The events of the week related to Paris Hilton are unbelievable. She garnered more attention from the media than the G8 conference, launch of the space shuttle, the war in Iraq and Bush’s visit with the Pope. Maybe there is still some justice now that she is back in jail. With her behind bars, hopefully, the media can concentrate on other mayhem like the war and murders.
The thing that amazes me is the infatuation of the American public with celebrities. I’m as guilty as anyone. We have been to Santa Fe the past several summers. A couple of years ago I got the notion to see the grave of Billy the Kid, which is on the way but several mile off the main route. We spent a couple of hours making the trek to the grave and museum. Folks are not even sure he is buried there but there is a nice marker and museum honoring the thug. Billy the Kid was someone we would run from in real life. He was a hired killer. Today, if we saw someone like the character, in the picture above, we would run and likely call the police.
A few years ago, I also went in search of the grave of Sam Bass in Round Rock. He was a notorious train robber and killer. I spent the better part of an afternoon traipsing around a cemetery looking for his grave. I found it after several hours. The grave had a nice marker commemorating this killer who history has made the hero of Round Rock. I probably stepped over the graves of many an honest and God-fearing person, many of whom had done good deeds to serve their fellow man.
Paris Hilton is a little like Billy the Kid and Sam Bass. We are irrationally, obsessed with our infatuation of celebrities many of whom are worthless. Paris Hilton is only a spoiled brat who probably missed having time outs or a good old fashioned spanking when she was a child. She has done nothing noteworthy except be born rich, make a semi-porn video and star in a poor TV show, The Simple Life. Her figure is respectable but she is not endowed with other striking bits of anatomy like Anne Nicole Smith. What is it we see in her, any more than the average porn star?
Why do we pay so much attention to people like Billy the Kid, Sam Bass and Paris Hilton? I suspect it’s just a flaw in the brain, like making war, anger, jealousy, greed and similar characteristics that are prevalent in our species. Unfortunately, all these undesirable features seem to smother the one great attribute that occasionally tries to shines through, love. I am confident if we conducted a poll, less than 5% of those under age thirty would know about Albert Schweitzer or Mother Teresa. So much for doing good in the world and being remembered.