On 31st August an extremely rich woman, Diana Spencer, was killed in a car smash in Paris while driving in a car with a drunk driver at nearly 200 kph. As a result the UK and, so far as I am aware, a lot of other countries have become completely obsessed with trying to explain the crash. To any sane, semi-rational human being the answer should be blindingly obvious. Alcohol and excessive speed. If it were you or I killed in that crash no one would be asking any questions at all. Since the incident around 30 people a day have been killed on the roads in the UK and I don’t recollect seeing any mention of them in the newspapers or on the radio & TV.
I simply cannot understand the actions of so many other apparently sane and rational beings in hanging around outside the place where her body has been dumped while awaiting burial. The media, even the usually sane and rational BBC, claims that the existence of such large crowds of people shows that the nation is in mourning. Poppycock. At least half the people I know, while maybe feeling some sympathy for her immediate family (yet more mega-rich people), couldn’t give a toss. To assuage the views of this group of people the goddamn country’s all but going to close down on the day of her funeral and we’re all supposed to sit or stand in silence for a minute or two.
I simply cannot go along with this. The dead woman was an attention seeker who did a few days work every now and then for charity, opened a few buildings, launched a few ships and spent the rest of the time going on vacation and partying. In short, like the rest of her family she was a parasite on the society in which she lived.
Of course, there’s nothing that anyone can do about this. It’s going to be difficult to avoid her funeral without leaving the country and possibly the planet. However, we can refuse to be silent during the time when we’re told we should be. Anyone got any fireworks?
3rd September 1997
I originally published this on 3rd September 1997. I received quite a bit of hate mail about it. I received far more mail in support. Looking back on it now, from almost a year on, I guess it could have been better written (my excuse is that I was disgruntled) but I wouldn’t change the sentiments.