i hope you get cancer™

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? A: A victim of terrorism

Now I know how M*l*nie P**ll*ps feels. In that sort of, "It's not me, it's everyone else who's mad" kind of way. Proof, as if proof were needed, that the world has gone as mad as an actress comes in today's Sunday Telegraph report of a sad, Walter Mitty character who apparently killed herself after her bogus medical credentials were exposed in her native New Zealand. On 7 July, Richmal Oates-Whitehead had been hailed as a hero for tending to blast victims outside the offices of the British Medical Association, where she worked. Whether or not she had done so much as offer a sticking plaster is unclear, but evidently she had created an entire fantasy existence for the benefit of friends and family down under. Some of those same friends and family are now mourning her as "effectively the 53rd victim of 7/7". That's right. A women suffering mental illness kills herself and thereby joins that exclusive club, the dead of 7/7, thereby revealing just how chic that epitaph has now become. Once it was a train driver, or a nurse. Now people are apparently queueing up to have their names added to memorials in London, Madrid, New York... After a week in which bereaved relatives of the bomb victims have been wheeled out in the Met's PR battle with the de Menezes family, this represents a further sick, cheap exploitation of death. How long before some kid falling off their bike is anointed with the 7/7 badge of honour? As the Eye has it, pass the sickbag, Alice. CORRECTION: We misread the original Telegraph article (Thanks Bat020). It appears that Ms Oates-Whitehead died of a blood clot possibly induced by stress, and not suicide as originally feared. Sincere apologies to anyone who knew the deceased.