I was going to blog on the passing of Anna Nicole Smith and the weighty subject of celebrity in America yesterday, but Will Bunch knocked me off my game with his powerful, tear-provoking piece about Jennifer Parcel, a 20-year-old Marine who bought the ranch in Iraq and most assuredly did not make the evening news.
Celebrities arrive, depart and overdose with numbing regularity and I usually could care less, but there was something about Anna Nicole that I liked. I just didnâ€™t know what.
I felt good for Anna Nicole when the courts ruled in her favor over the right to inherit her aged oil baron husband’s estate.
I felt bad for her when her 20-year-old son died.
I felt good for her when she gave birth to a daughter five months ago, even if at least two men claim to be the father.
Iâ€™m not into bombshell blondes. It wasnâ€™t like I craved her physically, although I have wondered how she managed to squeeze into those ultra tight-fitting gowns. Was I attracted to her dysfunctional side in some bass-ackward way? I donâ€™t think so.
Then one of those ubiquitous talking heads who get called on when there is Breaking News rode to the rescue. Said Jerry Herron, an American culture prof at Wayne State University:
“With Anna Nicole, she was pathetic but at the same time you thought, ‘Gosh, if I could just scoop you up and fix things, it would be OK.’ ”You wouldn’t want to scoop up Paris Hilton.”
And that, as the Aussies say, is it in a bit:
I could feel sorry for Anna Nicole, but never for Paris.