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Home > People

Marsh Gas

18 February 2006

'When people are hostile or rude, when they say cruel or unkind things, it is invariably a reflection of their own troubled spirit...' - Jodie Marsh, Keeping It Real

If there's one thing we've learned from reading Jodie Marsh's blog, it's that there are an awful lot of lies written about her in the press. In fact, as she makes abundantly clear time and time again, the only place you can find the truth about Jodie Marsh is in her blog. Oh, and her autobiography, 'Keeping It Real'. This is why when we read in the Daily Mirror last weekend that she has been chastised by one of her charities for comments made on her blog, we found it a bit difficult to believe. 'We do not endorse any of our ambassador's personal opinions,' said a spokesperson for Beat Bullying. Which seems a little harsh. So in the absence of any denial or confirmation by Jodie herself, we called Beat Bullying and were told, 'We're not allowed to comment about Jodie Marsh, I'm afraid.' Strange. We were curious. 'Will she beat you up if you do?' There was a pause. 'We're not allowed to comment,' they repeated. Shame. Thankfully, we are.

Jodie Marsh started writing a blog in May of last year and it quickly became clear that this was not going to be one of those perfunctory, self-promoting blogs that some celebs write. Rather this was going to be one of those super-detailed, nauseatingly repetitive, confessional blogs that self-obsessed, dim-witted teenagers write. But one with masses of self-promotion. However, the blog quickly became a great deal more than a place for Jodie to list the parties, the clubs, the red carpets, the 'faces', the snogs and the book plugs. Importantly for Jodie, it became a place to have a good old whinge when the world brings her down, and a place to get her own back on all those horrible journalists who regularly wrong her.

In September, one Sanjeeta Bains wrote a scurrilous piece in Now magazine suggesting that were you take Jodie Marsh home to meet your mother, your mother would not be pleased. As any seasoned Marsh-watcher will testify, despite on occasion displaying what can perhaps best be described as a brash swaggering repugnance, Jodie Marsh is actually an achingly sensitive soul, easily wounded by the suffering of animals and other innocents. Consequently, this baseless jibe really stuck in her craw. In defending herself she wrote: 'I told her that actually, I WAS the sort of girl any guy would take home to their mum. I'm not stupid (11 GCSE's and 3 A levels), I have impeccable manners, I respect my elders ie. Ulrika Johnson, I do a hell of a lot of Charity work, I'm great fun and I do actually dress normally 6 days a week.' She went on to dismiss Bains as 'one in a long line of arseholes' who try to discredit her and ruin her life. She suggests that instead of journalism, Bains should try 'writing
fiction novels.' Not novels. No. Fiction novels. Yes.

Jodie hates journalists. They fall into two distinct categories: sick, monstrous morons and those that like her. The former just think she's a talentless slapper who ponces about in two belts and precious little else. They don't like to talk about her academic and other achievements, the fact that she was in the army cadets for four years, went to a private school where she was top of the class in everything and was actually very well brought up. All they want to talk about is how she is 'as thick and pointless as Jordan.' Yawn. No, wait, there's more...

'They don't care if I'm an ambassador to 7, yes 7 charities. They don't care if I'm writing letters to young girls that are being bullied, trying to show them that they CAN be a survivor. They don't care that my nan, who's already deaf, is now losing her eyesight, her only communication with the world. They don't care...'

OK, that's enough.

Well, maybe just a little more: 'I'm gonna leave you with a quote from my book,' she writes.

'"It takes no talent, no brains and no character to criticise. Only God can create a flower but any foolish child can pull it to pieces. When people are hostile or rude, when they say cruel or unkind things, it is invariably a reflection of their own troubled spirit, rather than a reflection of you." Beautiful (above quote does not count in regard to Fran [Cosgrave - Jodie's ex] or anyone else who deserves a good roasting!)'.

Erm. Right, yes. Beautiful.

Here we see the key to Jodie's most pressing flaw, that which leaves her slightly at odds with the ethos of the bullying charity for which she is a very proud ambassador. When Jodie is criticised, she tends to go on the attack. She will point out that there is nothing worse than saying hurtful unnecessary things about someone you've never even met, before going on to do exactly that, launching herself at her critics in the most unrelentingly cack-handed, infantile way. She will defend this viciousness on the grounds that 'I refuse to be the victim I was at school. I'm not just gonna lie down and take the abuse, I'll come out fighting.' So when Ulrika Jonsson described her as 'ugly' and had a crass pop at her unusually-shaped nose in one of her columns, Marsh went very much on the offensive in her blog, laying into Jonsson at astonishing length and making repeated reference to Jonsson's failed marriages. And when Liz Hambleton of More magazine made a comment about her hair, Marsh demanded that she take part in a pulling contest. This gave rise to the horribly misdirected self-aggrandisement of this sentence: 'I think it's fair to say, she was left a little red-faced as the men drew gasps of delight at my flat brown belly and whopping melons and gasps of horror at her sagging flaps and wrinkly rolls.'

Jodie's last blog post before going into the Celebrity Big Brother house included this: 'All I ask is this: if you like me on CBB, then please vote for me. The money from the phone calls goes to my charity and I REALLY really don't want to be out first!!!!! Give me a chance.' When she returned a week later, she chose to post a selection of the hundreds of text messages of support she received on her eviction. One comparing her to Christ: '...When people mistake your confidence for arrogance, remember... Jesus was misunderstood....' and one from Emma of Beat Bullying, saying, 'Jodie, you rock. You acted with guts and stood up to the bullies.'

Sadly, it was it this point that, true to form, Jodie launched into a series of her usual over-zealous, protest-too-much tirades. Of her fellow housemates, she wrote:

'C*nts, self-obsessed c*nts. People dead in swimming pools, big scary lips, dead gorillas flying past my window, strange American whining in ear, fake boobs and 50 year old men turn into cats... Bullymore is vile and deranged in my opinion. Pete is the ugliest thing inside and out I've ever met, George is a dictating, un-intelligent little man... Rula is a two-faced bitter old woman... Traci is a bit thick with no morals or opinions of her own, who would happily jump into bed with another man, despite being about to be married. Maggot is exactly that - a maggot, without brain, kindness or moral. [sic]'

Though few would argue with much of her assessment (except the stuff about Maggot, surely?), you can see why Beat Bullying might feel it necessary to distance themselves from Marsh. If indeed they did. They're not allowed to comment. She does rather prompt the question, who's the biggest bully? The bully? Or the bully who bullies the bully? It's terribly sad that she seems to have so much to prove. The constant references to her intelligence, her charity work and her celebrity are as embarrassing as her seeming inability to let go of a grudge. 'No point stooping to their level' she writes at one point, of some critical journo or other. But of course this is exactly what she cannot stop herself from doing. She has none of the dignity of one who has truly learned the lessons of hardship. So it is with all of this in mind that we at The Friday Thing would like to offer our complete support and, yeah, we'll say it, our love to Jodie Marsh. We hope that she can overcome the spurned pitbull in her soul and learn to rise above the flak with dignity and genuine warmth. We pray that when battalions of sorrows come pecking at her heels, she can begin to live up to her reputation as a kind of fire-damaged blow-up Jesus and learn to turn the other cheek. But in the meantime, we just hope she carries on blogging. Because it is very funny. In a cold, unpleasant kind of way.

The Real Jodie.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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