There are many reasons to feel ashamed of being British and Jade Goody is probably not the most significant of them, but since the ghastly travesty of cancer-stricken Goody’s wedding is taking place as I type, today I will choose to feel humiliated by her.
Fortunately, I’ve managed to steer clear of all but the barest outlines of Goody’s absurd “career” as a reality show contestant and I hope you have too. However, if you are fortunate enough to have absolutely no idea what I am on about, this Wikipedia entry will bring you up to speed.
In short, Goody is a perfect representative of a country that
- puts ignorance on a pedestal (“Rio de Janeiro, ain't that a person?" she remarked in one show);
- is besotted by “celebrities” who, like Goody, cannot sing, act, dance, nor (of course) write, yet have become famous through such programs as Celebrity Wife Swap, Celebrity Driving School, Celebrity Weakest Link and Celebrity Stars in their Eyes (all of which starred Goody);
- has a nasty seam of psychological aggression (Goody’s bullying on the programmes is one of the reasons for her infamy) and physical violence (guess what, her beloved has just been released from 18 months in prison after he was convicted of assaulting a 16-year-old boy); and
- is characterized by chauvinism and bigotry (Goody was accused of racism towards Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty in the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother).
There are (a few) grounds to be proud of being British of course (the anti-Goody) but right now Britain’s enormous contributions to world literature and popular music (to name just two of the most obvious) are not in the ascendancy.
Instead a trend that I thought must have reached the bottom with the canonization of the tragic but bird-brained Princess Diana drills ever deeper into the primeval slime of the great British public’s taste. Today, the foul-mouthed Jade Goody—who would be brave enough to predict what is to follow?
So glad to be a long, long away from this weird and sad country.