Thursday, December 31, 2009

When the conversation is mere speculation what do we gain?

Emerging into a world of transparency with new technology that allows any conversation in almost any venue, we may forget what would hurt us, still hurts others.

Today's reflective post is from Guest Contributor Jennifer Green. This piece first appeared on Green Parrot under the title Speculation.

I listen to PDXSucks. People who actually love Portland. “We think Portland, Oregon is just about the finest city on the face of the earth. We’re just more than a little frustrated in the path that Portland seems to be taking to become a ‘big city’ and we can’t keep quiet about it anymore.”

I frequently listen later, cause I’m not up at 8:00 AM, one of my most favorite benefits of unemployment. But I do miss being able to interact in the little chat box with the show by not listening at broadcast time. Today, (podcast of 12/22/09) they discussed the death of Brittany Murphy. I 100% absolutely agree with their conversation.

The instant someone famous dies, it starts.


Brittany Murphy, as they pointed out, is someone’s daughter, cousin, niece, granddaughter and friend. And now her family and friends will forever have the week of Christmas, when they lost a loved one, to remember as a time of devastating tragedy.

Speculation is mean, cruel and an opportunity for the Focus Puller to grab attention. I’ll call it the ‘Gloria Allred Syndrome.’ These are people so desperate for attention they will speculate on something that they know nothing about in order to appear on the news, get a book deal—or the ultimate—a show about nonsense on a plethora of cable channels.

How about this, she died.

We won’t know the cause of death for 4-6 weeks. At that point, if the family is inclined to release the results, we will know why.

Yes she was a public figure. Yes she chose a career that put her in the spotlight. But she was a person and she had a life and a family. Doesn’t that fact of humanness somehow allow her a level of privacy when it comes to the most intimate part of her life? Like her death?

It’s times like this that I become embarrassed for some. Yes, I’m interested in people and what they do, but not to this degree.

This is just cruel.

Edited by Carol Doane.