<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5742108\x26blogName\x3dDiscount+Bananas\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://soonercary.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://soonercary.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-4225892882570869465', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

The Voyeuristic Eye of America

We are a society of voyeurs. This has been painfully obvious for a long time, but it has become particularly poignant lately considering what is occupying a great deal of our serious media news coverage. We are insanely intrigued by big time people with problems - the most recent news trifecta started with the astronaut who drove 900 miles in diapers, continued into the Anna Nicole Smith news orgy, and now has everything to do with Britney Spears cutting her hair. You know as well as I do - these have not been human interest side stories, these are the front page headlines, day after day. I read CNN.com first thing every day, but I am finding that even the most respected leader in news is transforming from a national and worldwide news delivery vehicle into a celebrity gossip rag.

Understandably, some of the media figures that feed into this frenzy are the late night talk show hosts. They work to find the humor in these situations, but also help keep the stories alive and front and center.

Enter Craig Ferguson (one of the major late night figures). I am not a regular viewer of Ferguson's show, but I have been intrigued this morning by the way he has somewhat shocked the media world by putting his foot down, and putting it down hard. Last night on his show he made it very clear, in a long monologue, why he would no longer participate in jokes about Britney Spears.

If you have 12 minutes, please click here to watch. He talks honestly about his own downward spiral and the day he contemplated suicide.

Later he did an interview on CBS about his comments, which I also watched. In that interview, he made the following statements:

"I think there is an edit button missing somewhere. I think we should look it up every now and again. Isn't there any restraint at some point?"

"I can edit myself. I can say that 'I don't have to do that.'"

"This wasn't for Britney Spears. This was for me. I did it because it was an act of conscience."

"I'm amazed that not poking fun of someone has become a news story."

If you watch his monologue all the way through, you'll see why he really means these statements.

I hope that Ferguson ends up not being the only voice in this. So far he has been the only one to step to the podium with a kind of clarity and call to consciousness that comes from a heartfelt desire to simply see the world doing the right thing. His being at that point of desperation in his life has taught him, and hopefully now the world, that this kind of oppressive, obsessive voyeurism does nothing for anyone. What I'm not sure that society realizes is that participating in these frenzies is not a matter of a distant audience watching someone spiral downwards. What we are doing is following right behind Anna Nicole into death.

There is a part two to this that I may write about in a blog post to come.


« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

» Post a Comment