Friday, June 08, 2007

Schadenfreude 101: Paris is Burning

I wish behavioral scientists could explain to me the underlying mechanism that drives rubbernecking in otherwise intelligent humans. In my case, it's celebrity rubbernecking. Consider the train wreck that is Paris Hilton. She's in jail, she's out of jail, she may go back to jail again. To paraphrase the classic reaction to the Kramer portrait on Seinfeld, "(S)He is a loathsome, offensive brute--yet I can't look away."

Maybe I pay attention to these news flashes, these ridiculous wastes of ink and server space, for the same reason I sometimes watch "Forensic Files" on CourtTV. I love to see the bad guy get caught and punished.

Will she or won't be truly punished?

Only if everyone stops looking at the carnage. Because after more than 23 days at the Graybar Hotel, to have no one watching is the narcissistic celebutante's true worst nightmare.

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