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Anorak | Jade Goody’s Celebrity Cancer: Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews, The X Factor and Jesus

Jade Goody’s Celebrity Cancer: Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews, The X Factor and Jesus

by | 7th, March 2009

JADE Goody celebrity cancer: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at Jade Goody’s celebrity cancer with Madeleine McCann, Shannon Matthews, The X Factor and Jesus.

Daily Mirror: “Christen Me Now Begs Jade”

Max Clifford added Jade’s sons were coping “very well”.

“They are aware their mum is very ill, but they are very young. Hopefully their lives will be as unaffected as possible, bearing in mind they are going to lose the centrepiece of their lives…

…me, Max Clifford?

…their mum.

Daily Star: “I’ll Christen my boys today and slip away”

She will bravely summon up all her remaining strength to go through with the tear-jerking joint ceremony.

Brave. Tears.

She revealed: “I want them to believe in Jesus and God. I want them to believe in Heaven.
“When I told them I was going to Heaven, Freddie said: ‘Heaven is a bad place, it’s where people go when they die.’ And I said: ‘No, that’s not right. It’s where people who are poorly go to get better.’ I’ve got just one thing left to do – to see them christened.”

Sun: “Jade battles for baptism”

Battles? Is every part of Jade’s life now a campaign?

Glasgow Daily Record: “Jade Goody and her sons to be christened in hospital today”

Max Clifford:

“She’s heavily sedated, sleeping most of the time, not really wanting visitors. She just says a few words and wants to go to sleep. We hope that things will pick up.”

And any coffin manufacturers who want to help Jade pick up the phone.

BBC: “Jade Goody due to be christened.”

As a Christian.

Her husband, Jack Tweed, 21, is awaiting sentence after he was found guilty of attacking a taxi driver and threatening to stab him after leaving a club in Essex last year.

Daily Mail – Amanda Platell: “Jacko who has lost his grip on reality. What does it say about the values of modern Britain when we revere such inadequates as him and, yes, tragic but inconsequential ‘stars’ like Jade Goody.”

These false idols only encourage the impressionable young to believe there is a short cut to riches that requires little education or hard graft.

Jackson took a short cut to riches? How – by being a supremely talented entertainer? Or writing about one?

OK!: “OK! Interview: Peter André & Katie Price”

What are your thoughts and feelings on fellow UK reality star Jade Goody’s battle with cancer?
KP: Oh, it is awful. But I think that it is so brave and I am just gutted for her. We talk about her day and night. I would love to be by her side just the whole way, you know.

PA: It’s really put everything into perspective for us. We are living the American dream but what does it all mean when you think back to someone who can’t see their children after a certain period of time. She will never see them again.

The Guardian: “’Have I broken your heart?’ – Fifty years ago Philip Roth claimed that ‘the actuality is continually outdoing our talents, and the culture tosses up figures daily that are the envy of any novelist’. In today’s media-saturated world this is more true than ever, as epitomised by the tragic story of Jade Goody. By Gordon Burn”

In these days of junk news, junk food, junk money and the junk self, authenticity in the realm of reality TV means adhering to Saul Bellow’s dictum of following a character not just into the bedroom but also the bathroom (and into rehab, the penis-enlargement clinic, the assisted-suicide facility, the dungeonous punishment pit). It was at this basement level that reality television stars of Jade Goody’s vintage… And Goody’s gift from the beginning – her only talent, as she was the first to acknowledge (the girl who thought “East Angular” was a foreign country and that “pistachio” was a famous painter) – was to appear devoid of self-consciousness: to have an innate ability to appear to be unwatched when being spied on by millions; to seem to be heroically unconcerned about how she came across.

Jade’s class?

In this way she found herself occupying the position of the most visible representative of the white underclass in British popular culture: a true avatar of the time. Motto: to think is to regret. Hobbies: getting and spending.

And then Burn enters into the mecca of Tabloid Bingo, albeit deliberately. Fact and fiction – can you spot the difference?

An intermediary representing Shannon Matthews’s family at one point approached the fund that has been set up to finance the search for four-year-old Madeleine McCann, requesting money. The conflation of a TV soap and a real news narrative was something terrestrial media and the denizens of hyperspace conspired in encouraging through the whole of the summer of 2007, when the hunt for Madeleine McCann, led by her parents, Kate and Gerry, dominated front pages and led every bulletin. It was the refusal of the McCanns to conform to their pre-ordained roles as grieving parent-victims that resulted in a maelstrom of gossip, most of it malicious, and a resentment, which still persists, prompted by their skilled (read: “cold-blooded”) manipulation of the media in their campaign to keep the search for their daughter alive. Within days of her going missing, Madeleine’s eyes had been stylised into media emblems, the defect in her right eye simplified into an easily recognisable and, for a while, ubiquitous logo, reminiscent of the enormous eyes of Dr TJ Eckleburg (“dimmed a little by many paintless days”) that brood from a billboard over the valley of ashes in The Great Gatsby.

One of the conceits of Born Yesterday was that the peculiarity, even eeriness of barely comprehended reported events (the new prime minister had one sightless eye, for example, as did the first police suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance) can seep into the system and work on the inner life of an individual as powerfully as a first-order art such as fiction.

The Independent – Johan Hari: “Johann Hari: We’ve forgotten how to face death – A culture that believes it it [sic] sick and spooky to see its dead forgets how to live.”

In our taboo-less, porn-soaked culture, we have one subject left that makes us fall silent and look away. Nobody wants to discuss death.

No, not nobody. Doctors, priests, rabbis, mullahs, nurses, the bereaved, the sick, the anxious and above all – and thanks to Jade’s Story – hacks all want to discuss death.

I have been thinking about this partly because of the retching response to the public dying of Jade Goody – and because I just spent a day staring at corpses.

I went to the Body Worlds exhibition in the Millennium Dome, where the dead – from foetuses to the elderly – are preserved and posed for us all to see. The meat that once was a pregnant woman, or a sportsman, or a baby, is stripped down, its inner workings explained.

Hari learnt about death at a show? Got to the hospital. Talk to the nurses. Pass about the books at the hospice.

Bring out your dead. See them. Stare at them. Our culture will live better if we gaze upon death, instead of burying it six feet deep in our psyches, along with our unviewed and uncomprehended corpses.

A wake?

Times: “Jade: Bride to Be – Living, 9pm”

Live by the sword, die by the sword . . . Jade Goody’s adult years have been a real-life Truman Show, with cameras giving a blow-by-blow account as she stumbled from dubious fame to controversial fall and the cancer diagnosis that will soon claim her life. This two-part special should be the final instalment, save for a mooted interview with Piers Morgan. In tonight’s episode, Jade is as girly, gaudy, resilient and open as ever as she prepares for her “fairytale” wedding to Jack Tweed, flitting from girly hen night (complete with a communal tooth-whitening session), to a private helicopter ride and chats with a controversial bishop. In what might in other circumstanceshave been something to dismiss, this is likely to be a massive ratings winner – close to one million viewers have tuned in for the previous episodes of her life-story.

Jade Goody’s Cancer – now that’s entertainment. Death’s got the X Factor.



Posted: 7th, March 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews Comments (26) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink