Broken News: junior is still dead

Paul Flewers paul.flewers at
Sun Aug 1 13:45:59 MDT 1999

Jose G Perez wrote: < People identified with her [Princess Diana]
because, despite her wealth and beauty and stature, she was human, her
human frailties and weaknesses and even her concern for AIDS patients
and land mine victims betrayed a human sensibility, a sense of
solidarity. The media had to a large extent created the Diana
phenomenon, projected her personality, but did not create the tremendous
emotional outpouring upon her death: it may have magnified and channeled
it, but at bottom that was genuine,  not fabricated. It was, for many
people and especially for many women, like a death in the family. >

The outpouring of public grief in Britain after the death of Diana was
one of the most disturbing things that I have ever experienced. I've
always lived in London, and I made sure that I didn't go anywhere near
the main site where the thousands of mourners congregated with their
cellophane cones of flowers, teddy-bears and other bits and bobs. It was
bad enough seeing it on the telly and reading about it in the papers,
and I didn't want to see it in front of me. I made sure that I was not
in central London on the day of her funeral.

What I could not understand was the intensity of the mourning. Now,
we're not talking about the sadness one feels when somebody dies to whom
one is close, a friend or relative; nor even that feeling of impersonal
loss when someone dies whom one doesn't know personally but only knows
through his or her literature, music, etc. I could not -- and still
cannot -- understand how so much grief could be shown for this woman
whom none of these people knew personally, and who had not exactly done
much of note in her lifetime.

Fortunately, there were also plenty of people who also felt that this
emotional outpouring was bizarre.

Paul F

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