Looking round the country at the moment, one inevitable conclusion is reached: it’s all fucked up and gone to hell in a handbasket. The past week has seen a tidal wave of hysteria sweep across the media, and inevitably, if you repeat often enough that everyone in the nation is racked by grief, it will eventually be so, grinding the entire nation to a virtual standstill. In a week, I’ve gone from slightly anti-Royal to fervent Republican. Now, the sooner they bury the bitch, the better.
But these people, moaning and wailing outside Kensington Palace. Who ARE they? It’s not anyone I know, that’s for sure, and the atmosphere at work has been more aggravation at the excess of it all — there’s been no shortage of dead Princess jokes requested. At times, I’ve felt more like I’m living in ‘Heathers’ than anything else.
Diana was a media creation: slightly longer-lasting than the Spice Girls, but essentially the same. Through the press and television, we got to know her better than the vast majority of people know their neighbours. So, for some folk, the loss is immense — but it’s probably the same people who obsess over soap operas. The stronger your grip on real life, the less you need to live vicariously through the tabloids.
It’s just another case of early death syndrome. Mother Teresa has done a hell of a lot more for the poor and needy than the Princess, yet I doubt they’ll cancel any football matches when she dies. It’s not as if the Princess was even a fulltime worker for charity: she seemed to spend more time swanning round the world on holiday than anything else, despite what all the post-mortem hagiographies would have you believe.
It’s sad she died, but I feel just as sad that Dodi Al Fayed died, or even that Henri Paul, the chauffeur died. All three were stupid: Paul to drink and drive, the celebrities to get in the car and let him take them through Paris at four times the legal speed limit.
Coming into work this morning, I had to run the gauntlet of a mob of well-intentioned bucket wielders, collecting for Di’s favourite charities. I had to resist the temptation to grab them by the throat and ask what they’d done for the same charities BEFORE Diana became road-kill. But perhaps they’re just imitating the tabloid press, who have shown an unparalleled level of humbug over the past week. Nothing new there, then.
Even the Internet has been swamped. Everywhere from alt.asian-movies to uk.media.animation.anime has been polluted by spammers who want to slam their emotional angst down the throats of everyone else. To them, and all those of similar mind, I say: get a life — not a death.
[Sept 6th: I literally had just finished putting the above up on the site when I discovered that Mother Theresa has indeed just died. I am a little spooked by this, in view of my comments! However, it will be interesting to see what happens, and compare it to the rampant excesses of Dead Di mania.]