Monday, 9 February 2009

Dying to be on Living

When most people are ill these days, they take time off work. This is natural because we don't want to give everyone else our germs - or in some cases, would prefer that our boss didn't find out that we'd been on the piss all night. Yes, you know who you are...

I'm ill (not sick*) right now - but I don't have the luxury of taking time off because I'm self-employed. In fact, I'm nearly drowning in my own mucus and coughing so hard that my eyeballs feel like they're going to end up in my tissue. I will recover.

Jade Goody has an aggressive metastatic cancer and will not.

She's a miserable wretch to be sure. A creation of our disgusting vice-fed media which its unquenchable thirst for celebrity scandal. I find it rather ironic that the same people who decry others for blood sports - not limited to bull baiting killing murdering fighting and fox hunting are the self same people who extol the virtues of Big Brother, Fame Academy and all the other "reality" TV. Even the BBC has stooped to this level, albeit under the guise of a social experiment, to get ordinary people to perform Naked while image consultant, Jonathan Phang, eggs them on.

It's not real.

For sure, the people on Naked are (being bullied into) shedding their clothes for the camera - in a nasty variation of voyeurism that only a TV Exec could have dreamt up - but it pales into transparency against filming a dying woman's battle with this vicious disease.

Poor Jade claims she needs the money; I'm not sure that's true but it's not relevant either.

I have a sickening feeling in the very pit of my stomach that the poor child actually craves the glare of cameras that she's become so used to. Almost as if the presence of a TV film crew has become so central to her being that she has begun to believe the unreality of her reality.

Of course, Living TV is happy to oblige.

I wouldn't put it past them filming her dying moments; and even the intimate details of an autopsy if they thought they could make a buck out of it.

Perhaps Living would do the decent thing and give her the money but not actually show the footage. A better, less voyeuristic view would be to expose the reality of her situation and expose the futility behind it.

Jade's sickness began long before she achieved notoriety; the moment she started having unprotected sex with HPV (not HIV) positive partners, her fate was effectively sealed and that's the lesson we can all take from this.

Sexually transmitted diseases can kill you; not today, not tomorrow, but HPV, HIV and others will get you in the end.

And no amount of money will save you from that.

* Like gay (which originally meant happy or ebullient) sick has got all sorts of other connotations these days so I'd rather be poorly than sick, even if I am.

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