Jade Goody Is A Celebrity Why?

February 23, 2009

I get that she was on the Big Brother show in England and that she was a bit of a media sensation for her comments. But other than this unimportant frivolity, why should I care about her?

Oh, she is dying of cancer. I get it. So all of the money she is collecting for her son is done so in a noble manner. I read that the photos for her wedding alone were worth $1.5 million. Do you think that will be enough to get her son into college?

Maybe it is because she is bringing awareness to cervical cancer. While this is no doubt a good cause, the manufacturers of Gardasil are already spending millions and millions of dollars to drive this message home. Of course, like Goody, I am sure they are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

In the meantime while all of this celebrity worshipping is going on, 12 women in the United Sates will die from cervical cancer TODAY. Will you be sending their families money? Will the media be tracking their every last moment? Will they all get to be pseudo celebrities? No…they will die in relative anonymity.

So what is my problem with Jade? Actually, I don’t have a problem with her specifically. In fact, before today, I had never heard of her. Do I begrudge squeezing blood money out of her situation? Not at all. No, my beef is with the media and lemmings that hero worship someone that, before her disease, seemed quite disposable.

Why does having a deadly disease suddenly make any person better? Because they are facing death and realize what a douche bag they have been all of their lives? This is somehow noble? I think not. While it is tragic when a person is diagnosed with a life threatening disease, it happens all around us everyday. Any of you headed to a hospital or elderly care home to shed a tear with those people? Didn’t think so.

So please, spare me the last minute theatrics and martyrdom of these people. When my nephew died as a child form CF, he didn’t get money for it, a parade, or even a TV show. He and his family suffered in quiet dignity until the bitter end.

My point is that this is happening everyday all around you! If it matters to you, do something about it! Not after you are afflicted and have “skin in the game” but before you are ever pushed into that corner. Think about all of the people with incredible personal and financial burdens that also are dying from cervical cancer. Do you think Jade’s story makes them feel better? Or do you think they are hurt by the hypocrisy and randomness of kindness and generosity.

Stop worrying about people that you will never know and look around you. You are surrounded by people looking for your nurturing, care, and love. Make a difference today.

TL

P.S. This is a case of do as I say, not as I do. I have failed too many people in my life to be considered any kind of measuring stick. Call that an excuse if you will but if everyone was like me, on most days, this would be a brutal and ugly world to live in. Try to aim a little higher.