We really do creep me out sometimes as a species. We love dirt and if there isn't any we like making it up, digging it up, throwing handfuls of it at one another all the while looking down our noses at anyone who seems to be unabashed at her/his enjoyment of our dirty little secret. Now, of course, when I say we, I don't mean us-I mean those other people who aren't us. After all there has to be an outside if we're on the inside, right?
In the last one hundred or so years, with the pervasiveness of mass entertainment (silent movies giving way to talkies to color to CinemaScope and Panavision to CGI to whatever the hell some of this stuff in multi-plexes is now) we've invented a new term, a person of public interest. We've got the Paris Hiltons (so last century, I know, but I don't get out much and have no idea who the latest losers in life's lunch line might be this morning) whom none of us care about, but whom all of us secretly shadow and about whom we savor every salacious syllable of gossip.
We have NATO matrazan like those of both sexes on Jersey Shore-the traditional stars or near-stars like Sandra Bullock and her nearly former husband, and all shades of the rainbow in between. If a movie star, a recording star, a politician, sports personality, TV newscaster, religious leader or Captain of Industry drinks their own bathwater, we'll be able to read about in a dozen different checkout tabloids, fifteen or more syndicated TV car-crash shows (everyone slows down to look but no one admits to seeing anything) through thousands of websites that should be in their very own domain, perhaps "dot carrion."
We can't get enough of this stuff-and are insensate to anyone's need or desire for privacy or a moment to themselves. My insistence on filling up my empty life trumps your desire for a moment alone as you stand in front of the lot where your house used to be before the flood/tornado/girls gone wild came to call. Tell the cameraman to fill the frame, dammit! We want to see your pain, from space.
I got thinking about this the other day as both MSM (it stands for mainstream media but let's not ask why I at first thought it was from the same lexicon that produced an acronym like BDSM, okay?) and the gutter feeders (and everyone in between) reported that Al and Tipper Gore were separating after forty years of marriage. I never understood a name like Tipper--it turns out her 'real name' is Mary Elizabeth, did you know that? I didn't, and I certainly didn't like her when her fella was just a Senator from Tennessee and she and the Parents Music Resource Center were waging war on rock and roll (we had Zappa, so we were fine). Take the time to read this, if not today then soon. It's wonderful and I've carried the bookmark around for years never thinking I'd get to use it.
But back to Al and Tipper--the anti-Clintons if you will--how could this have happened after the lip lock that launched a thousand ships at the Democratic National Convention that nominated Mr Fun Guy in 2000? And yet, it did. Am I nervous that the Gores are one of the few couple I know married longer than my wife and I? No, not really. Should I be concerned that their divorce story was circled in red in my morning newspaper by my wife? Maybe.* And finally, is ANY of this any of our business at all? Suspect you know the answer. Be careful there, you stand too close and some of the blow back will get all over your clothesline.
(*Actually Sigrid hasn't said a word about this)