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Who was this person? (03/04/2007)
By Frances Edstrom

I must preface this column with the acknowledgment that I spent several months in 2006 under the influence of heavy drugs. They were legal drugs, however, and further, I did not check myself into rehab. Nonetheless, it is possible that in my drugged state I may have missed a news story of some titanic event, such as the midterm election of a new U.S. President, or the sudden surfacing of an Anti-Pope such as occurred in the fourteenth century.

One must read the mainstream media carefully and continually to learn the really important things that are going on in the world. For instance, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts and an unabashed Mormon, has ancestors who practiced polygamy! Imagine that. And then, another contender for the top job, Barack Obama, has great-great-great-great-grandparents on his mother's side who owned slaves. I'm sure his Hollywood supporters will have something to say about that! About the only announced candidate for U.S. President who has been spared so far of embarrassing revelations by the media is Hillary Clinton. And that's because all her dirt is old news by now.

See? I'm up on the latest, I really am. What puzzles me lately, though, is this nagging question: Who is Anna Nicole Smith? Why is she in the news?

I did a little research, and found out she was a Playboy Playmate. (For those of you who might not know, Playboy is a "men's" magazine that men buy mostly for its tasteful and intellectual articles. Playboy also features pictures of nude women, but that has no baring, I mean bearing, on it's continued popularity since its 1953 debut.) But, if my calculations are even close, there have been at least 640 Playboy Playmates, and I can't remember any of them dominating the news as Ms. Smith has.

Then, Ms. Smith some time back married a really old, really rich man. He died and left her a lot of money, and everyone and his lawyer is fighting over it in court. If she were the only blonde who had ever pulled that trick off, there'd be a hundred thousand or so fewer members of the American Bar Association. Now that would be news.

A couple other things happened to Ms. Smith, both sad and happy, as do in most of our lives. The one intriguing aspect of her life is that after she died, three men came forward to claim they fathered her new baby " totally against the natural tendency of marginally ethical males, which is to deny paternity out of wedlock, so as to avoid child support. Then she died. Well, over 2 million people die in this country in a year. This one, for some reason, is more important than the rest.

Nowhere, absolutely nowhere, in my research can I find mention of Ms. Smith's importance to national or international interests. She was not a politician, church leader, international peacekeeper, or sainted do-gooder like Mother Teresa. She didn't write a seminal tract on feminism, hedonism, self-help or anything else that I could discover.

Perhaps those of you whose mental state was not temporarily compromised by health problems and the treatment of such during this last year can help me out here.

Who? What? Why? Where? When? How? did Ms. Smith dominate the national " no, international! " news? 


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