Outside the box: Britney Spears vs. Rocky Anderson: Who inspires more useless gossip?

After my horoscope encouraged me to look to none other than Britney Spears for inspiration this week, I began sifting through some of the latest stories about her and-I can’t believe I’m writing this-I discovered an article containing a quote that I actually found quite intriguing.

Britney, after having her honeymoon with Kevin Federline photographed and gossiped about from every angle, said the public uses her and other celebrities as a diversion from more difficult topics. This, of course, would include the war in Iraq.

Her comment prompted me to think about all the other ways people divert their attention from the more important issues, including those here in Salt Lake valley. Mayor Rocky Anderson, like Britney Spears, has also become a diversion, although not in the bikini-clad, honeymooning, no-shoes-in-the-public-restroom kind of a way.

Instead, he is currently one of the most prominent liberal figures in Utah. As such, he is regularly subjected to intense scrutiny and criticism, and of course, hatred. But bashing Rocky has somehow turned into a kind of amusement park diversion for lawmakers and taken their attention (and the public’s) away from more important issues. This, of course, would include the legislation currently taking place on Capitol Hill.

Instead of focusing their attention on the actual substance of proposed bills, many legislators choose to work against anything Rocky supports. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, this is because Rocky supports protecting the environment, encourages diversity in the government and wants to relax liquor laws.

Legislators’ “everyone else is doing it” reasoning and their passion for playing follow-the-leader is not only responsible for the gang-bang on Rocky, but it also has become the accepted way of passing or rejecting bills.

One recent proposal, which would mandate anonymous voting practices on the legislative floors, was recently rejected.

Apparently, legislators greatly prefer the huge voting screen they currently look at-the one that allows them to see how everyone else is voting before they actually have to decide for themselves.

So while the rest of America pays the paparazzi millions of dollars to catch Britney eating a hotdog while mustard dribbles down her chin, and Utah lawmakers whisper to each other like schoolchildren in the bathroom and make funny faces behind Rocky’s back, the war in Iraq will eventually turn into a second Vietnam and Utah will gouge irreversible sores into its environment with six-lane highways and sprawl developments as far as the eye can see.

I’ll just be here, reading my horoscope.

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