Laci Peterson and Caylee Anthony. Is there anyone in America who doesn't recognize these two faces? Is there anyone in America who doesn't know the names Scott Peterson or Casey Anthony? We may not know who Nancy Pelosi is, or what political party she belongs to, but we sure as Hell know all about Scott Peterson and Casey Anthony, don't we?
All I can watch these days is Fox News, but the chances are that, even here, the lead story this week will continue to be the finding of the gruesome remains of little Caylee Anthony.
Now, here's a simple question: Why on earth do I need to know about these murders? What possible benefit is there in learning all the gory details of these lurid crimes? In what way will it expand my knowledge of this world we live in or increase my wisdom? Did I somehow not learn by now that this haphazard world of ours can be brutal and violent? Have I lived for over seventy years and somehow missed this lesson?
Other than simple prurient interest -- that lowest form of human curiosity -- is there any possible purpose served by swimming in this particularly nasty pond? Any purpose at all?
They say: "The public has a right to know." This is how the media defends their feeding frenzies. They're defending my right to know the details of the tragedies of our poor unfortunate Lacis and Caylees. They're defending our right to sift through the detritus of their lives and endlessly reenact their blood-soaked denouement. All this, they say, because we have a right to know.
But why? Why do we have to know? Who are we fooling by pretending that somehow this is legitimate news and not sordid pornography? At least true pornography is honest, it doesn't pretend to be something else. But most of us would be ashamed to be caught with pornography, wouldn't we? But somehow here there is no shame. Just that endless appetite for more and more. And it will always be the same and we will never change. Will we?
I'm sorry Laci. And I'm sorry Caylee. I'm truly sorry for what happened to you. And I'm truly sorry that we are not higher and finer, that we cannot, that we just will not, ever leave you in peace.