Monday, 16 February 2009

Death Becomes Her

My Dearest Darlings, the tale of Jade Goody is a troubling contemporary fable, from uneducated dental technician to uneducated TV reality star, to uneducated multi-million pound 'business' woman. Jade Goody has been battling cancer over the last few months, every aspect of this tragic story has been played out publicly, from the shocking diagnosis revealed on the Indian version of Big Brother to the TV documentary that followed her chemotherapy and subsequent hair-loss. The same tatty tabloids that once depicted Jade Goody as a pig and chastised her for her lack of general knowledge are clambering to follow her terrible decline. Even now her wisdom is called into question as she continues to parade herself throughout the media in a desperate bid to secure her children's future, hoping to fund an education for her children an education that she so desperately lacked. 

It is difficult not to see Jade Goody as a victim of your culture and her circumstance, from dysfunctional childhood to dysfunctional adulthood her humble beginnings have been the making of her, an 'innocent' profoundly out her depth so often has managed to transform herself into a brand now so ubiquitous in your culture. Jade Goody has frequently blundered, her racist rant on Celebrity Big Brother forced her to personally learn from her mistakes and remarkably encouraged a nation to explore it's own racism, even encouraging global political debate. Jade Goody has become a cypher, she has enabled you to vicariously learn about the pitfalls and complexities of contemporary life. Though just another neglected child bought up in a world where parenting is so undervalued she has become an example of a long list of tabloid made superstars who continue to exploit their fame, churning out needless scents and ghost written biographies to a public who aspire to fame and fortune hoping to achieve a superficial version of cultural acceptance.   

The media in it's hypocrisy and cynical exploitation of these figures revel in the objectification of the meek. The journalists and commentators that once decried Jade Goody are jolted out of there continual reduction of this flailing example of humanity. And are forced to acknowledge her as just another version of you. Jade's legacy it seems is to vastly increase the awareness of cancer and encourage women to attend the screenings that are designed to catch the disease early. In her death she will save lives, many lives by suffering so publicly. The quest for fame is an inexplicable desire to achieve immortality, in this macabre case Jade's mortality may secure her own mythological future as an Icon. A figure that represents a moment in popular culture when you esteemed the most mundane of citizens. This remarkable tale reveals the power of the press and it's ability to transform the normal into the important irrespective of class or education.
Whether Jade Goody will reach the ranks of other female icons that have tragically died young remains to be seen, though this 'Poster Girl' for an age of reality stars is bound to represent the ultimate reality of humanity; that your life will end. It is difficult to believe that Jade Goody has taught you such important lessons, though this is your plight, to come to terms with the insignificance and fleeting nature of your time on this planet.

One thing is certain, tragically cancer has and will touch all your lives at some point. I send love and support to Jade Goody's loved ones and to each and everyone of you that has been affected by this disease.

Sincerely Ms Coco LaVerne x