Sunday, November 27, 2005

Floral Tributes again

I note that the beatification of George Best lasted all of 24 hours. One of today's tabloid "newspapers" alleges that he had at least two "secret" children. Given his lifestyle, are we surprised? Does it matter? No, and no.
Meanwhile, the floral tributes pour in, and a Diana-like mountain of flowers, pictures, scarves etc grows outside Old Trafford. Toddlers whose parents were too young ever to have seen Best play are being pushed forward to add their teddy bear or posy. It's nauseating.
Best was a great footballer - one of the all time greats. His death is sad, though hardly unexpected, and hardly otherwise remarkable. I wonder how many other fifty something alcoholics died the other day? Best's memory was ill served at the end by the ghoulish bulletins from outside the hospital - Best not dead yet, Best still not dead - reminiscent of the rolling news coverage of the Pope's death - and by the tacky souvenir pull-outs when he finally did succumb.
Who's next for the maudlin flower show? We seem locked into a cycle of excessive public grief when a famous person dies, though unable as a society to sort out the misery and pain that surrounds us everywhere, and that we conveniently ignore.

2 comments:

Nogbad said...

Fully agree Rob. Since the beatification of an attractive young woman suffering from eating disorders and involved in at least one adulterous relationship we seem unable to control this saccharine outpouring of collective grief. The media must bear some responsibility for this and, as you say, the coverage of the Death Watch was, at least, tacky. The best place to celebrate Best's life is at a football ground and I think the one minute applause at some games was most appropriate, what better way to remember a guy who made us smile and cheer (and often swear!). I seriously worry that we may see mass attacks of hysteria induced diabetes when QE2 finally cashes in her chips.

Rob Spence said...

Oh, well, when Brenda goes...
I expect we'll be in for lots of the "Queen not dead yet" broadcasts, followed by the announcement, and then, something I noticed with the Pope - "Over to Huw Edwards in Rome. What's the latest, Huw?"
"Well, the Pope is still dead..." (He didn't actually say that, he waffled for ten minutes, but that was the gist.) I notice the piss-poor itv.com site still had "no change in Best's condition" as a headline today. Well, no, I don't suppose there would be...