Sometimes the best thing you can do when you read a headline like
Why do we love Jade Goody and vilify a University Challenge brainbox for being bright?
is to shrug your shoulders and say "We don't, you silly man. You're just trying to connect things that aren't connected."
But to do so would be to miss out on some truly awful logic from some twit at the Mail. So here goes:
The nation is now captivated by the impending death of a young woman famous only for being famous, and her wedding to a violent ex-con.
Across the country, bitter bloggers have sniped at a woman who knows about everything from Rudyard Kipling to Kazakhstan banknotes, from Homer to human genetics.
says the Mail's Harry Mount, who can't write very well. But then that would make me a 'bitter blogger' to say that, I guess. Is there really an outpouring of hatred for someone who was good on a quiz show? I don't think so. She was on the telly this morning - you know, that insufferable inane balls on the BBC which is basically Radio Times TV - and treated really well. And came across quite decently, I thought. But then what do I know?
Anyway, Jade Goody is not being celebrated for being thick; people are feeling compassionate towards a young mother dying of cancer. Is that such a terribly bad thing? (Yes, if you read the Mail commenters, but more of them in a tick). It's just a simple question of 'people off the telly are under scrutiny from the general public, some of whom are numpties'. So if you want you can find people saying anything about anyone.
*update* and it turns out that these 'internet bloggers' aren't bloggers at all but, er, Mail readers. The Mail is slagging off its own readers. Bite the hand that feeds, won't you? Next you'll have Mel Phillips slagging off the BN...oh.
I have nothing against Jade Goody: it would be odd to feel anything other than sympathy for any mother dying so young. But that doesn't take away from the fact that she has achieved little of lasting merit in her short life.
Unlike you, of course, Harry. Of course we can't all be David Cameron's cousin so we can't all get a job scribbling for the Mail and writing shit books that no-one reads. Oh how other human beings should kneel down before your mighty achievements.
You used to be able to take a taste for reading and an interest in the outside world for granted in the average Briton. Now you're considered a Nobel Prize-winning freak if you know the first few elements in the periodic table, or can remember a line of Macbeth.
Er, no. Where does this come from? Who's saying this? Well, no-one, which is why it's such a classical strawman. Some people somewhere have shown sympathy for Jade Goody. Jade Goody = thick so therefore people love thickies. Some people somewhere have had a go at the brainy one off university challenge. This person = clever so therefore people hate clever people. Except that's not what's happened at all - and I do believe that Gail Trimble herself has dismissed this rather simplistic (and not very intelligent) argument.
But then I have to correct myself. Because Harry's argument is almost validated in the comments, which show that a large proportion of the readership of the Mail are not only thick but also vicious little bastards:
I am flabbergasted by the assertion that we "love" Jade Goody. I for one have never thought her anything other than a gormless fool foisted upon us by "reality television". Whilst her cancer is undoubtedly a tragedy for Goody and her family, it is a tragedy experienced by (too) many families and not one that deserves so much media coverage.
Very good article. And sadly accurate. If I gave my teenage niece the choice of being salaciously famous like Goody or intelligent and well spoken like Trimble, the girl would chose Goody. But she is kinda thick.
jade goody is a plank, only for a trashy t.v. programme is she known.How can she be called a celebrity.
It seems to me there's a lot of guff about "diversity" in this country when it comes to race, religion, disabilities. But heaven help you if as a young woman you deviate from the wag/slapper bubble-headed norm.
on the one hand, although there's
While no fan of Jade, I would argue with your observation that 'she has achieved little of lasting merit in her short life.' What more lasting merit than to live on in your two children? That said, I think the main reason for people's sympathy towards Jade is the 'there but for the grace' factor. Anyone of us could have our lives cut short as suddenly as Jade has. Finally - although I don't share the hatred towards Gail - perhaps one of the reasons she attracts such jealousy is because she's obviously had the benefit of expensive private education - and one would assume a financially secure life so far - something not many of us can afford for our children anymore.
Although that of course has been voted down by fellow readers.
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