The Brits have long been titillated by the naughty and the vulgar.  “You are awful, but I like you” was a famous sitcom catchphrase from the 1970s and sums up our collective guilty pleasure.

This attitude is being taken to a new 21st century height.  The country is obsessed with a working class woman who found fame through Big Brother back in 2002.  Jade Goody is one of the rare reality TV participants who gained traction with the media after her 15 minutes should have been over and done, becoming famous for being famous.

Goody has had dramatic ups and downs over the last few years, publishing books and launching perfumes, only to be nationally vilified for her racism toward an Indian actress, Shilpa Shetty, on Celebrity Big Brother.

Now, she has the ultimate spotlight.  Goody was diagnosed with cervical cancer last summer (during an episode of the Indian version of Big Brother) and found out this month that the disease has spread to her liver, bowel and groin.  Her personal tragedy is being played out in the media and has whipped the country into a frenzy of debate about propriety, exploitation, death and dignity.

She has sold her imminent wedding rights to OK magazine for $1 million.  Her fiancé is a crook.  The newly named “Jade Goody Effect” is causing young women around Britain to get checked out for cervical cancer.   Prime Minister Brown has expressed his sympathy. Oh, and TV cameras are following her every move.

Everyone has an opinion.  I am mainly fascinated with our inner voyeurs.  We cannot stop watching the car crash.  And we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of judging.  At least, I know I can’t.

For your reading pleasure:

An overview of the story


Wedding music

Funereal music

Reaction of former nemesis Shilpa Shetty

16 responses to “Jaded”

  1. Rachel says:

    Jade Goody? Jackiey Budden? Sheesh, these sound like names out of a morality play. Or a Dickens novel.

    Only 27 years old–she’s just a kid. No one should be judged only by what they do in their 20s, even if they turn that bad behavior to great personal advantage.

    Who is this creepy fiance?

  2. Marleyfan says:

    This kinda reminds me of the lady who had eight kids who’s all over the news. Everyone is talking about her and dissecting her life, and it doesn’t feel right. But Jade Goody choose to go on a reality show, so it’s almost like the public then has a right…

  3. Dave says:

    You know, whenever I get annoyed with the shallowness of American media, I just look across the Atlantic. Nobody does tabloid hype like the Brits. Amazing.

  4. Tim says:

    The BBC re-hash of the entire story somehow reminds me of John’s record review from earlier this week. It’s straight out of a novel.

  5. Natasha says:

    Unfortunately, the media indicates the general level of consciousness within the public. I saw a lady sharing a bagel with her dog this morning: she took a bite, then the dog took a bite, then she took a bite… I am afraid stupidity and bad manners are a new trend spreading all over.

  6. LP says:

    Once again, the Great Whatsit is on top of the news. The New York Times also profiled Ms. Goody today, on A-1.

  7. (With schmear or no?)

  8. Natasha says:

    #8 :) I’m not from NY, so technically should not know this word. But, I suppose, whatever was all over the whiskers of the dog and the hands of the woman was indeed cream cheese. It was too stomach-turning to watch, so I did not care for details.

  9. It coulda been worse — suppose she had a pet baby bird…

  10. Natasha says:

    #10 How? She would not notice it and sit on it with her 300 pounds? But see what I mean — the worst story generates the most discussion. If it were on the news, they would probably find the experts in pet-bagel-sharing, who would have an opinion on whether it helps lose or gain weight. Did you notice how they always say, “the experts say…” Who the hell are those experts?

  11. PB says:

    I just want to know where Brangelina’s twins are and why they won’t have them photographed. I agree with US magazine. It is worrisome.

  12. PB says:

    One last thought – I gave a management seminar the other day and the small group assigment was to assess an employee with overall good performance, mediocre performance and poor performance and discuss a response strategy for all three. At the end of the time, all groups had discussed their example poor performers, a few talked about the mediocre, not one chose their good performers to discuss.

    There you go. And we wonder why Law And Order is on every night. Humans are hairless chimps that throw their poop. BTW – why we are on the topic of poop, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM6MPuFGSms

  13. PB says:

    sorry stella to sully your post space. But it sort of relates. sort of.

  14. Jane says:

    I agree about the Brangelina twins. Very worrisome. But I’m more concerned about how the Clinton’s are dealing with the death of their former First Cat, Socks.

  15. Stella says:

    Update: Jade Goody has now died: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7957852.stm

    (sorry, couldn’t remember how to insert url in comments!)