A Ku Indeed!

Slowing Down For Car Wrecks

Posted in Uncategorized, Values Analysis by Chris on September 10, 2007

So why do we do it?

My wife tunes into reality tv all the time. Our home is buried under an avalanche of US Weekly magazines. She knows why. She admits it. She likes to watch (and read about) other people’s lives self-destructing. I can’t lie. I’m no different (well, I’m not as bad as her, but I do it too).


The latest example of the “train wreck in progress” is Britney Spears. Apparently, she bombed pretty badly at the VMA last night. Here’s what one reviewer said:

“Out of synch lip synching. Lethargic dance moves that seemed choreographed by a dance instructor from a nursing home. The paunch in place of Britney’s once-taut belly. At times she just stopped singing altogether, as if even she knew nothing could save her performance.”

Now I’ll admit, I read it — I opened up the article on CNN.com, and I thought it was amusing. I slowed down just enough to see the latest damage in the train wreck. I’ve done it before. I thought it was hysterical when she beat that car up with her umbrella too and it was amusing when she shaved her head.

But why are we so pulled towards this sort of behavior? It is unseemly, after all. Is it a sign of an ethical person to want to see people implode like this (think of Paris Hilton, Britney, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie…the list goes on). Or to enjoy it when they do? Is this something that we ought to try to do a little bit less of?

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One Response

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  1. lindsey said, on September 11, 2007 at 5:44 am

    While it might not be ethical to enjoy celebrity gossip and meltdowns, it sure makes us feel better about ourselves. I might be working my way through grad. school towards a job that will never pay me as much money as Lindsay Lohan makes in a week, but at least I’m not coked out and facing the possibility going to jail. I’m the better person…right?

    I think we’ve raised celebrities up to the status of gods and goddesses in our culture. And like our Greek predecessors, we are entertained by these stories of drama and intrigue. They aren’t real to us, and it’s that disconnect which allows and encourages schadenfreude.


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