The Spectacle Blog

Too Much Information

By on 7.22.07 | 2:54PM

Saturday's Wall Street Journal ran an extensive story on John and Elizabeth Edwards, their children and their life as they balance the campaign and prepare their children and themselves for life after Elizabeth passes away. It was alternatingly heart breaking, horrifying and intriguing. There is much to admire and much to sympathize with as you read about their plight and the difficult choices they face. All that said, my overriding thought was that this was more information, way more, than strangers need to know. Hearing tidbits of her letter to her children after she is dead, eavesdropping on her daughter asking who her grandma will be after her mother dies and listening to them divide up not only Elizabeth's belongings but those of her late son (tragically killed in a car crash at the age of 16) left me feeling that something is terribly awry. We live in the media and political age where all is revealed, discretion is nonexistent and nothing is left unsaid. Everyone is to blame for this state of affairs --the people who choose to bear all, the media that leaps at the chance to cover it and the public who gobbles it all up. As a result we live in a crasser and more voyeuristic time where the boundary between private and public lives becomes hopelessly blurred. Perhaps phrases like "it's a family matter" or "that's not something we talk about outside the family" are quaint things of the past. Seems we are all the worse for it.
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