Paul Weller wrote the song That’s Entertainment describing how not everybody’s idea of entertainment is the same. In the past week this has an added poignancy with the death of the ‘Kate Nurse’
who killed herself after passing medical information to two Australian DJs pretending to be members of the Royal Family. They were enquiring on the Duchess of Cambridge’s health as she struggles with her new pregnancy. This touches many subjects: the fragility of humans under extreme duress, the press attention on the Royals fed by public interest, and having a laugh.
So whose fault was it that somebody died for playing a prank? In the modern age technology has reduced the size of the world into a small mobile screen. Before a prank could only be played in small groups, the village, or town. But now the victim of the prank can be a global victim: with a global humiliation witnessed by millions. Perhaps it was this that was so unbearable. The media is normalised by celebrities with thick skins, and money who are skilled manipulators of the media for their own ends. When it happens to a member of the public, the skills of everyday life are not able to cope with global humiliation.
Trying to attack authority and pomposity has always been part of ‘British Humour’: to be aggressive to those in charge but only passively. The Australians still have the Queen of England as the Head of state, harking but to an older time of commonwealth and empire. To play a prank on the symbols of that dead age still playing itself out in the present, must be an attractive proposition.
The husband of the young royal couple has already witnessed his own tragedy by media with the death of his mother in Paris chased by the paparazzi. He was again presented with the horrifying and unwieldy naked power of the information age; and how badly things can go wrong without any malicious intent. His wife has to contend with the memory of the birth of her first born with the death of a nurse dedicated to looking after her.
The investment we all have in technology, media, and wanting to be distracted from the hum drum of normal life can have a high cost. Perhaps it is the stress and tedium of modern life that has to create big distractions.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2012
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.