Die, Di My Darling
Goodbye England's ruse

Iremember like it was yesterday, give or take 729 days. During my weekly abduction by aliens, I had the kind of media fasting nearly impossible in any earthly environment, and returned home with scant memories and dilated orifices. By the time I turned on a television at 7 p.m., Aug. 31, 1997, Barbara Walters and Hugh Downs were already blathering over glossy video eulogies of Diana Spencer, former Princess of Wales and not a half-bad piece of ass toward the end, I guess.

See also...
... by Steve Robles
... in the Dirt section
... from August 30, 1999

The following week, I gorged on the horn o' plenty that was the coverage of her death. Little of it was sentimental, though. Just the typical CNN binge. I never would have wished such a fate on Diana, but I wasn't about to drive into west L.A. to lay roses on the British Consulate General's doorstep either -- as many shameless, lifeless Angelinos did. Being a journalist, I didn't exactly go out looking for the sourest apple tree from which to hang the much-maligned paparazzi, either. But I dared not speak ill of her to anyone, oh no. This woman was being turned into a bloody saint before our eyes.

Thank God for Howard Stern. It was on his show that I heard the first bubblings of Di myth deconstruction, raising questions about the bratty irresponsibility of ordering your driver to elude a few photographers at high speed through a tunnel. And then there was Henri Paul, a drunkard no more suited to drive a fast Mercedes than I would be to perform brain surgery on DMT.

Conspiracy theories abound of course. Did the Queen herself order a hit to shut the little bitch up for good after one too many embarrassments? (I picture De Niro in Queen garb muttering, "I heard tings.") Recently exposed documents show British Intelligence's MI6 division certainly knew how to stage such an event -- they were planning an identical hit on Slobodan Milosevic back in 1992. Personally, I think a drunken Frenchman, an arrogant Herod's heir, a snotty, spoiled uber-debutante, and a really bitchin' set of wheels were enough to spell disaster.

Still, public backlash against the bottom-feeding but relatively blameless paparazzi was intense. Remember George Clooney's pious press conference where he vowed to avenge her death? Sounds now like O.J.'s ongoing personal quest to find Nicole's "real killer." French authorities hoped to draw out their bogus charges against a handful of photographers long enough that nobody would notice they were groundless to begin with.

Now, two years later, we know better. Less than two weeks ago the French government finally dropped all charges relating to the crash, saying there was "insufficient evidence to pursue the charges of manslaughter and failing to aid people in danger." And we know that our royal, toe-headed tidbit actually fostered (for her own P.R. advantage) the frenzied press environment she fled from that night.

But to me, the New York Post's recent insinuation that little Prince Harry may not be a chip off the royal jewels really seems to be the crowning act of Di myth deconstruction. Gee, I wonder if the Catholic Church will make her a saint now? How many guys did Mother Theresa fuck out of wedlock?

Don't get me wrong -- I don't think she was a bitch for cuckolding a big-eared wanker who didn't give two shits about her. I wouldn' t even call her a bad person; I've never strolled through a minefield in Eastern Europe, and I don't intend to any time soon. I doubt she considered herself a saint, and neither did the general population of corporate media-suckling dimwits -- until they bought a commemorative plate with her puss painted on it.

"Media's like the weather," Woody Harrelson's Mickey drawled in Natural Born Killers, "except it's man-made." Well, for once, the media poured so much into seeding the cloud of myth that they haven't had the heart to tear it down. Yet.

Dope addict Steve Robles often channels the ghosts of Bukowski and Lester Bangs for "inspiration." His work has appeared in Odyssey and UnRealPeople.