That is probably a question that I do not want an answer to.
I’ve spent a lot of time in Wal-mart and our local grocery store this week. For whatever reason, I became completely incompetent at grocery shopping, and ended up going to one store or the other every.single.day. And every day, I did what I always do: peruse the headlines and photos on the “gossip magazines” – OK!, The Examiner, The Enquirer, Globe, People, US Weekly, etc. Usually, I’m bored, and the headlines and images take up about as much brain space as calculus did in high school – that is to say, it enters, bashes between synapses for a minute, then leaves without a trace.
But this week was different. This week, I was assaulted by not one, but TWO sets of pictures that were obviously taken at Neverland Ranch. One of them, the “death picture”, was on OK! Magazine, and was apparently taken by someone in the room, or someone nearby, peeking through the window. The other one was of paramedics carrying a dead Michael Jackson to the ambulance for transport. I don’t remember which rag that one appeared on, but at least his body was covered, affording him a teeny bit of privacy during this most serious of moments.
Who does this? Who sinks low enough to take that kind of picture, and worse, what publication thinks that it’s OK (pun intended) to publish that kind of violation of privacy? (a bit of research says that Ok! Paid $500,000 for it! HALF A MILLION DOLLARS for that picture!)
And yeah, I know Michael Jackson was a master of publicity, manipulating the press with just the right balance of weirdness and “leave me alone!” to keep his fans, and the public in general, constantly on the line. But this definitely crosses that line.
Who would ever think that anyone – ANYONE – would want that kind of picture published? I know that many of us take pictures that later may or may not have been a good idea. Honestly, at what point did someone in that business hierarchy say, “This is a great idea!”, and even more important, why didn’t anyone say, “um, no… that’s over the line.” Do NONE of those people have parents? Because honestly, if I worked for that magazine, and my mother saw what I’d done? You can BET that she’d have more than a few words to say about it. My whole family would probably disown me.
Really, is this where we’ve sunk to? Apparently, it is. The question is, where do we go from here? Is this finally rock bottom? Or is there something more out there? And do we really want to ask that question?