I’ve been playing with Google Insight today. True to its name, it held a few surprises for me.
Not least that the fourth most popular Google in the UK this week was “google”. Come on, country. Get your act together. I’m not the most organised, or even conscious person, but I’ve never asked someone to their face where they are. I suppose it’s the next logical step in windowlickery from hunting for my glasses when they’re on my head – so long, sunday afternoon, I’ll never see you again – but on a national scale I can’t help but feel this is unacceptable.
Even more depressing is that seventh worldwide rising search is Jade Goody. The press blitz of coverage of the “tragic” pseudo-celebrity was inevitable, and even the fact that the usually level-headed Guardian gave it front-page reportage stimulated little more than a stifled groan. The press can’t account for this kind of showing though. There’s only one logical conclusion; people of the world are actively searching for news on… her. I’m not going to be overly unkind here. A woman is dead, and her genuine family and friends are grieving. They should stop reading here.
Jade exemplified a subculture of consumers who want nothing more than fame and attention, at the expense of dignity, privacy and wellbeing. It’s worrying that so many people desire it so badly (he said, typing into his unpaid weblog), but ultimately understandable compared to the mass hysteria and schadenfreude that possess those who follow them. My own theory is that these reality stars give the public the opportunity to feel superior to some of these glamourous characters, and illustrate that it could really be anybody – and in being the everywoman, Jade excelled.
Her eulogy and tribute is loud in the press this week, not so much on the lips of the people in my own experience. Maybe this unequal treatment is because her presence in the zeitgeist was the pure result of the media and PR insisting she was interesting, rather than genuine relavence. I’d like to believe that the british tabloids felt some twinge of regret at the way they publically treated a human being, though she was nowhere near the least deserving or worst treated of the victims of ravenous and unscrupulous journalists. I’m fairly certain though that they were just bleeding the last column inches from her life. Jade Goody lived to be a celebrity, and died famous. Now let’s all move on, and read a little less Heat magazine.