Ten years on

Apparently it’s been ten whole years since an overprivileged, under-educated blonde woman reminded us all of the importance of wearing a seat belt. At the time I thought the "mass outpouring of grief" (© all media outlets) was bullshit and the passing of the years hasn’t dimmed this highly measured opinion.

Since every other fucker has been sharing their "where were you when you heard and wasn’t it just the most earth-shattering moment evah?" stories, I thought I’d join in… I’d been doing a late shift at the cinema and was chilling out in front of Sky News with a sandwich and the day’s paper (you try finding something that works as background TV noise at 3am that isn’t porn) when news of the accident came through. I shrugged and went to bed. The solid wall of dreary music that came out of my radio alarm clock the next morning was a hint something further had happened… Mum came in to make sure I was up. I unglued a bleary eye. "Oh yeah, Princess Diana’s died." "No she hasn’t," replied my ever-trusting mother. I indignantly dragged the other eye open. "Seriously, turn on the TV or the radio. It’ll be all that’s on all day. I’m staying here."

Five minutes later she shouted an apology up the stairs. Yeah. Eat my knowledge, mother.

When I got into back into the cinema that evening – surprise-unsurprise – the whole place had been packed out all day with people desperately trying to avoid the wall-to-wall coverage because they didn’t give a tiny rat’s ass. Did you know, that when certain shops closed for the funeral, some didn’t pay their employees for the duration yet wouldn’t let them leave the premises? But those employees were happy to sacrifice their already meagre wages to honour the People’s Princess. Oh, wait…

God, Princess Diana always pissed me off. (And I know she was gutted about it.) A woman who failed (twice) to get any qualifications, who was most skilled at manipulating the media (the Taj Mahal photo makes me want to vomit – "oh look at poor me, all rich and seeing the world but my husband is off doing something else and oh! World’s media! How you have surprised me in this, my private moment of anguish!" – and don’t even get me started on Martin Bashir’s interview with her eyelashes), and the cracked up relationships and crazy stalking activities really didn’t further women’s cause. In fact, it seems that Germaine Greer and I share a remarkably similar view.

And the media are still in thrall. The bloody memorial service takes top billing in the news (headline! Woman who died ten years ago still dead!) and the papers are full of retrospectives and tributes (ie, lots of photos) and my head wants to explode.

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8 responses to “Ten years on

  1. Jamie September 1, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Well put. Indeed you are correct. Don’t get me wrong, there was a tragedy that fateful that night – It was that people died. Any three people. It was the fact that two children were left without a mother. I find this upsetting. But no more upsetting than when I read about these things happen to ‘ordinary’ in the paper every day.
    When people say “but she did a great deal of good for charity” of course she fucking did! She was a high profile royal, it’s their job. They don’t think “Mmm, I must help out those less fortunate than myself” – They’re forced into it. And it was quite plain to anyone with any sense that Diana was in a permanent popularity competition with Charles and would pick high profile “trendy” issues with HIV and landmines to boost her public sympathy (it’s important to remember she was actually criticised for her landmine campaign as actually slowing down important work).
    Look, it’s terrible she’s dead. But it’s terrible Ronnie Barker is dead. It’s terrible that anyone is dead. But this doesn’t give an excuse to make some unstable, aristocratic public figure into a saint. What is this the 12th century?

  2. Jamie September 1, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Lot’s of grammatical errors. That’s what happens when you rant and write.

  3. Jamie September 1, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Lots, not “lot’s”.
    FUCKING HELL

  4. kate September 1, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    I was in bed with my then-boyfriend when I heard about it. We stayed in bed all day – ‘getting away from the godawful media coverage’ provided a convenient excuse …

  5. Jamie September 1, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I was asleep on Helen’s sofa with Barge and someone else (I can’t remember that’s pretty bad) in the front room after being on the piss. I woke up to Helen saying “Oh my God! Oh my God!” at about 10am.

  6. Will September 2, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    Yes Jamie, that would have been me there too!

  7. Nick September 10, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I was 13 so I missed the whole thing.

  8. Nick September 10, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Hmmmm I keep forgetting that you can’t add thingys which kool like arrows without sticks.
    What was meant to to appear was *does happy dance*

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