I think it’s sad that a great percentage of our young people know more about the personal lives of people like Britney Spears and Anna Nicole Smith than they do about what’s going on in the world around them that can have serious long-term consequences for their futures.

They can tell you how old Britney is, who she was married to, how many kids she has, their names, the names of her albums, who she parties with and where she went to high school, but they can’t tell you where Darfur is, if they’ve even heard of it.

Of course, on a day-to-day basis, they see more images of Britney flashed across their beloved television screen than images of the more than 400,000 people killed in Darfur, or even the 3,500 American troops killed in Iraq.  Britney is more real to our youth than those dead people, unfortunately.

And what about Britney?

Craig Ferguson seems to think that we should “back off” on Britney because “…she’s a baby” and she’s “vulnerable.”  This is a similar argument heard about Monica Lewinsky during the Clinton scandal.  But, at what age are we going to require people that are past legal adult age to take some personal responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof)?

Britney isn’t a baby.  She has two babies but she’s not a baby herself.  She made the conscious, adult decision to bring two children into this world and, therefore, is absolutely responsible for her own decision, as well as for the care, health, and safety of those two children.  Where are they while she’s out partying and clubbing with the likes of Paris Hilton, while going pantiless (and letting the world know it)?

And, I’m sorry, I can’t and won’t buy for a minute, that she’s “sick” as a “get out of jail free” card on her behavior recently.  Yes, alcoholism is an illness, but how does one come to be an alcoholic if one doesn’t make a conscious choice to begin drinking in the first place?

Kevin Federline (her estranged husband) filed for an emergency hearing today to get full custody of the couple’s two children.  Call him a gold-digger, call the kids his “meal ticket,” say anything you want, but I have to believe that, at least for now, those kids would be better off with their father until Britney gets her bald head out of her tattooed ass and takes some ownership for her actions, and some responsibility for her future, and that of her children.  Unfortunately, because Britney checked into rehab YET AGAIN this morning, that hearing didn’t happen.  According to Salon.com: “The first step is to admit you have a problem, and the second step is to get back to partying.”  Seems like Britney is a poster child for success, then.

Speaking of children…

Anna Nicole Smith’s mother, whom she has been estranged from for 10 years appeared all weepy-eyed in front of a judge yesterday and told the judge that she knew that Anna Nicole would not want to be buried in the Bahamas next to her beloved son, but would rather have wanted to be buried at home in the family mausoleum.

Now, how does someone who hasn’t seen or spoken to her daughter for 10 years, know what she would have wanted?

I have a lot of sympathy for Anna Nicole’s baby daughter — she is the one that is going to be the rope in a very long tug of war.  At least four men that I’ve heard of have stepped forward to claim paternity of the child, obviously drooling over control of a potential fortune.  I seriously doubt that they give two shits about that child.

Anna Nicole made choices, good or bad, and the chips fell for her.  But this child hasn’t made any choices yet and, I’m afraid, her life is going to be full of choices being made, not in her best interest, but in the best financial interest of whomever gains custody of her.

It’s going to be a very long, long road to the Presidential race next November, if the recent jab-fest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are any indication of what we can expect.  Wouldn’t it be nice if, just once, we could watch a campaign that addresses the issues in our world rather than the opponents’ shortcomings (whether real or exaggerated)?

Yeah, I know, I still believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, too.