Poor Little Rabbit: The Runaway BrideWritten by Virginia Bola, PsyD
The airwaves crackle with speculation about Georgia woman who just couldn't face her long-planned wedding. Law enforcement is deciding if they should prosecute or try to recoup almost 100,000 dollars spent when it was believed that she had been abducted.
What's problem? Her fiance states that he still loves her and wants to marry her. The vendors for 600-guest wedding will get paid anyway, without any of work. The families' pride will eventually be restored and their embarrassment erased.
What does hoopla say about state of our society? In other eras, without mass communication apparatus available today, people could just disappear, and often did. When someone drops out now, we assume foul play because we are so inured to its occurrence. Is it her fault that a manhunt was launched? Her initial claim that she had been abducted was patently false; her real act of running away was an emotional jolt to her family but surely not against law, nor was it for California housewife who chucked everything and went to Las Vegas.
Or is there an obscure statute somewhere that prohibits us from shipping out with no notice and no apology? If we are not avoiding debts or crimes, why can't we go wherever we want?
Our society is so organized and our identities so rigidly bound with numbers and personal history that we can no longer escape ourselves. Wherever we go, we can be traced: social security numbers, names, dates of birth, bank account numbers, fingerprint archives, Internet droppings, medical and dental records. Where does it stop?
The Cult Of CelebrityWritten by Virginia Bola, PsyD
Every day, we are privy to new and ever more lurid details of Michael Jackson's strange lifestyle. We always knew he lived in a fairy tale world where he honestly believed that he was white and mainstream and emotionally healthy. Whether his peccadillos were as innocent as he maintains is for jury to decide but regardless of whether he is guilty as accused, his behavior certainly never even remotely exhibited any level of maturity or ability to make rational decisions beyond "I want it now" level of a young child. And yet, daily, his "fans" turn out to support him, even fainting in courtroom, overwhelmed by stress of their idol under siege.
What is it about fame and celebrity that so grips us? Do we have no real life of our own? We live vicariously through our hero's existence and eradicate our own individuality to become simply a follower/
Would trial of a no-name alleged child molester pack a courtroom? Of course not. The Jackson trial is important, and constantly reported, because of a famous name. Too many of us confuse fame that outwardly attached to rock stars, movie stars, royalty stars, sport stars, and political stars, with inner character of individual who bears name. We see fašade painstakingly erected by legions of public relations specialists and image consultants and think that we are seeing something real. We cannot believe that dark underside really exists because we "know Michael" (or Kobe, or O.J.) and "he wouldn't do anything like that."
Scott Peterson was recently convicted of double murder. Whether he really committed crimes is beside point -- in his trial he was indisputably revealed as a self-centered, immature philanderer with morals of a sewer rat. Yet his first week on death row generated 85 letters per day, mainly from women, several offering proposals of marriage!