All that you have is your soul (Tracy Chapman).

Monday, 23 March 2009


Over the last few days, we have been regaled by the deaths of two very well known individuals, both in tragic circumstances.

Natasha Richardson, in all honesty, should have been waking up today, looking at the blue sky and hugging her two teenage children. Jade Goody, at 27 years of age, would of course do exactly the same. Instead, they are both looking down longingly on their lovers and offspring, wondering why life has dealt them such a cruel blow.

I'm not one of these people who buys into the "celebrity" circus. I do admit to getting starry eyed when I see a famous person, which isn't something I'm that used to doing - but I refuse to buy into the vapid and in my opinion time-wasting experience that is all the rage these days.

I did watch a couple of episodes of Big Brother but soon became bored with the whole concept. The only show I do follow religiously is The Apprentice and only because I see it as a fascinating insight into the way professional people work (or most of the time don't) as a group. There is also no better TV than watching Alan Sugar lose it with one of the contestants in the boardroom.

That's where, in my particular life, reality TV ends.

Natasha Richardson was a beautiful young woman with everything to live for. Then again, so is Joanne Smith or Mandy Jones. Whom, you may ask? I don't know but maybe somewhere in the world, one of them died after hitting their head on compacted snow.

At the same time that Natasha Richardson died, many many other people also bid farewell to their time on earth. We remember Natasha because she was famous, but it doesn't make her death any more important than anyone else's.

As crass as this sounds and I don't mean to insult anyone, I would like Natasha and Jade's deaths to mean more to me than they do. The way I can do this is wonder if something worthwhile can come out of the tragedies. You can probably see where I am going with this.

Natasha Richardson, aged 45 died as a result of hitting her uncovered head on a hard surface. I was therefore heartened to note yesterday that as a result of what has happened, it is virtually impossible to find ski helmets on sale in the shops that surround ski slopes around the world. They've all gone. Sold. After all, who wants to be the next "Natasha Richardson"?
It seems as though, ironic as it may seem, her death could save other lives.

Jade too has left a lasting legacy in a different way. Young women in their droves are signing up to get smear tests, so that they too can avoid becoming the next "Jade Goody".

Now I'm getting interested. At last, there seems to be something more important than "celebrity deaths" filling the void that so many people seem to feel is existent in their lives. They are looking to these people in a way that has a worthwhile impact (excuse the pun) on their lives.

Maybe Natasha and Jade will be remember for the right reasons.

I suspect that both women would want this to be case, because at the end of the day, all our lives have to mean than just looking good or being super-rich. Both womens' desire to get on with their lives and do the best for their families makes me wonder whether the culture of celebrity is less of their making and more of ours.

No comments: