March 31, 2009

Jade Goody R.I.P.

For months now, the British press has documented the dying of Jade Goody, sometimes excessively

If you want an example, take a look at this page in the London Telegraph.


Jennifer Weiner in the Huffington Post

Jade fascinated me. While I was overseas, I devoured every newspaper story, every photograph and diary entry and detail about Jade's wedding (she got hitched to her twenty-one-year-old ex-con boyfriend a few weeks before her death) to her and her boys' christening (conducted, with cameras present, at the hospital chapel) to her eventual journey home to die.

The analogy most frequently applied to Goody's life was from The Truman Show, the movie in which Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, doesn't realize he's living on a giant sound stage under constant scrutiny: that he has been, in fact, created for public consumption.

That, it seems, gets it exactly wrong. Poor Truman had no idea there were people watching. Jade never forgot. In courting, and keeping, the fickle public's gaze for an astonishing length of time, Jade proved herself a master at real-time reinvention, crafting a character -- the girl you hate, the girl you love to hate, the girl you hate again and, finally, the martyred young mother, bald from chemotherapy, dying on camera -- that viewers would eagerly consume, pacing her scenes and delivered her lines and photos ops with an expert sense of timing.

Andrew Ian Dodge summarized her Pop Life and Meaningful Death

Goody was outspoken. That was part of her charm and part of her downfall. She was a loose cannon. The tabloids and their readers followed Goody, waiting to see what mess she would find herself in next. Goody was the personification of the “human car wreck” — a British Britney Spears if you will. People couldn’t help but rubberneck. 

After apologizing for her in 2007, Brown praised Goody’s public fight  after her death, speaking of her efforts to raise awareness about the disease, the need for screening, and the fact that cervical cancer can hit a woman at any age. He said:  She was a courageous woman both in life and death, and the whole country has admired her determination to provide a bright future for her children.

Her funeral will be this coming Saturday and even Michael Jackson will be there.

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 31, 2009 11:39 AM | Permalink