Thursday, February 19, 2009

The New York Times reports that UK reality TV star, Jane Goody, who is dying of cervical cancer, has opted to do so on television which will be a first in at least reality TV where we all know it’s coming and we don’t look away. She seems have just the right ratio of apparent naivetĂ©, narcissism, exhibitionism, desperation and media savvy to make it work, the media execs are buying it and I’m less appalled than I thought I would be. I mean, it’s not like we really DO have to watch and I also think that’s because Goody has been explicit about trying to raise as much money as possible for her children before she dies from a disease that can be spun into an awareness campaign and that she did nothing to contract. The actual death part is something I can't imagine. I liken it in my mind to Katie Couric's colon and I have no real problem with that except that it's cheap, unimaginative footage but that's another thing.

Ultimately, she’s just taking advantage of her media viability while she still can.

Goody is marrying her fiancĂ© Jack Tweed and has been offered a million dollars for the media rights to the ceremony. This really isn’t the first time this kind of perverse, narcissistic martyrdom has occurred though.

A little while ago there was a girl who was writing a blog about how she was going to kill herself on a certain date and it was obviously compelling because it hadn’t really been done in blog form before. Plus, when I was at art school someone did a performance piece where they basically just had someone tell everyone they’d died and three months later they showed up fine. Both cases were met with an aggravated eye roll as the self indulgent university student at the center of each tried to justify inflicting such anxiety on people by saying it was an art project. The blog one seems less accountable because she remained anonymous throughout and you don’t have to read a blog. I'm also pretty sure that most art schools have had a student like that at one time or another and it's possible they pop up semi regularly. Early twenties angst is a terrible thing.

While the New York Times makes the point that “This is reality television carried out to its most extreme, grotesque conclusion, one not even envisioned in the film “The Truman Show” all those years ago.”, this conclusion was actually envisioned earlier than “The Truman Show”, in the film “Network”:

Plus, it seems like this guy in Italy got pretty close in real life.

God, what a deadly, morbid day. Here’s a sneezing baby panda to lighten it up a bit:

Apparently, this panda video has been viewed more than 31 million times. [source]

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