Less about weddings…

…more about prevention.

On the day that reality TV “star” Jade Goody married her boyfriend, who was (actually – checking the time) is being allowed to have the night off from his curfew as part of his sentence for assaulting a teenager with a golf club*, I’m left wondering what has gone wrong with the world.

Sky News has had the wedding as their top story for the past three days and even previously sensible newspaper’s columns have fallen over themselves fawning over Goody’s behaviour since she found out that she is dying of cancer.

The wedding is being conducted in the shadow of a funeral. The funeral is forthcoming, and it will be the bride’s. That fact feels crass and cruel to state outright, so accustomed are we to the comforting fictions that habitually weave themselves around terminal cancer.
It is a bitter reflection on reality that it has taken the very worst of times to make us glimpse the best in Jade Goody, but she finally has our respect now.

Not mine, I’m afraid. I haven’t followed this story from the beginning – I’m happy to admit that. But as Jade Goody’s biggest (pay)day draws to a close, I can’t help but think that there has been precious little actually said about how such a fate could be prevented. Not her wedding – although that might not be such a bad idea – I mean her imminent demise from cervical cancer.

Apparently, looking around the internet, her plight has “raised awareness of the disease amongst young women”. Good. But where – as the newspapers, magazines, international television crews et al. for some reason gathered in Hertfordshire or Essex (the Independent gets very confused) for the wedding of a dying racist and a violent criminal – was the message that cervical cancer can be prevented.

That message could have been plastered all over every TV screen in Essex (and beyond), be on every front page tomorrow and on every coffee table in Essex (again) by the end of the week. Instead, we get tightly closed hotel gates and the obnoxious Max Clifford. I think I count that as a missed opportunity. 

* nice guy.