Jade Goody's Reality Death.
'I feel sorry for that girl.' The Paramour said in a compassionate bout the other night, during the adverts.
'Why?' I said, picking through the popcorn. 'She's not a particularly nice person and if she wasn't dying you wouldn't give a toss about her.'
'But she is dying, I'd be surprised if she doesn't die within the next few months.'
'Everybody dies Paramour.' I replied, 'Just not quite so publicly.'
'Still, I just feel a bit sorry for her.'
And then we went back to watching Let The Right One In.
But truthfully I do find myself thinking about reality television überstar Jade Goody this morning. How can I not think about her, she's everywhere. I see her swollen tearful face staring out from every magazine cover on the supermarket shelves. The wenches in the shop were all yapping about her when I went to get the milk. Someone was waffling about her in the gym yesterday, actually wondering ALOUD if she'd lost a lot of weight due to her cancer and what size dress she'd wear now ( oh women, we are quite hard nosed when we want to be, perhaps someone can market this? Cancerslim! The new weight loss product, yours for 65.99 per week, CancerSLIM!)
She's all over the press, I know more about her cancer- its retractions, its spread, its development- than I do about ANYTHING on my own body. People talk of her dignity, how she's doing right by her boys, her upcoming marriage to 'Jack' the lovable jailbird scamp currently wheeling her about. ( GET A PRE-NUP). She's all over our tellies, crying, being brave, crying, being brave, crying. I mean, it's all Jade, all tears, all the time!
Reality television is a weird planet. It takes a hodge podge of folk and shovels them into 'realityville' before our eyes for our perusal. It's almost like pantomine in a way.
Of course reality television is not reality, we are shown heavily edited snippets, our approval and disapproval hinges on our being shown the good and the bad and the down right ugly. Boo hiss, we might think when a loud mouth gobber calls a beautiful Bollywood star Shilpa Poppudom, yay hurrah, when tearfully remorseful the teary gobber says 'sorry, I'm an ignorant half wit, but my mum is a one-armed lesbian.' Getting Lipo? Live on air? Hmm, boo, no wait, hurrah, cry first though would you dear? Oh PLASTIC SURGERY? Yay, I mean boo, cry for me would you dear? That's it, mmmsalty. Wot? You woz abused? YAYY! Here, my heart string, pluck it for me.
It's a mendacious manipulation of emotions and subjects. And surely the apogee of reality television is about to be scaled. The death of its überstar. I mean publicist Max Clifford will milk this one for every tearful cent there is to be squeezed from the teat of viewerdom. The golden goose is dying of a protracted disease after all, excellently for him it appears to be fatal, long enough to require our commitment to viewing Jade's tragedy, short enough that we won't tire of her death rattle. I mean it's the fucking holy grail of reality death.
So roll up rollup, get your viewing cards ready, unfurl the tissues of weepingdom. Brave Jade will marry her sprat Jack, she will kiss her two boys, there will be tears, tenderness, a spread in OK Magazine! We will share her joy of wifelyness even as we admire the bony shoudlers of her cancerliness. We will talk and witter and ponder. We will be entertained. Jade will entertain us. Right up until she draws her last camera ready breath.
Labels: people are vile sometimes