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Madeleine McCann: The Pain Of Empathy

by | 1st, June 2007

I KNOW a Madeleine. A friend called me and said how terrible it must be for me that Madeleine McCann has gone missing. Every time I hear the name I must feel the pain. Er no…

It’s more like this:

I have not been kept up all night because I’m worrying about Madeleine McCann. My mood doesn’t do a U-turn every time Cuddle Cat is mentioned on ITV News. I care, of course I care, it would be inhuman not to, but if you really want to know, I think the public references to a private thing such as a child’s soft toy are in poor taste, as are the overfamiliar abbreviation of the girl’s name to bring us closer to the scene of this wretched mystery. Worse than the abbreviations are the people who correct the abbreviators: “It’s Madeleine, not Maddy. That’s what the parents call her,” in an offended tone as if they know her, or have been personally affected. People talk about “feeling the McCanns’ pain”, but we do not, and cannot.

As Mick Hume notes:

But perhaps we should first take a look at ourselves, and see what it says about our society that a family tragedy can be turned into a public spectacle, which, unless something dramatic happens, looks set to run for longer than Big Brother this summer.

The parody. The Maddy Catty. The public spectacle…



Posted: 1st, June 2007 | In: Reviews Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink