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The Invisible Hand Quivers: Who is driving the Octo-Mom story?!

03.11.09 by Natasha | 2 Comments | Digg This

“And I’m going to let the cameras into my home, only for Radar Online.”

Let’s “unpack” that statement, shall we? Two things.

1. A lovely friend, anguished, over pie posed a question I’ve been going over for weeks. “WHO THE HELL IS DRIVING THE OCTO-MOM STORY?? “

Tabloid outlets, advertiser funded gossip blogs, daytime TV shows function as (semi)rational actors in this economy — ok, stay with me. They’re supplying a demand that people have for whatever “serious story” or nonesense. But there are moments, and they’re none too rare, wherein the glut of supply creates a demand. The market becomes irrational and the invisible hand quivers.

For every non-story in the past year that had legs I could imagine the demographic that was consuming it. Take Obama’s puppy search, I totally get it. There’s no news value but it’s a fascinating to watch the first family do something mundane. I understand the tawdry/enthralling Britney coverage: self-destruction is compelling. What I don’t understand is who the person is that buys the Octo-Mom cover story or watches the her ‘cribs’ show?

Is it anxious moms who want to quell their worries about “raising their kids right” by comparing the details of their household against the the woman with a clown car for a vagina? Is it childless women who are interested in the gravity of motherhood ? Is it office workers who are just having laugh? The concerned obstetrics community? I can’t conceive (heh) of the demographic and what motivates it. Aside from the gory details –which MAYBE would keep her in the news cycle for 2 weeks — I don’t see what remains compelling. Maybe it triggers the Jerry Springer- Trainwreck- Bloodsport – Gladiator gene in us. But isn’t that a short term reaction? Like when you watch some feral child on Oprah — whose lived in the backwoods of Russia feeding on grubs and tears– you can only handle that in hour doses. Why do people keep returning to this story?

So I come back to my first conclusion their simply has to be glitch in the Matrix (HELL YEAH, MATRIX REF LIKE IT WAS 2001!) . Supply has dictated demand.

2. This shit killed my resume.

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