my computer flashed "breaking news" yesterday. brad pitt served jury duty in los angeles. what a story. i was interested since, i myself have to serve jury duty next week, in the very same courthouse mr. pitt stood. the story went on to say that he had been sent many letters by the court and had been granted many extensions before he finally appeared to fulfill his commitment. that far in the story i heard nothing i hadn't heard before, from all my friends, who have been called to serve on a jury. next, the article went on, he was assigned a trial which never occured due to a plea bargain and he left at the end of the day. during his time there he drank coffee and mingled with the other jurors.
breaking news? o.k. maybe i am missing something here. as far as i can remember, brad pitt has never cured cancer, discovered a new continent or traveled to the moon. i know he has made ten or twelve mostly forgettable movies, he is cute and that he and the woman he lives with have managed to accumulate four children over the last three or four years. i also know he has never, to my knowledge robbed a bank or won an oscar. i guess what i am trying to say is "what's the big deal that this man served jury duty" or for that matter why is anything he does breaking news?
in this the age of terrorism, crumbling infrastructure, war, a dysfunctional government and a tumbling stock market, i am hard pressed to understand our insatiable interest in people of so little consequence. in one of the tabloid magazines that i confess to reading, on both airplanes and in line at the super market, they have a section called something like "just like real people". on these pages they have photos of reese witherspoon buying a cup of coffee at starbucks and ben affleck swinging his daughter on a swing in a local park. did you know that cameron diaz buys groceries and nicole richie has actually been photographed picking up her dry cleaning? ho and hum. i long for the old days of "photo play" when stars, who were supposed to be grander and superior to us mere mortals were only photographed and reported upon when they looked fabulous and were doing something extraordinary. if i wanted to see someone purchase a grande latte mocha chino i have only to drive to any corner in l.a.
if our movie stars can't be any more exciting than, say me, for example, than who cares. just for the record, i am serving jury duty next week - alert the media.