Letter to the Editor

Editor shouldn't take her task too lightly

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Dear Editor:

I would like to address the commentary titled "One way to escape" in the May 10th edition of the Cassville Democrat.

I read your editor's soapbox ramblings every week, sometimes I agree with her, other times I don't, but mostly I enjoy what she has to say. This particular entry on celebrity lifestyles left me cold, however, and I hope you will allow me the column space to tell your readers why.

We all agree the Hollywood icons are nuts. I would say that the world is nuts, and the ins and outs of the famous allow us to examine and criticize the problems of others without having to look too closely at ourselves. After all, are you really spoiling your children when compared to the Hogan family? Hogan may know best, but some people in this town should know better. Raising spoiled, superficial and self-centered children is no better for them than it is for the rest of society.

I think it is interesting that you chose to contrast the Hogans with the likes of Madonna and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. (I will leave out TomKat, we all know they are really nuts.)

I admit, I am as sick as anyone of hearing about them, of seeing their faces on magazine covers and listening to DJs talking about them on the radio. But at least you can say this, those are celebrities that seem to have a cause other than, well, spoiling their children and making more money.

Angelina Jolie has brought international attention to a country so poor, so war-torn, starved and AIDS stricken that every single person living in Barry county could be a Hogan in comparison.

And Madonna? Well, she found God. So sue her.

You then segued into celebrity pregnancy and the idea that it has become glamorous. Pregnancy is "hip and popular." That's great. Are you not the least concerned that pregnancy is well on its way to becoming hip and popular with our youth as well?

In the same way that shows like Laguna Beach, My Sweet Sixteen and, yes, Hogan Knows Best have convinced children that beauty IS only skin deep and anything is better when you throw more money at it, Hollywood "glamorous" pregnancies give our teens a completely unrealistic and romanticized view of motherhood.

Since you didn't say it, I will: this may be an excellent time to talk to your children about what having children is really like. Forget designer maternity outfits and baby rooms that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Children who have children are more likely to not only have another child before they are in their 20's but also to live in poverty for the rest of their lives. Now that is reality.

As they say in Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility. As an editor, and a bit of a local celebrity yourself, you have the means to connect our little community with that the outside world every week. Please don't take the task too lightly. Balancing your trash TV with NPR and 60 Minutes is fine, but you would do well to remember that many people--young and old alike--don't.

Aubrey Engle

Cassville, Missouri