The McCartney thing this week was the straw that broke the camel's back. It hit the headlines around the same time we received word that Canada lost its first female soldier in combat in Afghanistan. It just didn't seem right to listen to all this mindless bleating about a celebrity marriage when an accomplished hero had been cut down at the age of 26. Hence my piece in today's paper:
McCartney breakup clouds true heroesYour turn: Tell us what you really feel about entertainment "news".
Published Friday, May 19, 2006
The London Free Press
It’s been an overwhelmingly tragic week. Canada's military death toll in Afghanistan mounts, while four men die in an accident and rescue attempts at a B.C. mine.
Now, into this mix, comes news Sir Paul McCartney and his wife, Heather Mills, have separated.
The story of the ex-Beatle’s marriage breakup is now global. Reporters, observers, unnamed sources and regular folks who happened to be hanging around when the couple breezed into Canada to protest the seal hunt are all fighting for their 15 minutes of fame.
Financial analysts are speculating on the size of a divorce settlement. Television entertainment show hosts breathlessly report the latest so-called news.
I suppose it doesn’t matter to any of us that the couple's breakup will have no effect whatsoever on our everyday lives. Nor will the daily challenges of Jessica and Nick, Britney, or any other disposable celebrities of the moment.
Yet they routinely divert attention away from the true heroes among us. I know that’s the way the news business often works, but it speaks volumes about what we should treasure most.