When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


An interweb friend has been ranting on Facebook about Jade Goody's public death bed scene, or scenes:
X is wondering if he is alone in really not giving a monkey's chuff about Jade Goody and is sick of every bit of exposure it's getting?
I'm not sick of it because I haven't seen any of it. I don't watch Big Brother; life's short enough as it is without wasting any on freak shows. I don't usually read newspapers and never read the tabloids, apart from when I'm reviewing them on local radio. I never watch Sky TV. I get my news from the BBC, CNN, and the Guardian and Independent websites. I did get sick of the coverage of Diana's death, when the BBC went on and on about it, and the Queen Mum's death attracted far too much publicity - boring, boring boring! But if you watch rolling news, you'll soon reach saturation point when there's a big story at the top of the list. Switch off. It's easy.

So I can't really comment about the Jade Goody and her cancer stories, as I haven't seen any of them, but as she's hired Max Clifford, the media pimp, to manage her deathbed publicity, it's not surprising that she's in the news. The idea, apparently, is to raise as much money as possible from fees to benefit her children, who'll soon be motherless. What they'll make of it, heaven knows, but since Jade's from a dysfunctional family, and these things tend to repeat themselves, I hope they have some sensible people around as they grow up.

My ranty friend opined,
Take Kylie. Quiet dignity, utter poise, grace and complete humility. Compare that to the Jade Goody Media Express. Kylie inspired more women than Jade EVER could.
Maybe, but Kylie's been in show business since childhood. She's used to publicity. She's a wealthy woman without kids who isn't desperate to leave money to her family. Jade may not have inspired anyone, but the fact that she's got terminal cancer in her twenties has already prompted more young women to get checked for cervical cancer, probably saving lives. Many more young women are at risk nowadays, due to their sexual activitity from an early age. Dignity, poise and grace? Drunkeness, lust and risk-taking; the sort of thing that poor silly Jade's well-known for.

If she'd lived into old age, what would have happened to Jade Goody? She'd probably have been driven out of the limelight by the next gaggle of notorious female celebrities and retired into obscurity. As it is, she'll be remembered as a train wreck of a woman with a reputation for saying the first thing that came into her head and upsetting Shilpa Shetty. There are thousands like her, but she just happened to go on Big Brother and gain a publicist. It's all very sad. She needed a minder, but not Max Clifford. She needed someone to look after her from an early age. Now all she's got is the mawkish attention of the worst sort of media and the people who bother to read or watch what they produce. You get the feeling that they've already been totting up the profits from the sale of her toenail clippings. Whoever's at her bedside when she dies, I hope they're people who genuinely care about her.