I've decided to stop crying over Anna Nicole long enough to ask that we all take a moment to acknowledge how bloody weird the Lisa Nowak ordeal is. (Yep, it's been an odd week in the news rooms.) In case you missed it, Nowak, a NASA astronaut, was charged with attempted murder after driving 900 miles to confront an engineer over what she perceived as a love triangle between the two and a Shuttle pilot. Nowak wore adult diapers for the entire drive to avoid the need for rest stops, and arrived in Orlando with a trench coat, wig, pellet gun and pepper spray. I have not made up a single element of this story. The story begs several questions, the first of which is "shouldn't NASA have tests rigorous enough to avoid sending someone clearly severely mentally disturbed up into space?" Moreover, is our society so screwed up that an admittedly sensational incident involving a sick woman vaults to the front page of newspapers and is only pushed aside when a former Playmate dies?? Our appetite for the odd is insatiable--if for no other reason than it makes us more secure in our own, relatively mundane, abnormalities. Unfortunately, this voyeuristic need to stare at the car crash obfuscates anything that might actually legitimately be considered "news". (I couldn't even escape the story on ESPN. What makes this a sport?) Then again, what could be more important than an astronaut wearing diapers?
Oh, and, the rights to the story have already been purchased by a movie production company.