Wednesday, July 08, 2009

"mass consumption post-mortem"

Just because I haven't been blogging it doesn't mean I haven't been reading blogs. One of my latest discoveries, via Aditi's blog, is Lucas Green's Porous Borders*.

His latest post is a glancing look back to Granta of a dozen years ago, but it could be about today (or yesterday, if one wants to be specific).

From one of the pieces scanned:

“People wanted to feel grief so that they could feel part of it all. Fine. But they shouldn’t imagine that they were grieving.”

Yes. Oh, yes. It was my first year in hostel and I'd kept my homesickness on a tight rein. In our dorm, our 'house parents' came and went. Finally, one lady - she couldn't have been more than 25 then - stayed and most of us loved her with the love of the orphaned.

I said' most of us'.

I couldn't figure out what the fuss was about. So she was young, pretty (I suppose; though I never gave it much thought) and had a way with the very young amongst us. She also had - and this I know only in retrospect - an ability to get the older ones on her side and make them feel special. I must have been the exception because I didn't remember exchanging more than a few words with her in the brief time she was with us.

One term in, she left. I didn't care enough about her to think of it as betrayal - she was supposed to stay and stay and be our mother and she was leaving to get married. But the others, oh the others! They buried their sense of betrayal in their grief. The day she left, our class teacher gave us leave to be there to say goodbye. Everyone was sobbing. I watched them as they were hugged, as the lady turned back again and again to say a few words to first one person then another and I no longer liked my place on the periphery.

I burst into tears and ran and gave the lady a hug. Someone looked at me in astonishment. 'Dala, you?!'

But I just wanted in, you know. I wanted someone to hug me back and comfort me. I wanted to know first-hand what all these people were feeling.


So that was the kop buried yesterday. I didn't watch it, though going by FB status messages, many people did and appear to have been moved, even through all the mediated and manufactured sentiment.


Oh, and Ludwig on MJ.

*JP, if you're reading, there's a post on Sebald on (p) (b).


SUR NOTES said...

I was like that all through the telecast of lady di's funeral.
i wept, felt foolish, wept some more. and continued feeling foolish ever after.
fairy tale ending.

km said...

Nope, I pretty much decided to miss the broadcast but happened to see his daughter at the very end and I felt really, really sorry about the whole affair. Think about it - he was exactly her age (11) when he broke nationally in 1969.

Two children, once again deprived of a normal childhood. Very sad.