Well, Paris Hilton’s “medical condition” was not enough to get her to house arrest. Did she almost get a break because she is a celebrity, or did she receive too much punishment because she is a celebrity? Do we really care? It seems as though we put celebrities and athletes on pedestals in this country. So much so that they make more money than almost any other industry. What does that show? We like to be entertained. If the public didn’t watch and pay for these movies and events, television networks would not pay so much to air them, and advertisers would not pay so much to the networks for advertising.
This affinity for entertainment seems to put our societal values out of whack. Shouldn’t professions such as doctors, teachers, military personnel, and engineers be paid enormous salaries for what they do? Doctors save lives and prolong life. Isn’t that more important than the value of entertainment? Teachers teach our children (and entertain them I might add), and yet, teachers are some of the lowest paid professionals. Could there be a more important profession than teaching our children? Our soldiers are helping to protect our freedom and putting their lives at greater risk in that effort. Engineers help invent new and better methods for living our lives be it in building and construction, computers, biology, etc.
Yet, notwithstanding these noble professions, we continue to be obsessed with athletes and entertainers. Do we really care whether Paris Hilton spends 3 days in jail or 23 days? Are we concerned that it reflects the unfairness of our justice system? Or, does it take our mind off the realities of life: war, poverty, starvation, work, etc.? It is probably the sum of all of those things. It is also probably a function of the fact that we have many new media outlets and too many news stations competing for news. There are many stories we follow on news stations today that wouldn’t have made national news 20 years ago because the communication of such stories was not as easy 20 years ago. Do we really care about a lot of these news stories? No, but it’s entertaining, and we like to be entertained.