Media suffers OCD and inflicts it on us

By Kate Stewart

Still preoccupied with my personal pumpkin crisis and having just recovered from The Hobbit hounding, I am now bereft in the knowledge that we are set to labour through trimesters of torment as the media latch on to news of a royal pregnancy like a carnivorous breastpump and milk it for all its worth.

My sympathies are with poor Kate, not just for the OTT media interest but also for the morning sickness.

Having endured nine months of all-day nausea with my own life forms, I can certainly relate. It's pretty much a case of having the life force sucked out of you daily by parasites and, trust me, even after you have expelled the vermin from your womb, the parasitic behaviour continues.

It is clear to anyone who knows me that the first thing the life forms fed on were my maternal instincts - but that's another story.

Now we must resign ourselves to being dripfed daily every last detail of what will probably become dubbed as "the greatest birth on Earth" (I should copyright that).

I thought I'd jump on the merchandising gravy train and market my idea of a Royal Vomit Bag. It's a more upmarket version of the standard airline offering and features a sturdy triple lining, funky designs and is printed with the words: Media Coverage of Royal Pregnancy - Enough to Make Anyone Sick!

If that doesn't take your fancy, try my designer diaper, Bladder Busters from Newborn to 90, complete with a picture of Kate and bearing the words, "The Princess and the Pee".

I tell you, inside my head is a crazy place to be. I'm not sure if I am borderline genius or crazy.

I am most incredulous, though, at the betting options offered, everything from baby names to what type of delivery Kate will undergo.

It's madness, but one person who will be jumping for joy at the prospect of these new gambling possibilities is waka jumper, Brendan Horan. Hope his parliamentary phone allows for international toll calls.

The only saving grace I can identify is that poor Kate does not have the 22-month gestational period of an elephant.

Make no mistake, however, for those of us not held spellbound by the story, we must prepare ourselves for a truly tortuous time, one that will become about as painful as actual childbirth.

Perhaps some of us will choose to escape into the world of reality television, which this week stooped to an all- time low, no pun intended, with the screening of Seven Dwarves.

All of the people featured claim they want nothing more than to be treated like "normal people". If that were really the case, there would be no programme, because the reality is the whole show hinges on the fact they are dwarves, which is actually their point of difference and one, that when it suits them, they are happy to exploit for fame and fortune.

Please don't insult my intelligence by trying to dress it up any other way. Anyone who welcomes cameras into their daily lives, in my opinion, has an ego. This is proven by the sheer fact they actually believe their lives to be interesting enough to warrant their own show.

It's narcissism or, at the very least, vanity. Either way, both are unattractive traits that translate into ugly TV.

Having said that, these trashy shows will continue to be churned out as long as there are voyeuristic vultures prepared to view them.

Me, I've got far better things to do. I'm still searching for an affordable pumpkin. If something doesn't turn up soon I may have no option but to plan The Great Pumpkin Heist. I'm a woman on the edge, people.

Who knows what I may be forced to do? Lock up your buttercups, bank your butternuts and secure your squashes. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I have never expected too much from life, just my ABC: Affordable food for all, Bull bars on supermarket trolleys and Compulsory three-ply toilet paper. Come on, cruel world, give a frump a break.

It sure has been a depressing week and now the tragic news of lives lost in Thursday's tornado.

I wonder though, how much fundraising will go on for the families of these latest victims, just as I have wondered many times how much money was donated to the families of all those people who have suffered the misfortune of losing a loved one "on the job".

Sadly, it appears that lives must be lost in far greater numbers before the fundraising spirit kicks in, as has been proven with Pike River and even the Christchurch earthquakes to some extent.

Not enough media hype and attention with just two or three fatalities and especially when competing with a royal pregnancy. Shame on us.

I'm too depressed to go on. Waffle and I are off to self-mediKate with cheesecake.

Catch you next week, good people. Smile loudly every chance you get and share the love or share with me. Drop me an email anytime at:

- Wanganui Chronicle

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