Brittany Murphy vs. Current Events

Am I the only person who isn’t especially moved by the death of actress Brittany Murphy today? Sure, she’s a fairly well-known actress. I enjoyed her in Clueless and Girl, Interrupted, and of course she’s become famous for her creepy delivery of the line “I’ll never tell!” in Don’t Say a Word. She was cute in Just Married and Uptown Girls, and apparently did voice work in animations like Happy Feet and television’s King of the Hill.

Having said all of that… Is it really worth front-page coverage on the news websites for CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC? I even got a CNN “breaking news” text message alert to my phone when her death was announced.

I’m not trying to be cold or heartless. I wish she hadn’t died — but then, upon finding out that nearly ANYONE has died, I’m inclined to wish they hadn’t. (With a few notable exceptions… I’m not a freakin’ saint!) I guess I just don’t see why the death of one B-list celebrity is such big news.

Yes, it’s sad that an actress many of us enjoyed has died. Yes, I feel bad for her family and friends. Yes, it’s certain to be the stuff of scandalous headlines that a 32 year-old woman died of cardiac arrest in the shower. Yes, it’s likely there will be a lot of speculation and gossip about the cause of death.

But no, I don’t think this is one of the most important things happening on Sunday, December 20th, 2009. Even if you disregard the events around the world today, and focus purely on things in the United States, there are lots of other current events that in my opinion are more noteworthy.

I didn’t get a txt msg about the four people that have died in the crazy blizzard in New England, or the snarled air travel just in time for the holidays, or the developments in health care legislation today. I didn’t get a txt msg about homeless people freezing to death on cold streets around the country overnight, or about unemployed families unable to provide food for their children (much less presents to celebrate holidays.)

And yet… I didn’t start a blog entry about any of those things, either. I wasn’t motivated enough to post about poverty or homelessness or the economy or health care today… I was motivated to post about Brittany Murphy. So I guess I’m just as bad.

I DO recognize that my priorities are apparently just as fucked up as the mainstream media’s. I don’t know, however, whether being self-aware of my own hypocrisy makes it better or worse.

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