Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Newsweek's zombie Princess Diana cover: Big deal.


Newsweek has dug up the corpse of Princess Diana and placed her alongside her new daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, for what is arguably the greatest zombie cover in the history of "news" magazines.

Actually, it's just a very bad photoshop effort -- I could have done a better job. But can you blame Newsweek? Zombies are enduringly popular.

But Zombie Diana isn't very well liked.
I only liked your page so I could express how distasteful and downright vile your cover and story is. Diana still has children and family who loved and adored her. She is not a doll for your writer to dress up and play with on Photoshop. Your publication isn't worthy of being the doormat to the entrance to the National Inquirer's (sic). I hope you get an avalanche of subscription cancellations.
Diana was and still is a public figure. So what if she still has kids and family who loved her? Most people do; that doesn't exempt them from scrutiny, or from speculative articles. Or from strange zombie photoshop pictures.

Just ask Ronald Reagan. Time magazine dug him up for a special photoshoot with the current president, for some reason:


And, for better or worse, Mr. Reagan was the "leader of the free world" for eight years. Princess Diana went around to fashion shows wearing expensive outfits.

And how about Natalie Cole, who dug up her own father to perform a duet of the classic song "Unforgettable"?



The people who claim that the Newsweek cover is "creepy" are living in a pre-modern era.

The problem with Newsweek's Princess Diana themed-issue is not the cover. It's the ridiculousness inside, like for instance Diana's facebook page (why aren't I listed as one of her friends???). Then there is the story of what her life would have been like, had she lived.
Remarriage? At least two, I suspect, on both sides of the Atlantic. Always so professional herself, she would have soon grown exasperated with Dodi Al-Fayed’s hopeless unreliability. After the breakup I see her moving to her favorite city, New York, spending a few cocooned years safely married to a super-rich hedge-fund guy who could provide her with what she called “all the toys”: the plane, the private island, the security detail. Gliding sleekly into her 40s, her romantic taste would have moved to men of power over boys of play. She’d have tired of the hedge-fund guy and drifted into undercover trysts with someone more exciting—a high-mindedly horny late-night talk-show host, or a globe-trotting French finance wizard destined for the Élysée Palace.
Oh how embarrassingly slobbering it all is (and again, why is my own night of passion with Diana not mentioned?). A writer at Jezebel calls it "Shudder-inducing fanfic of the week," but then goes on to add,
It's definitely fun and interesting to entertain visions and fantasies of what might have been. But Diana wasn't just a princess and an icon. She was a mother. And while Prince William surely wishes his mom could have been alive to see him married, would he really want her and his wife to be thrown together in a Photoshop Of Horrors on newsstands across the globe?
Oh so we're back to that. It's fun and interesting to wonder what might have happened to a public figure that many people found fascinating, for whatever reasons, but how would her family react??? It's disrespectful. Losing one's mother is a terrible tragedy, I understand that. But the fact is that Princess Diana was and is, as I've said, a public figure. Her children and family have such outlandish benefits and comforts -- at great public expense -- that it's difficult to generate much sympathy for them, in relation to this magazine cover.

When did we all get so reactionary that a simple photoshopped picture of a pampered, privileged woman who never had to work a day in her life and admittedly died tragically can cause such hand-wringing soul-searching? Do we not have bigger things to worry about? For instance, who is preparing for the possible zombie apocalypse?

Oh, actually, the CDC is. Well then I guess maybe we do have some free time to waste fretting over this non-story.

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