Monica Lewinsky is an amazing human being. O.J. Simpson is too. They’re both heroes of mine; people I really admire and respect. But above all, I would have to say Michael Schiavo, husband of the late Terri Schiavo, is the coolest man to walk the face of this earth. And this is why we must all read books by these people because they describe at length their suffering and internal, emotional struggles.
Yeah right! Give me a break. Better yet, give me a trash can so that I can toss these books where they belong. When did the media become this pathetic? It’s sad enough that reality TV shows have taken over the airwaves with useless, shallow information. Our psyches are quickly transitioning from stained to soiled. Now this literary contamination is quickly making the situation worse.
Books are sacred. They are a valuable time investment that leaves one feeling whole and gratified when thoroughly digested. Books are supposed to be the counter point of the smut we read in magazines and on the Internet. Their historical credibility makes them the remaining respectable and insightful sources of information we have.
This is why autobiographical “fad stories” by people like Simpson, Lewinsky and now Schiavo are not only embarrassing and disgraceful but a waste of time as well.
Take Schiavo’s case for instance. We all remember the drama and controversy that came with the decision to take Terri Schiavo off life support. Now, months later, Michael Schiavo wants to write a book about it.
Talk about being vain and narcissistic. He must think pretty highly of himself to assume he’s able to fill an entire 200-page book with information that is engaging enough for millions of readers. It’s one thing if the topic at hand was only dealing with the controversy surrounding life support, but it’s quite another if the author is constantly interjecting personal accounts of emotional and internal conflict.
Perhaps Schiavo truly believes he is doing something good for the world by offering perspective on certain ethical discrepancies. But if he was going to do something about it, he should have done it when the media was focused on him, five months ago. Anyone who is passionate about solving a problem shouldn’t wait months after the fact to start making a change. They should strike when the iron is hot, not just when they are conveniently motivated by passion. But now that the book is being published after all this time, that just makes it seem like Schiavo is making a sad attempt at holding on to the lime light.
Of course we have to take into account freedom of the press. As a journalism student, I can definitely appreciate the human right to express thoughts on paper. Everyone has to experience catharsis in times of turmoil, and for many people, that entails writing. But if it is really necessary, couldn’t Schiavo have opted for a journal instead of killing valuable trees to publish books for the sake of feeding his own ego and making and extra dollar? The same holds true for Simpson and Lewinsky. Do they all really think that after months of having the media force their sob stories down our throats that people are actually going to want to hear about gloves that don’t fit or phallic-like cigars?
In the Schiavo case, what we have here is a prime example of solid exploitation. Whichever way you look at it, Schiavo will make money off whatever books he does end up selling. It’s undeniable that money is an issue here because if all he really wanted to do is help others or shed light on different perspectives, he could have gone to the news media, a much more efficient and widespread medium. But instead he chooses to write a book based not on his own tragedy, but on the tragedy of someone else.
The whole concept of “fad stories” is sickening. Like all superficial fads, they are all made up of silliness and should disappear.
Eva Liao can be reached at Evaliao@temple.edu.