Paris Hilton did the back-and-forth to jail; Lindsay Lohan did the same with rehab and jail; Nicole Richie got pregnant and went to jail for (what seemed like) eight minutes. Trivial moments, but we obsessed.
In her untimely death last February, Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith overdosed. Even after she was no longer on this earth, we followed the paternity case of her child as if she were our sister. We have become so immersed in the ridiculous lives of the rich and famous that we have begun to create new celebrities out of the everyday Joe.
Would we have really cared about Howard K. Stern and Larry Birkhead if they weren't embroiled in Anna's tornado of trauma? Not so much.
And today, we all suddenly know Adnan Galib, the paparazzo boy-toy of Britney, who has been accused of selling out the overexposed pop star for his 15 minutes of fame.
Where does this end? It might seem like the obsession with gossip began when Angelina Jolie started home-wrecking the Pitt-Aniston household, and we watched their relationship fall apart on magazine covers. But let's face it, celeb gossip has been around since the silent movie days, when Fatty Arbuckle was molesting underage girls and Ramon Novarro was rumored to be having an affair with Valentino (the actor, not the designer — don't get your gossip twisted).
But we must find a way back to the center of our own lives. A little adoration for George Clooney or Mathew McConaughey is normal. But please, let's all realize that this Hollywood magnifying glass is dangerous and unhealthy for all of us.
Let's get a hobby or a life or a charity so we can make a difference for a stranger who could actually benefit from our time instead of Jamie Lynn Spears — she's got her own problems to worry about.