I didn’t know Anna Nicole Smith. I never saw her Playboy layouts, never saw her TV shows, never used TrimSpa, and never touched her endorsed diaphragm. Yet, I’m sorry that she is gone because I knew her very well.

I did my very best to avoid all that ever went on in Anna Nicole’s life and yet I found that impossible because I own both a TV and a computer.

The sad thing is that from the moment Anna became a stripper, she was in the entertainment business and that’s something of a creepy world. I have some experience in this world, which is like saying Famous Amos has some experience with cookie dough.

In fact, I have gotten along with every stripper I have ever met (off-stage) because we both know what it’s like to get on a stage and pretend to be someone we are not. It’s a feeling that’s not shared by accountants and stock analysts. Over time, you sort of forget who you are in reality and become that stage persona.

The problem is that most people who go into show business are not the most secure personalities. You go into it because you need the money or need the attention or because no other field wants you. I went into it because girls were nicer to me than when I was just another scrawny college student, and some of the above reasons. Just like Ms. Smith, I liked what seemed to be easy money. It turns out that there is no such thing as easy money. You can’t get it by stripping, marrying dying oil billionaires, posing nude, or sleeping with third-rate lawyers or immigration officials. Everything takes a toll in entertainment. Even telling jokes to drunks on the road.

We have created a world with so much media saturation, soaked in butter, grease, and slime, that there are whole TV shows dedicated to the handbags and hairstyles of B-list musicians and movie stars who attend some minor awards shows. Anna Nicole got this treatment to the nth degree. For the very insecure, this is media and fan-assisted suicide. It’s a shame when someone commits suicide, it’s even worse when you take the time to build them up, knock them down, berate them, forgive them, lambast them, chastise them, forgive them again, and then hand them the gun.

Couldn’t we see that Anna Nicole was a drunk and a drug addict? Couldn’t we see that she was beaten down? Couldn’t we see that she was a woman incapable of raising a child? Couldn’t we see that she was used by essentially every man she ever met? Couldn’t we see that she was a train wreck?

And yet, like a train wreck, we couldn’t seem to look away.

You know what I do when I see a car wreck on the highway? I turn away. Because if I am not there to help, it is none of my business.

I tried to turn away from Anna Nicole and yet because I live in “civilized” America, it was impossible. I know enough “facts” about Anna Nicole to sit down without preparation and write this piece. I know Anna Nicole because it is our little American tragedy that we play out a few times every generation. We remake Jaws and Star Trek and re-create Anna Nicole. Will the new form be Lindsay Lohan, the Hilton moron, or a twiggy Olsen? Stay tuned to Entertainment Tonight, y’all.

I’m sorry that Anna Nicole is gone. I am sorry for her baby, who is going to be raised by one of three idiot men or an equally moronic grandmother. This is one of the few children in America who would be better off in an Ethiopian orphanage. And strangely enough, I can make the arrangements.

Mick Jagger said “Who killed the Kennedys? After all, it was you and me.” Well, we killed Anna Nicole with our own media machinery, but it was really only an assisted suicide. Anna chose the path; we just made sure there was a steady supply of guns available.

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