Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Saints from Sinners

I'm sorry I don't get it, I've never got it and I never will get it. I've never been a Royalist and I never had much regard for Princess Diana, particularly after that sickening interview she gave. She was very good at manipulating the press and did so to fantastic effect.

She did some charity work, which is good but so do a lot of the royal family, as well they should!

There are several things that annoy me about the whole Diana thing.

Reason 1: Firstly she has been turned into some kind of saintly figure with Charles as some oppressive ogre of a man who was just 'so very beastly!'. And everyone buys it because of that simpering look she gave whenever presented with a camera of any description.

Reason 2: Conspiracy theories: I mean for Christ's sake! She died in a horrific accident thanks in part to a drunk driver and in part to the loathsome human detritus that are the papparazi. Conspiracy theories about this are just that, theories dreamt up by morons who are basically oxygen thieves. It's interesting that it's the tabloids that perpetuate these theories, particularly as they played no small part in her death.

Reason 3: I am sick to the back teeth of hearing about it! I could understand a 10 year memorial next year, I really could, if there was some kind of break in coverage in teh interim. Instead ever since August 1997 we've had a constant stream of Diana oriented verbal and literary loose bowel water of the worst kind. We get it already!

Reason 4: Diana stories have kept the Daily Express in circulation. I mean really, they haven't had to leave the office for 10 years - they just run a variation of the same headline every day 'New Evidence in Diana Death!', 'CIA Wanted Diana Dead!'. Apparently they resisted putting any Diana oriented stories in their sister publication 'Asian Babes'*.

So they are the main reasons. There are more but they are just personal prejudice, as opposed to the enlightened and fact driven reasons given above.

I am going to finish on Diana plus points. I am not going to mention the work she did with the Land Mines campaign because virtually nothing came of it, that famous shot of her in a UN helmet and flak jacket was ridiculously staged, in my opinion she would have done more good spending more time showing the horrific injuries that are caused by land mines. Instead we saw reruns of pictures of just how brave she was, walking through an already cleared mine filed.

No, her greatest achievement was touching someone with AIDS - I think it was in the late 80s some time. It doesn't sound like much but at a time when even the educated public had little knowledge of AIDS and were still half convinced that it could be transmitted by casual touch, I think it was an exceptionally clever and powerful thing to do. I think those pictures had a massive effect, especially in this country, on shifting the perception of the disease. Couple that with showing children in Africa with the disease - which helped illustrate that it wasn't a 'self-inflicted disease caught by those Evil Gay people and their Junky Friends', another media driven misconception of the 80s.

So I am not saying that she was evil, I am not saying she was a bad person and I am not saying that for some people her death wasn't a major event. Just stop banging on about it. Please.

Have memorials, every 5 years say? Even once a year if that's your want. Just please stop wiffling on about it in the interim, stop trying to make it our Kennedy because that poor guy was actually murdered - shot through the head, and there is actual physical evidence to suggest that the person accused was not the man who did it. That's got legs as a conspiracy theory - this Diana thing is just tabloids ducking their repsonsibility because they have no souls.

Come on people, by eliminating Diana stories maybe, in some small way, we can reduce the circulation of the Daily Express. It's not the Daily 'Look at his skin! isn't it Swarthy?! They're cannibals you know, watch your legs - they find them tasty.' Mail, but it's a start!

[edit] Sorry! just to clarify, I know the title says 'Saints from Sinners', she wasn't a bad person I just thought the title would be quite cool as the alternative would be 'Saints from people who did their job quite well and knew how to work the press' which isn't quite as snappy[/edit]

*I kid you not, this right wing, hack written drivel is owned by Britain's most prolific pornographer.


MysteryMan said...

Matt, your blog is one of my favourites and this post is the best of the ones you have made so far.

MattJ said...

Not quite the backlash I expected, thanks MM! Now all I have to do is work out 'who is that masked man?'

Arty said...

I was just watching the documentary on the "conspiracy to dethrone Edward". Then I spotted a blurb on Kate Middleton and started thinking about the personal qualities of a king's consort.

As much as I liked Princess Diana growing up, I realise now that she was no Queen. She couldn't hold it together. She was a great princess - and on top of that being queen would have denied her the freedom to reach out to people - and she would have totally lost it.

A queen needs to be strong, tough-skinned, gracious, self-sufficient. All things that Di was not. A lovely lady but needy, sensitive, and dependent.

Remaining the queen of hearts rather than becoming the Queen of England.
And in a way, it's nice that she died while still beautiful and we didn't have to watch her age or really fall.

Arty said...

so no backlash from me either.

Another coincidence is that I flipped on Amelie on Film4 and the village idiot kept going on about Lady Di, Lady Di, but you have to say it in Frensh: Leddi Dee. LOL

P.S. And you're no royalist, you're Welsh!

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