Priority Check, Please?

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Priority Check, Please?

Correct me if Iím wrong, but donít we currently stand on the brink of a war with Iraq? And as far as we know, Osama bin laden has still been hidiní? What about the fact that our gas prices are currently creeping as high as a share of stock in Krispy Kreme? And lest I forget those RayBan wearing bad boys of North Korea?

The reason I ask is that with all these real, serious issues threatening to take away our hard earned money, our way of life and well, our life, period, you would think this is where the media would be concentrating all its paper, print and prime-time, right?


If the aliens came down right now, and turned on a television or grabbed a paper in order to gauge what we human beings are concerned with, Saddam Hussein and the Korean Chorus line run second page to a nefarious, marauding menace named MICHAEL JACKSON.

God save us from a man who has championed children, given millions to charity, and chooses to live in a place called Neverland! His face is everywhere! He MUST be evil! Grab your duct tape and seal up your eyelids, lest they take in another 20/20 special morphing his face from age 5 to 40! (Note: I find it humorous that the same Barbara Walters who looks younger today than twenty years ago, can keep a straight face while speaking critically of him. Oh wait, that would be the Botox . . .)

Somehow, Martin Bashirís recent documentary has given birth to a throttling media mania against Mr. Jackson that is equaled only by the thrilling media mania that heralded him when he was, in fact, a Thriller.

Frankly, Iím bored.

Iím bored with the hashing, rehashing and thorough trashing of this man. Iím tired of Gloria Alredís face on The Today Show every week screaming that his children should be taken away. Gloria, go after the people who actually abuse their children. The ones who burn them with cigarettes, beat them into unconsciousness and leave them in locked cars on 100 degree days. Wait, what am I saying? Going after John Doe wonít get her time with Katie Couric.

Iím bored with magazine covers of his face and terrible headlines maligning it. And itís not just Michael Jackson, Iím bored with J Lo and Ben, Brad and Jennifer, Simon from American Idol and Evan from Joe Millionaire. I would even hazard a guess that they are bored with seeing their lives dissected on a weekly basis!

Can we please have a priority check here? There was a brief shining moment after the horrors of 9/11 when society actually came to its senses and saw how completely shallow we are. When we stopped wondering about Gwyneth Paltrowís macrobiotic diet and started wondering how to feed our souls. We didnít give a rip about who Julia Robertís love was because we were busy concentrating on the people we love. Would Brad and Jen create life? Who cared? We were simply thankful to be alive.

Now it seems that with each day we move further away from that devastation, we also move closer towards being the same mindless, shallow, voyeuristic vagabonds we were before the towers fell. Only this time, we are worse. For we had our reality check and we apparently learned nothing from it. Star tripping and ripping win out. North Korea may have nuclear weapons that can reach California, but Renee Zellweiger has a new Gucci purse and an Oscar nomination! I may not be able to afford gas for my minivan much longer, but Britney Spears and Colin Farrell swapped spit at a movie premiere! And Saddam may kill thousands of our soldiers, but Michael Jackson still wins "by a nose".

It is saddening and sobering to me that it will obviously take something equally as earth shattering and heart wrenching as 9/11 to remove Mr. Jackson, J Lo and Gwyneth from the spotlight and shine it back onto the rubble of reality that will remain.

And no amount of duct tape will fix the lives that are ripped apart.

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