Friday, January 04, 2008

The Downward Descent of the Handbasket

A funny thing happened as I was reading (and largely agreeing with) this article on Gawker about how the world is composed of eleventy kabillion attention whores slouching toward YouTube to be be born. A man on the teevee said that Priscilla Ceballos, the mother who "coached her 6-year-old daughter to write a pack of lies about losing her father in Iraq in an essay contest for tickets to see a Hannah Montana concert" was going to appear on the Today show to "explain" herself. Seeing as her previous explanations have been to assert that it's perfectly natural to do whatever it takes to win contests, and anyway, there was nothing in the contest rules that specifically forbade lying, this does not bode well.

Sure, I guess it's not fair to prejudge. Maybe this woman is going to fall on her sword tomorrow. And surely, earning the wrath of Ann Curry is a bleak punishment in itself. But didn't there used to be a time where people who were caught out in public behaving like utter, craven embarrassments at least have the good sense to slink shamefacedly into the background in the hopes that the process of becoming estranged from their scandal-plagued identity could begin in earnest? Now, there seems to be no infamy alienating enough to warrant the avoidance of a public spectacle. It's getting to the point that every perv caught jacking it on the subway will be pricing media buys. Idiocracy.

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