Wednesday, February 21, 2007

(DISCLAIMER: The title to this post are lyrics from Anna Nicole Smith's reality TV show titled, The Anna Nicole Show. It aired a few years ago and considering the madness surrounding her death and the aftermath, I thought those lyrics were apropos for today's entry. Despite the possible connotation, my post does not aim in anyway to bash the late Ms. Smith.)

My focus on the late Ms. Smith was prompted by a growing frustration that reached its pinnacle today. For the last few weeks, there has been a media freefest about this woman, her dead son, her infant daughter, her lawyer/lover/piranha, her estranged mother, her photographer ex, her alleged 'Prince' of a lover and the list goes on.

Back to the real issue - I reached my limit today. It is Anna-mania everywhere and none of it is good. I turned on the television to catch some news and put it on MSNBC. What did I see? Ms. Smith's mother in a lilac colored outfit, joking about her age. I then changed the channel to FOX NEWS and again, there was the same woman joking around in court. Both CNN and CNN Headline News were no better. She surely did not look like someone who was bereft with grief over the very recent loss of her daughter. Anyway, I digress. The point is that those channels are the only 24 hour news channels I receive. Yet, I could not get any news, except if I wanted to read the information most channels scroll at the bottom of the television screen.

There are people dying, changes occurring that can spell disaster and damnation for millions of people and other serious things that are of more significance than the madness that is currently being covered by the U.S. 'news' media. I must confess that I am tired of hearing about the many scandalous revelations surrounding Ms. Smith.

Her 'loved ones' couldn't wait 24 hours before there were court cases and hearings. I find that despicable. However, such behavior made me think about Nigerians and the madness that happens when someone with perceived assets dies. We have all heard stories of husbands dying and his family members descending upon his property and taking everything, leaving little for his wife/wives and children.

This practice of rushing to collect the 'spoils' goes beyond any particular group of people. Nigerians, at least, try to give the appearance of respecting the dead by wearing black and taking a period of mourning. Here, in the U.S., I continue to be shocked by the constant quick return to normalcy that people in the public eye have when they lose someone. "Oh, he would want me to go on..." is what they say, to justify their inability to hide that they are not affected by a 'loved ones' death. It is customary in Nigeria to not speak ill of the dead, no matter what their faults may have been. As we can see with the late Ms. Smith, dead people get no respect and can be attacked for various issues despite their inability to defend themselves.

Despite my problems with Nigeria, I wish that our attitude towards death and the importance of mourning could be adopted by the media over here. It would reduce the need and desire to force feed viewers all the unsavory and unnecessary details that arise every day with respect to Anna Nicole.

Anyway, although I think Ms. Smith's actions contributed to what is now going on, the fact is that she had the right to live her life as she saw fit. It was the media and viewers who cared so much to know what she was or wasn't doing. Nevertheless, may her soul rest in peace. And, to all those who claim to have her daughter's interests at heart, God have mercy on you. To her daughter, I'm sorry you lost your mother and hope that you can somehow grow into a descent, God-fearing human being. Finally, to all those who take advantage of someones death to make a name or kobo for themselves, best of luck. In this day and age you might just achieve your goals, but at what cost?

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