Jewish World Review Sept. 26, 2003 / 29 Elul, 5763

Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Leonard Pitts, Jr.
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Key to a real life: Ben and Jen, all the time

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | I have a complaint for CNN, USA Today, People, Newsweek, Fox News, the "Today Show" and This Newspaper:

There hasn't been nearly enough media coverage of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Sometimes when I turn on the television, I have to wait as long as five minutes before someone mentions Ben and Jen. I can flip three whole pages in the paper without reading their names.

Not that I'm being sarcastic or anything. It's not like I have a facial tic that activates every time I hear the word J-Lo. Not like I'm threatening to take hostages the next time somebody runs a story whose basic point is that these two people continue, at this hour, to exist.

Sarcastic? Me? Whatever gave you that idea?

No, I just believe that in a time of terrorism and economic uncertainty, it's important that we arm ourselves by reading as much as we can about Ben and Jen. After all, our own lives are so boring, dull, mundane. I know mine is. Sometimes, it's hard to convince myself to drag out of bed in the morning. I mean, what do I have to get up for? My wife and kids? My friends? This stupid column?

Please.

Then I remember Ben and Jen and I have the strength to go on.

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I'm sure it's the same for you. So we ought to be thankful to them and their fellow celebrities for saving us from our own pointless existence, for showing us what life is really about: Maurice Lacroix watches, Louis Vuitton bags and Jimmy Choo shoes. Not to mention premieres, personal trainers and entourages. Celebrities allow us to see what our lives might be like if only we were richer, better-looking and more fabulous.

We take fabulousness for granted sometimes. We forget what hard work it is. Indeed, when you consider the grueling hours your average celebrity puts in on the movie set and in the recording studio, when you think of them returning to their mansions so dead tired their drivers have to help them out of the car, well, it just makes you want to cry is all.

Which is why we worship them, why we can tell you more about Ben and J-Lo than about whatever boring thing the president is doing this week. Presidents are a dime a dozen. But there's only one Ben and Jen.

And media, I hate to say, have been woefully inadequate in covering them.

You'd think CNN or Fox would find a way to give us minute-by-minute updates of what they're doing, thinking and saying. We embedded reporters in Iraq. Couldn't we have them embedded in Ben and Jen?

I mean that literally: Why not just ask Ben and Jen to allow media to surgically implant tiny fiber optic transmitters beneath their skin? Surely they'd do it. Like all true celebrities, they'd do anything for their fans.

And even if for some strange reason they say no, it wouldn't be a problem. We could stalk them and shoot them with tranquilizer darts the way they do lions and tigers on those nature programs. Maybe leave a designer bag on J-Lo's porch and pop her in the fanny when she bends down to check it out. Distract Ben with a stripper or two. Take them to a secret location, implant the transmitters and whisk them back before they awaken. They'd never even know.

And hey, maybe the fiber optic devices could transmit directly to the Internet. That way, we could watch Ben and Jen being fabulous in real time.

Granted, the ACLU might whine about it. But surely we could make them understand: Ben and Jen are celebrities. Their lives belong to us.

Bitter? Me?

Sick of Ben and Jen and the horse they rode in on? MOI?

Ready to shoot a cannon through the next television, newspaper or magazine that so much as mentions their names?

Really, I don't know what keeps giving you these crazy ideas.

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