Sunday, March 22, 2009


In the hushed, reverential tones normally reserved for the passing away of royalty, it was announced on the radio this morning that Jade Goody had died. On Mother's Day.

Jade represented the celebration of vulgarity, stupidity and ignorance in modern Western society. Those who share those characteristics empathised with her to varying degrees, and vicariously experienced her tragedy and suffering.

The decision to use Jade's cancer and death as a revenue stream for her children, is considered by many to provide sufficient justification for this public spectacle, and to place it beyond reproach or satire. On the contrary, the extension of exhibitionism to one's own death throes strips death of any sanctity, and drags it through the profanity of tabloid journalism and the prurient fascination of the public. This has been a disgusting spectacle.

Max Clifford sold his own soul for money a long time ago. This time he sold someone else's soul.

Today I feel sympathy for all those unknown millions who have died from cancer, with dignity, whose pain and tragedy was just as keen, but whose stories are known only in private to their friends and family.


Bob said...

I heard on the radio today that after this happened, the number of young women going to medical exminations rose with 20%. That's good.

Gordon McCabe said...

Only in a world of infinite resource. In a world of finite resource, publicising merely the disease a celebrity happens to die of, results in disproportionate perceptions of the relative risks.

In 2005, 2,803 women in the UK were diagnosed with cervical cancer. In contrast, each year, there are over 44,600 new cases of breast cancer in the UK. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, hence if women of Jade's age want to reduce their risk of contracting cancer, it would perhaps be more effective for them to reduce their consumption of alcohol.