Sunday, January 21, 2007

Shilpagate: Jade, Big Brother & Racism

The furore's largely died down now that Jade Goody, a rambling ignorant fucktard, has been unceremoniously booted out of the Celebrity Big Brother house.

Jade's claim to fame - and her reason for being in the Celebrity version of Big Brother - was that she was in Series 3 of the regular show. For some reason, her ignorance and idiocy was found to be endearing and, through subsequent appearences and endorcements, she netted herself a cool £8 million despite a complete lack of ability at anything other than being a carbon-based bipedal lifeform (just).

One of her other housemates (alongside Face from the A-Team, and Jermaine Jackson whom Jade asked if his Mum is white) was Shilpa Shetty (above), a beautiful, intelligent and dignified Bollywood filmstar. In the last few days, there has been something akin to mass hysteria as Jade ganged up on Shilpa with the help of two other odious macro-celebrity cretins called Danielle and Jo. Although I'm not too sure why this happened as I've not been following this series as it was, until now, boring, Jade had been seen F-ing and blinding at Shilpa and calling her a loser. Behind her back, the girls were mocking her Indian accent and wishing she'd fuck off home. Jade for her part referred to her 'Shilpa Poppadom' and told her to go back to the slums.

Suddenly Tony Blair was being asked his opinion. It was front page news in the tabloids and lead story on the news. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell denounced "Racism... as entertainment". Effigies of Channel 4 producers were burnt in Bombay. Vice-President Chancellor Gordon Brown was in India trying to heal wounds and bizarrely imploring Britons to vote Jade out of the house which, mercifully, she was, but by only 82%. (I would've preferred 99% or more.)

While I have long thought that women are simply better than men in almost all regards (except maybe ship-building and darts), their one flaw has to be the habit of some to morph seemlessly into merciless assassins (think The Terminator with perfume) against those they take a disliking to. It's no accident that these three insecure women, Jade Goody, ex-Miss Great Britain nonebrity Danielle Lloyd (Claim to fame: Shagging a footballer), and Jo O'Meara, who once sang someone else's songs in some brief manufactured band, feel deeply threatened in the presence of a naturally beautiful and intelligent woman who has never felt the need, unlike them, to burp, or shout about her sex life in order to get male attention. The fact that this soon became about class which infuriates the British (Shetty comes from a privileged background that has employed servants) and, moreover, basic racism, the story was rocket-propelled into the news to the delight of the Big Brother producers, even if their main sponsor, the Carphone Warehouse, hung up on their business relationship.

There are many facets to this I find interesting. Firstly, there's the nature of celebrity where 'we' (re: the media zeitgeist) can make someone a millionaire just for being themselves. The fickle downside to this is that we can just as easily destroy them. Jade was originally portrayed as a loveable working class heroine a few years ago, a little ditzy, but with a heart of gold. Now that heart has been found to be largely full of race hate or at least, jealousy, she's outta here (although never dismiss a 'Jade Goes To India' TV special).
Then there's the spinoff debates on the other side of the world, with Indians discussing the problems they have with their own racism, and the injustices of the caste system.
Finally, there's the issue of racism itself. I think everyone has a seed of racism in them, providing we define it as judging people solely on race, and even then, I'd add a few qualifiers. For example, if I were walking down a street towards a group of young black men, I would be on my guard more than if it were a group of little old ladies. To clarify further, these young black men would have to be fairly rowdy and in hoods. Men in suits wouldn't bother me much at all. Does that therefore make me a racist? Although I don't hate or fear them for being black, I would be wary in case they were racist against whites and I found myself on the wrong end of a boot.
Futhermore, Madame Arcati raises an excellent point in that Shilpa claimed she wouldn't marry a white man and would like to settle down with an Asian man instead. While I don't find that racist (although I do find my hopes dashed), a simple role reversal would have me spitting blood if Jane Goody said she wouldn't marry an Asian. I guess that's what comes of being part of a multi-cultural society, to dismiss another part of it would be wrong. Shilpa, for her part, lives in India among Indians so her statement - to me at least - seem less racist and more practical. And fortunately for her, no-one went on to ask if she'd marry a Muslim, or even someone outside her own caste.

Back to the original situation, Shetty has shown phenomenal dignity by not retaliating with likeminded comments or even resorting to swearing back. She should win the Big Brother contest on that alone, and not take to heart comments made by a gimp who came 4th in a 100 worst Britons poll. And she was up against some pretty stiff competition.

As for Danielle Lloyd and Jo O'Meara, they are unlikely to be afforded the protection of a crowd ban like Jade was when they're inevitably voted out. I hope they can take the screeches of a baying crowd. It is, after all, a small price to pay for them being ignorant racist twats.
Realising they've totally fucked up their careers though, well perhaps that'll learn 'em.


VI said...

As Jermaine said the other night 'At least we know not much else major is happening in the world if CBB is making headlines!' Not enough anway.

Little Bird said...

What I don't get is why if people are so outraged by it all they don't just stop watching, thereby bringing down the viewer numbers, leaving the producers with less advertising revenues as advertisers aren't paying to sell stuff to us and all ending up in the show being cancelled.

Oh, that's right, the majority of the 5 or so million people watching are the people who look up to Jade as a role model of how to get yourself out of the cycle of poverty, drugs and benefits, so it would never occur to them to not watch this crap!

Little Bird said...

Oh dear, I'm becoming as angry as you Fwenge!

fwengebola said...

VI ~ So the housemates know about the kerfuffle in the outside world? That's mildly odd.
LB ~ There is always that argument of 'If you don't like it, don't watch', but these kind of 'events' become their own advertisements, so the ratings increase.
And embrace the hate. Vent, moan, whinge, and live longer. I think.

Little Bird said...

I rant enough in RL not to need to do it here. If you sat anywhere near me at work you would hear copious amounts of venting each and every day about idiots, dolts and fuckwits who don't know their arse from their elbow.

And they're the supposedly 'SMART' ones!


Anonymous said...

why did you not just say Jade is a thick south london twat, and an ignorant fuck fig, and a drab of the highest order xx

VI said...

It's not hard for them to know about it, since they got jade and Shilpa in to talk about it, then helicopters flew over the top, then there was no crowd noise on eviction night. Ummmm, so they are supposed to not know what's going on in the outside world? Talk about setting them up to know about it!

Rant over.

Joie de Vivre said...

Thanks for this, ive been trolling news of world today to try and find the latest ... did jade and shilpa talk about it in the house? i cant work out how jade and jo etc got the chance to hug and make up.

furtive said...

joie de vivre -

i do believe.

oh how i wish donny was still there...

Anonymous said...

Earth-hater, I agree with every word you say. It's like you have a weird mind-reading don't do you??...because I promise I couldn't control those naughty thoughts about Jack Bauer in yesterdays 24. Kiefer is so beautiful. (sigh)

Fussy Bitch said...

The guy on the Virgin radio brekkie slot mentioned 'Jade goes to India' this morning...

Are you he or does he read you, I wonder?

Ick. I hate wondering on a Monday.

luna said...

So you fancy that Shilpa then?
And not Miss Piggy?
Bollywood x Page 3, no contest.

fwengebola said...

LB ~ I was in bed at 9pm last night so tired at work was I yesterday. I went mental and was a grouch to almost everyone. And it was a reasonably quiet day. My boss let me go home at 5.30 I was so grumpy.
Hang on...
WC ~ Cunt felt too harsh to write.
VI ~ I didn't realise it was that obvious. When I watched the eviction on Friday, I didn't hear anyone mention the silence.
JDV ~ I don't think Jo bothered to make up. Dunno. Haven't been watching.
Furt ~ Donny Osmond? Oh, that punk guy, right?
Anon ~ Welcome back! And Keifer? If you say so...
FB ~ It's hardly an original thought. Is it? Perhaps Radio DJ's get all their material here. But I doubt that.
Luna ~ Yes. She's gorgeous.

Ordinary Girl said...

This is the first time I have read a post of yours and been truly disappointed Fweng. It seems like the rest of the population, you have been suckered into believing what the press have over exaggerated and hyped up out of all proportion. Factually, your post is wrong. Jade did not tell her to go home, that was Danielle. Jade also did not tell her to get back to the slums, her mum asked if that was where she lived. Also, nobody appears to be noticing the ganging up that has been going on by Jermaine, Dirk and Shilpa, purely because they are not loud gobshites like Jade. She made some mistakes in a choice of words, although it's interesting that in all this footage the only racism found is restricted to two questionable comments - neither of which were overtly racist, and that Jade is being blamed for all the "bullying" which strikes me as no worse than any other BB that has ever been! It's also curious that as well as Shilpa's and her only asian men "racism", Jermaine announced to his housemates that Jade and her mum were what he would call "white trash". Is that okay then??
Sorry to rant, but the ridiculousness of this country and it's reaction has made me so mad! It's easy to see how Hitler rounded up the germans against the jews, all it needed was a bit of propoganda! I would think we'd know better now!

The High Priestess said...

Discovered your blog today and been cracking up reading your posts. Us colonials in Australia did not know of Ms Goody's existence until last week [CBB UK racism row in TV news]. Have been following developments since, the backlash and comments are far more interesting than the show itself. Re that coven of c*nts you ran foul of in December, they must be Ms Goody's long lost redneck cousins. Keep up the blogging - miss that good ol' British sarcasm, mate.

luna said...

Oh come on Ordinary Girl,Jade Goody used to bragged in magazine interviews of punching her sweetie pie boyfriend and father of her children.
If she isn't beyond the pale --uh uh,is this a racist expression?Better watch my keyboard- why is she snivelling sorrysorrysorry now?

fwengebola said...

OG ~ Woah, some interesting points, especially my misquoting, although I went to some lengths to make sure I got them correct. And it's true that there's a difference between 'Go to the slums' (as Jade had a problem with Shilpa's 'Princess' lifestyle) and 'Go back to the slums', which is just offensive.
But the fact remains that Jade et al are unpleasant with nasty opinions. And Shilpa isn't.
HP ~ Welcome! I need another Aussie female here. But I can't get into your blog!
Luna ~ I am very much in the 'Jade ain't all that' camp. Like the rest of Britain. It's easy and it's worthy.

Nothingman said...

Well...this is from India by the way. Shilpa is not big shot here, she "acted" in some poorly received movies and and just like other contestents of Big borther is a faded star in her own home country. and if you think she is pretty, dude you haven't seen Indian beauties. just google Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Preity Zinta. Those are real beauties, and of-course you have miss world Aishwarya Rai and miss universe Sushmita Sen.
Phew! thats some eye candy.
I'd say some more about racism but thats for next time when I come back here...:)

fwengebola said...

Two words; Mahima Chaudhary