ANNA NICOLE SMITH 1967-2007
Anna Nicole Smith died today.
People around the country are mourning her death, wondering how or why she died suddenly at age 39, trying to put her legacy into words.
Why in hell should anyone care?
The papers are full of obituary notices every day. But none of those people are mourned by anyone but their loved ones and friends.
I meaning no disrespect to Ms. Smith just because she died...many people do it every day, some of them possibly even related to us or just part of our lives.
But "we" didn't KNOW her.
So why do we pay attention? What, exactly, did she DO in her life that makes her someone that anybody but HER friends and family should have cared about?
Anna Nicole Smith was a media creation, a failed entertainer without the talent to do anything other than peddle oneself at a heavy discount. Someone that our collective persona should have forgotten about years ago, consigned her to the heap of self-obsessed attention junkies--you know, people who may need help, but also need to just get a job like the rest of us.
Someone foisted on the collective consciousness through the public airwaves and newsstands--foisted on us by powerful and cynical people who should know better (and care more) about what they're doing to this country.
Why did this country pay attention to someone who did things that we usually condemn in others? Why do we spend a second acknowledging these ridiculous public narcissists with nothing to offer but their own easily-sold abandonment of dignity, respect, or responsibility?
And more importantly, to paraphrase something Cecilia said to me tonight, "Why is it so important to anybody that SHE died? Why is it that we don't care about the people who starved to death today, or about the people who died in Iraq, or the children who don't have enough to eat. What about the 48-year-old guy, who probably had a terrible life, who died outside today in the cold?"
What indeed? Every day, people around the world suffer. REALLY suffer. People are injured by car bombs, blown apart by land mines, raped or tortured by people our government supports. There's not enough food. There's not enough clean air or water.
And we pay attention to the self-imposed miseries of a rich bottle blonde, a woman who married an elderly millionaire, posed for Playboy, and who, when her stock was low enough that she could never again trade on dignity, interested a television network in airing a fricking television show about her life that, for anyone who could stand watching, was absolutely intolerable in its unpleasantness, smug-self-satisfaction, and cheap exploitation.
Does anyone understand this? I don't.