By: Eric Thomas
As the media picks apart the life of Oscar Pistorius, can we pause for a moment? Is it possible for a moment of clarity in this drive thru media? It’s a nation of gossips but more like a world of gossips, with our technology now infecting every corner of the globe like some Spanish conquistador. Before we tease out every timeline of the man we called Blade Runner, finding out everything we need to know in this awful murder case, let’s pause and ask why we follow the personal lives of people?
Why do you know who Tom Brady’s girlfriend is? Why was there a story about how Kate Upton addressed the question about her relationship status? Are the games not interesting enough, are Upton’s pictures not enough for your eyes to feast on? You know these people because they are good at something, why is it necessary for them to give the whole of their souls for your study?
If wondered aloud, people tend to answer that these people know the price. If they are good at something they are paid handsomely and they therefore should give up all amounts of privacy. You never say that about a CEO or any other captain of industry, who are allowed to plot and scheme behind a curtain of silence. The people who pay the celebrities are paid handsomely but never have to burn in the spotlight.
People are shot in South Africa every day, but we know the person at the center this time. During the Olympics, Oscar was held high as an example of perseverance, seen as some angelic example of sticking to your guns and believing in dreams. People, as always, are more complicated than that. Remember when we thought that about Lance Armstrong?
The hastily drawn sketch mapping this problem blames the media, but it’s the consumer that deserves the blame. Syrupy gossip exists because people consume it. It’s a nation of watchers and your dollars do the talking. If you find yourself nauseated when someone sticks a camera in a child’s face after a tragedy, understand your part in putting it there.
Is it not enough to just watch the game or the movie? Not enough to go to the concert or read the book? Do you really have to know more about the person? Isn’t their basic skill, the thing that attracted your attention, enough to keep you entertained? Why do these people have to give all of themselves just to feed the media monster and keep you distracted?
Another shovelful of dirt on the inspiring story of Oscar Pistorius, aka Blade Runner, and the beautiful woman who was also a recent law school graduate. Before we consecrate, let’s just pause for a moment to ask ourselves why we intruded.