Posted by: nickgerlich | April 22, 2008

Love, American Style

Let’s suppose things are not going so well at home. Each night ends with a bitter fight, and one spouse sleeping on the sofa. Words have been said, and the sun went down on an argument unresolved.

In an ideal world, the couple would seek out marital counseling. And if everything failed, divorce papers would be quietly served. There might be some whispering among the neighbors, and even a story in the National Enquirer if you happen to be a celebrity, but that’s it.

But not anymore, internet fans.

YouTube DivorceNo, it is now possible thanks to the citizen journalist movement to make a big splash of your domestic shortcomings, allowing anyone with enquiring eyes and ears to be entertained.

Like how actress Tricia Walsh-Smith humiliated her husband this week on YouTube (watch the video here).

Imagine once again, your own situation. Now imagine this message, one you received by phone, or worse yet, by email, from the spousal unit.

Hi honey…um, you should check this out on YouTube. It’s got “you” written all over it.”

Hey buddy, smile…you’re on YouTube…the Candid Camera of the 21C.

It is bad enough that divorce is so common in America. So bad, in fact, that we would all be much better off betting on marriages than on the ponies or cards. It is much worse when we choose to air our dirty laundry on the new national TV station so the world can make fun of our problems.

Now I realize that Walsh-Smith may just be a publicity hound, a starving actress in need of a career fix. This may be yet another in a string of stunts, like the guy who lived in IKEA for a week, to bring the spotlight down your way. And it has worked. The media have been all over this story, and Walsh-Smith is now a YouTube star, with over 2.7 million viewings (so far) this week.

Still, I cannot help but feel some sympathy for Philip Smith, her husband. I don’t care if Tricia did find “Viagra, porn movies, and condoms” among her husband’s belongings. Home life should be like Las Vegas: What happens there, stays there.

And you can put that on YouTube.

Dr “Spare Me” Gerlich


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