We live in a "National Enquirer" kind of world. News is determined not by serious consequences but by titillating effect. News is determined not by whether or not it affects someone's life in a substantial and serious way but by whether or not someone will watch it.
The need to generate ratings, to win the sweeps, has led to creating news rather than reporting it. Quite simply, much of what finds its way onto news broadcasts is simply not newsworthy.
We have 24/7 of Anna Nicole Smith, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. We have Hollywood couple with their own names—TomKat, Bennifer, Brangelina. How stupid is the world we live in when this stuff is interesting?
Now you do not even have to be a star to get this kind of attention. The Menendez brothers, Scott Petersen, and Stephen Grant became household names because they killed someone ... brutally (as if that somehow matters ... What exactly is a brutal murder and how is it worse than any other kind?).
As citizens, the quality of civil discourse is not improved by the silliness and stupidity of the soap opera that is the lives of these figures.
As believers, our Christian usefulness and spiritual walk is not helped by diving into the gutter, not even in the name of prayer. "Pray for _____________" is nothing but sanctified gossip, with a dash "I thank thee that I am not like ___________" thrown in for good measure. Do not misunderstand me. I believe firmly we should be willing to get our hands dirty in the lives of others for the sake of ministry. However, that dirt should come from people with whom we have actual influence.
There are some things that are just unfit for human consumption, much less public consumption. It's not because they do not hold interest. It is because they hold the wrong kind of interest. Let these people live in peace. Do not inflict the rest of us with their nonsense.
It degrades our sensibilities, and our sensitivities. It's not that I am offended by such nonsense. I could not care less. It is that I am amazed that anyone thinks these types of stories have the least bit of redeeming social value, much less spiritual value.
The depth of our minds can be seen by the things that captivate our attention. Which leads me to conclude this: No head first diving in this culture. It is a shallow world.