When I hear about stories like this, all I can think of is two things: celebrity worship and 15 minutes of fame. These are the twin nasties that are plaguing our society right now, and I don’t see an easy way out of it.
What I mean by celebrity worship is that the people who make it big — in terms of news/gossip influence — are glorified by our modern culture. Even if most people are turned off by the more outrageous antics, we still hear about them, talk about them, think about them. And the folks who perpetrate these acts rarely suffer the consequences of their actions. To me, that’s a culture of celebrity worship, not a culture of manners and decency (two words out of favor right now). And now, thanks to Digg, YouTube, and other sites, everyone can have their 15 minutes of fame. Try something outlandish, dangerous, disgusting, or illegal, and you’ll end up with 500,000 people watching you! When your home life is devoid of a moral base, a sense of purpose, and communal love, getting 15 minutes of fame on the Internet is a cool ego boost.
I’m not blaming anyone. We all want to be big people, admired or at least noticed. We all want our 15 minutes of fame, and when it’s up, just up the ante a little bit. Britney Spears isn’t the problem, Texas cheerleaders aren’t the problem. The problem is that we don’t know who we are and who we were created to be — an easy trap to fall into when we’ve forgotten Who created us in the first place.