Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Will Somebody Please Get Me Out of This Rabbit Hole?

And this one, I think, will run and run. The Jade Goody/Big Brother story is still occupying column inches, still causing mass hysteria. Ms. Shetty is being interviewed around the clock and people are still comparing her favourably to Ms. Goody. Much has been made of Jade Goody's lack of intellectual prowess in comparison with that of the 'college educated' Ms. Shetty. Apparently she has appeared in fifty Bollywood films and speaks ten languages. Which begs the question: why on earth was she appearing on Big Brother at all. The programme is named after the manipulative, omnipotent dictator of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. I'm surprised Ms. Shetty was unaware of this. Big Brother is also renowned for the bullying and vulgarity of many of its housemates. Surely Ms. Shetty viewed footage of past shows before she agreed to compete.

Media luminaries are lining up to inform Ms. Goody that she is not exactly the brightest star in the sky. Well, guess what, people, Ms. Shetty sounds as though she has had a better education than Ms. Goody because she has. There is a deeper issue here, one that the media is steadfastly refusing to confront. Is is right to gloat over the fact that a damaged young woman has been so poorly served by our education system?

I don't adhere to the concept of collective guilt so I don't believe Ms. Goody's conduct represents me. It has been suggested that we, as a nation, should be ashamed and embarrassed by Ms. Goody's behaviour. I disagree. Any embarrassment we feel should not be a result of what happened in the Big Brother House but by the way in which a minority of the population reacted: screaming for lynch mob 'justice' (an oxymoron if ever there was one) whilst being cheered on from the sidelines by our so-called intelligentsia. I'm surprised I didn't hear calls of 'Burn the witches.' Now, where is Matthew Hopkins when you need him?

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