We -- the hopelessly ordinary -- gawk at these magnificent human disaster areas for whom all the money and fame (and, sometimes, maybe even talent) in the world has profited nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Rien.Lord, have mercy.
Britney Spears. Lindsay Lohan. Paris Hilton. Pete Doherty. They're to today's mass media -- to today's mass media consumers -- what a good train wreck was to silent movies. They're Harold Lloyd hanging from the minute hand of a giant clock 15 stories up.
They're Slim Pickens riding the Big One down to the Apocalypse.
All for our amusement . . . and for our entertainment dollar.
SOMEWHERE, some poor little rich girl's mama cries.
Somewhere, an American media consumer -- leading a life of quiet futility and despair -- sits wide-eyed in front of the television set (or computer screen) waiting for the next human train wreck on Entertainment Tonight.
I am guilty. And so are you.
Somewhere, Britney Spears' mama sits, crying over her daughter adrift in a sea of futile wealth.
Somewhere, Britney Spears' children's souls are being lashed by an invisible bullwhip, the wounds from which will bleed somewhere down the road.
HT: Rod Dreher.