Why do we love pain?

CBS is going overboard in hawking its exclusive interview of Anna-Nicole Smith on tonight’s 4092894  Entertainment Tonight. In the promos, we see the stricken star whimpering, crying and sighing in the aftermath of her son’s sudden death. We’re told all sorts of sordid details:

*she’s put newspapers over the windows of her Bahamian house to keep voyeuristic locals and vacationers from catching a glance of her.

*she’ll never speak with her mom again – she adores her newborn babe

*she breaks down when describing her 20-year-old son’s death

This sort of tabloid trash is truly embarrassing. It’s embarrassing for Anna-Nicole. It’s embarrassing that CBS would promote it so heavily. And it speaks volumes about the depths to which our standards of decency have fallen.

I know. I know. This is all about ratings for CBS. And Anna-Nicole made the decision to air her dirty laundry. But, it’s sad and shameful nonetheless. You know society is changing for the worse when TV shows like ET, Access Hollywood and other sleazy tabloid vehicles run in primetime on our major networks.

It’s only a matter of time before the sleaze increases and we see the National Enquirer and other rags produce TV versions of their print pubs.

Sadly, as a nation, we adore trash and titillation. We take great delight in others’ pain and anguish. Seeing others unhappy makes many of us happy.

We also love to make non-entitles like Paris Hilton and Anna-Nicole Smith "stars" and then watch intently as they crash and burn. From an image and reputation standpoint, it’s downright depressing. Is it any wonder we have ethical and moral lapses in every segment of society when we have role models like Anna-Nicole (and no strong national leadership whatsoever)?

Oh well. I can’t wait to see what she has to say tonight!

6 thoughts on “Why do we love pain?

  1. I couldn’t agree more…it’s just horrible. The sad thing is that it’s not just an issue with “entertainment” programs…this is often front and center in our our so-called “news” programs as well.

  2. Man, if we think US is obsessed with celebrities, take a visit to Korea! Celebrities – from Kpop, Asian pop to US pop culture – are idolized by Korean youth. They copy celebs’ hairstyles, fashion to even their lifestyles. Soon as you set foot in Seoul, you know immediately who’s hot and what’s hot. However, there’s one caveat – Koreans do know what’s going on in the news. I def. think the fact that the country is geographically minute in comparison to the U.S. helps. Also, NK tensions/ developments always seem to bring them back into reality.

  3. I strongly agree with this. It’s the one time I understand why the U.S. receives such a bad rap when it comes to the “intellect” and “values” we promote. I shudder to think how we are perceived by others after viewing this one. . .

  4. If you look at the incredible level of media coverage of Anna-Nicole and Madonna and Tom Cruise, two questions come to mind — am I living in a parallel universe and who the hell really cares! We seem like a society that has lost its compass.

  5. I agree! It is so sad to see the celebrities being the center of the universe. My friends and I have said how much we don’t care whether or not Tom Cruise is an alien or if Nicole Ritchie has an eating disorder.
    The elections are next week and I don’t know anyone aside from my grandmother in my community who will vote. I read in the local paper how everyone complains about our town, but yet no one will make an attempt to learn the candidates. (I live outside the city limits and therefore cannot vote 🙁 ) But I guarantee most know more about the celebs than those running our fair town.