Friday, 31 August 2007

Princess Di - she dead!

Ten years on ...

Yes, she wanted to be queen and rule over us. Yes, she wanted her "boys" to continue the monarchy. Yes, she had dreadful taste in music. And men.

But having been used as a brood mare, Diana refused to play the game and sod off and die. Her subsequent upstagings of the dull royals were a source of amusement as she fought back with wit and style. And only someone with a heart of stone wouldn't give a person points for resisting their oppression which, as her experience showed us, exists even at the top of society.

She did seem to genuinely care about people in pain, although my hopes of her shaving her head, getting pierced, developing her concerns about injustice into a discovery of Marx and taking a humanities course at some Redbrick uni as the ultimate in revenge, were always going to remain an unrealised fantasy.

I was watching the late movie on the BBC when the news of the Paris tunnel crash first broke - Reds, directed by Warren Beatty, about American journalist John Reed's time with the old Bolsheviks who, in weird synchronicity, killed off their monarchy. Ironic, huh? Life imitates art. Kind of. Should do.


John said...

As is almost universally known about me, I aspired at one time to start Eternal Xmas Radio, which would offer The Beautiful Music of Xmas, 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year. That dream, like so many of my dreams, was cruelly thwarted. But someone in this country clearly had a similar idea. Honestly, can anyone remember a time when there wasn't at least one programme about Princess Diana on TV every night? Dianavision! Cue the AIDS baby!

Madam Miaow said...

Hah! Maybe the hysteria at the time was some sort of withdrawal symptom as our daily Di fix was ripped from us.

I'm afraid that my overriding image of her, once I learnt her coffin was made of lead, is of Di soup. Poor thing wasn't even allowed to dissolve back into the earth but is glooping away on some tiny island. Yich!

Darren said...

Good post over at the unofficial Socialist Standard page on MySpace about the death of Diana:

Misplaced Admiration

But I would say that.

Louisefeminista said...

"Yes, she had dreadful taste in music. And men"

Well, having dreadful taste in muzak and men does kinda transcends class....

But the "cult of Diana" does make me want to heave and it has gone beyond saturation point and all those bloody conspiracy theories (Phil the Greek in the "other car" armed with a wrench, Lizzie Windsor get-away driver and dear old late lamented Lizzie senior testing out her favourite knuckle-duster)

Though my favourite scary conspiracy theory is that she got into a car driven by a drunk driver and she didn't "clunk click" with that specific trip.

She may have shed a tear or two with her mate Mother T and smiled that sweet saccharine smile but she still was a wealthy woman (cash from the proles to prop up her lifestyle).

Hey, cash may not buy you love but it can sure as hell buy a nice pad or ten and fantastic holidays.

She was still a member of that exclusive club called the parasitical ruling class.

Comrades, Vive la republique!

Madam Miaow said...

All very true, louisefeminista.

But as I've said elsewhere, what's significant is the amount of pain that was collectively locked away, and triggered by her death.

No point rubbishing it; it exists. So what concrete circumstances gave rise to this phenomenon? ( I should add that I wasn't affected this way, but some were and I'm curious why.)

There's a ton of misery around, seeping out at the edges and manifesting in some weird ways, the widespread grief over Diana being only one form.

Something's gone very wrong in our society. I'd like to see a return of some sort of brotherly/sisterly love, a shared kinship of spirits so we can start relating to each other again instead of having to project outwards onto constructions like Diana.

The expression of mass grief over the signifier we know as Diana reinforces my belief that this system is creating a lot of suffering that lacks a constructive outlet.

Louisefeminista said...

I agree with you Madam M. Sorry, if I come across unfeeling.

It kinda shocked me this out pouring of grief directed at this woman. I think we do need to understand this and why so many people felt compelled to do this. In some odd way she was elevated to goddess status as she kinda represented this compassionate force. And people related to it.

The day Diana died I was at Broadmoor High Secure Hospital as I, along with others, had organised a meeting with the women residents there. Unfortunately, none of the women turned up as most of them were too distressed as they had met Diana (regular visitor to Broadmoor). Instead we visited women on the wards and the grief was palable. I have never seen so much grief and distress.

But at the end of the day, it was still had an unreal, contradictory feel to it. People showing their emotions and directing it at a woman they never knew. It was collective grief.

I remember reading one woman saying she didn't cry when her dad died yet she cried buckets when Diana died. Deflected grief?

I also believe that living in a soul destroying capitalist society renders emotions or feelings unimportant and dismissed in an off hand manner. Stiff upper lip is still in force but the way we feel is still bubbling beneath the surface and probably the Diana phenomenon was a release. Misguided but a release nontheless.

I agree with your sentiments and we do need more compassion. As in the words of Elvis Costello, "What's so wrong with peace, love and understanding"?

Madam Miaow said...

Hi Louisefeminista,

No, I didn't think you were unfeeling at all. It is horrible to see some people's suffering privileged over that of others, especially if they are from the dominant class.

As you say, Diana did represent a compassionate force in many people's lives, and she did so in a way that the Left doesn't. Socialists should be asking the question why they tend to elicit the opposite effect; and it's not the media's fault this time.

Your frontline experience in Broadmoor at that time sounds like it was a moving experience.

DAVE BONES said...

Peace, love, understanding and a bit o' soshalism wots wrong wiv that? (I've linked you properly now by the way)

As for Diana, I remember switching on radio 1 coming down from acid after a club and they were playing the most amazing chill out music- I thought, someone here has had as hard a night last night as me. It took a good ten mins for them to announce the meaning of all this chill out music at 10 am.