Television viewing hasn't been particularly good. Then along came Anna Nicole and her untimely demise to make it all even worse. No, I don't watch "24", the "Sopranos", "American Idol" or any tired reruns of "Diagnosis Murder" or "Murder She Wrote". I do watch some of the major cable news networks just to stay informed on what they may have a penchant for but generally I get my news from internet news services.
Anna is dominating the television news outlets, giving the talking heads face time like they've never had and filling their busy imaginations. Who gets Anna's body? Who gets the kid? Who gets the house? Who's Howard Stern? Indeed... "Ask This Old House" is more fascinating. It's been a week since she's been gone but the fever shows no signs of abating. All the paternity/custody/next-of-kin scenarios swirling around a woman who apparently lived every day as if it were Mardi-Gras.
And then there's the insipid things people say of her. For example:
Carlos Lattisaw of Miami, FloridaA smile on his face? I'll bet it wasn't because of her many "talents".
"I am deeply saddened by the news of Anna Nicole's passing. I've followed her career for some time now and she always managed to put a smile on my face. I recently e-mailed her to send my sympathy for the loss of her son Daniel and also congratulated her on the birth of her baby girl."
Brooke Holycross of Port Orange, FloridaIt never surprises me the total ignorance people have to celebrity. It's not about what really they know, it's what they think they know. Ignore all her indiscretions and dismiss her erratic behavior to focus on ... nothing. There's no way the public would know what kind of a person she really was because few really knew her.
"I am truly heartbroken from this. She was such a sweet and bubbly person, it's a sad, sad thing that she is gone. I would have never guessed this in a million years! She had a very big heart and a good soul, as she seemed in my eyes. I looked up to her and thought she was the most beautiful girl I've ever seen -- will always remember her that way, not how the press tried to make her look. And for that little baby, just love her and tell her all about her mom as she grows. I am truly sorry for your loss. I'll be praying for all who truly loved her and that little baby girl. God bless all."
It's generous that people would assume the best but public opinion is fickle and turns quickly. Celebrity women generally seem to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to questions of character. Men bear the burden of proving themselves worthy of the spotlight. But the overriding metric comes down to looks. Tom Cruise had to act like a complete lunatic to fall out of favor. His looks kept him in the game for a long time.
And so, one more American princess' reign comes to an end, but not before turning the lives of consorts and commoners alike inside out. Every one caught by her spell falls in a wake of tears over someone they thought they knew as the networks rip, shred and otherwise mangle the vestige of a constructed royalty. Character really does count. People just don't recognize it when they see it anymore.