I don't understand gossip. Of course, I don't understand public nudity either, so I am odd that way.

What I do know is that there are sites on the Internet dedicated to gossip. I visit one of them pretty religiously and always leave it feeling sort of icky.

I am not sure why I would keep visiting a place that makes me feel bad, so I thought I would do a bit of self-examination. I like to examine myself. Sometimes I rent prison movies and examine myself for hours at a time. I digress.

Before I could figure out why I was simultaneously attracted and repulsed by gossip would be to figure out what it was, so I visited dictionary.com, which provided the following helpful definition:

gos·sip n.

1. Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate nature.
2. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts.
3. Trivial, chatty talk or writing.
4. A close friend or companion.
5. Chiefly British. A godparent.

While the British make me feel mildly unsettled, I have yet to see a gossip site dealing with being a godparent, so let us knock off definition #5. Since most close friends or companions don't reveal your intimate secrets, let us eliminate definition #4.

The first three definitions seem to hit the mark, but it doesn't seem to explain why I feel attracted to gossip and always hate myself for reading.

I found this article about why gossip is bad. The author writes:

The fact is that most of us who gossip about the affairs of others do so simply because we feel unfulfilled in our own lives; we look to the misery or excitement that others experience as a way to take our minds off our own drudgery or perhaps because it exposes us to a better or more interesting way of being.

If you read the whole article, you'll find that the lady who wrote it is some sort of New Age spiritual loony. As much as it pains me to say this, though she may be right, we have to discount everything she says because she uses the phrase "it's only a test of our ability to face the many challenges the Light throws at us." Use of religious clichés immediately renders your message moot.

Actually, nearly the entire set of "gossip is bad" sorts of articles I found online has some sort of spiritual or religious content. One that has minimal religious content is Words Can Heal. They are an anti-gossip organization that is supported by celebrities like Tom Cruise.

I like Tom Cruise. I think he is hot and don't mind that he denies his real sexual orientation. We all know the truth.

Never the less, I am put off by Words Can Heal. They're not cool - even slightly. They come across as some sort of early 70's "Free to be you and me" sort of thing and that is, frankly, lame.

Anyhow, around this point in my search for understanding, I lost interest and went to read more about how Rosie O'Donnel is gay.

Moral: It is better to be talked about than to talk about not being talked about.
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