It’s all material.

I was listening to the news today, and in it, there was an update on that certain blonde heiress and her stint in jail.  You know who I mean, right?  If not, stop reading now–this post’ll bore you.

Okay, still with me?

See, the thing I was thinking when I heard this update was, “who needs to know what her current status is…in jail, no less?”–it goes to show how the news media conditions the news, makes a story where there isn’t one, indeed, makes us care about things we’d never imagine smart, sensible people (like you and me) would pay attention to.

It’s saturated, this kind of material media coverage, our lives.  People may say, “well, turn the channel; tune out.”  But I live here, in this culture, and I cannot get away from it.

Worse, in the middle of the Heiress Day 5 in Jail Update, I find myself leaning forward, interested, at attention.

6 thoughts on “It’s all material.

  1. Yeah, I don’t know what to say about this. About that “leaning forward” thing. I too find myself following this ‘non-story’ a little too closely for my normal sense of self respect – but there it is. I wonder if we (as non-celebrities) are sensing the collapse of one of ‘them’? The beginning of a decent, if you will, into ‘self examination’! Wouldn’t that be great if she came out of there with some purpose to her life? Is that a bit too ‘Polly Anna’? Probably, but I think that’s why I’m interested in this outcome. I’m sensing redemption and salvation (in a psychological sense, not religious) and as a writer that’s always fascinating to see.
    Well, gotta get back to the Tv.


  2. Meh. I find the heiress so irritating that the whole jail time thing actually makes me happy to tune in. I agree, though… if we didn’t hear so much about her, we wouldn’t care about it at all.


  3. “But I live here, in this culture, and I cannot get away from it.” – wow, I really like that line.

    The sad thing is news like that gets attention and the news story about the 4th circuit court that ruled Bush can’t keep people in custody without sentencing them (Guantanamo Bay) goes pretty much unnoticed.


  4. I find myself leaning forward too…only because the involuntary waves of nausea when I think how legal accountability can be trumped with money and celebrity status (although its bestowal is rather arbitrary sometimes).

    I think I find myself curious only because I like to see the leveling force of karma play out. For someone who doesn’t seem to take much responsibility for her actions, my guess is that the karmic scale could reach pay-per-view proportions.

    there is something strangely cathartic about seeing someone with such a high level of self-importance and entitlement crumble into weepy mass through the back window of a police cruiser.

    I feel so dirty.



  5. I sympathize, and I also confess I do my share of tabloid reading at the gym and in line at the supermarket. However, lately I do resist these “news” stories by tuning OUT, deliberately, because they make me feel cheap. Literally. Cheap. Any amount of participating I do in this empty media only encourages it and wastes my time, and because I have not only a family and a job but a vocation on top of it, I feel I can’t justify it. Plus, my instincts tell me that the people who are the subjects of these stories deserve my compassion, either because they are victims of this trend or because they seek this attention and therefore are somewhat lost, and the most compassionate thing I can do is turn away. Tony Blair had some very compelling things to say about the media recently in his I’m-just-on-my-way-out-the-door speeches, and I agree, although we both might be a bit righteous on this topic.


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