing people going 'cervi-ick-al.' That aint right, is it?


Chris Stokes said...

A brilliant post, summing up exactly how I feel (or don't) about it all as well. But I will continue watching the space, more out of curiosity as to how it will affect the media. Perversely, as I type this I'm sort of looking forward to (is that right?) your post about whichever Remembering Jade Goody documentary gets aired first.

Maybe I'm evil.

lightupvirginmary said...

it's weird to feel so ambivalent about it, isn't it?
God that post was typo hell! That'll teach me to sneak one in at work.
We're not evil, just cynical!

Ossian said...

Forget reality tv, forget virtual reality - welcome to reality reality. Wouldn't wish this on anyone, and tv is to blame for hyping stupid people, I agree with you. It's not a crime to be stupid, it's not even harmful unless media sods get stupid people elected president etc. as they do.

* (asterisk) said...

I'm about the same. I have long hated Jade and all she stands for. And yet, of course it's sad that she should die so young. And yet, couldn't she be more dignified. Oh, what a tangled web of emotions we weave!

One thing's for sure, it's gonna be a wail fest to end them all once her time comes... But it has to come soon, doesn't it? If she is still alive in a year's time, won't it all be a bit, well, weird...?

I say "sir vick ul". But medical pros tend to say "sir vike ul". FYI.

lightupvirginmary said...

I was thinking, what if she did somehow recover? Can you imagine how angry people would be? The same people weeping and wailing and sucking up the grief would be the ones to lynch her unless they get the body at the end. She is basically obligated to die now, a miracle could see her torn to bits.

Chris Stokes said...

Quite right, but the people wailing and upset now two years ago were condemning her. Such is the relationship tween sleb n pleb I suppose. Newspapers vilifying her are now calling her Britain's Bravest Bride. What they of course mean is Britain's Most Famous Bride with Cancer.

I think I've worked out the ambivalence to be honest. As * says, I've never cared for her and though it's sad she should die so young, getting cancer isn't a ticket to getting me to like you. So while it is sad she's going to die, I can also come to terms with still hating her.