After a lot of re-reading and soul-searching, I can honestly say: no.
I still believe that developing-news stories like the alleged Flight of the Falcon show that there is still a warm, beating heart in our body politic. We may spend most of our time screaming and shouting and carping at one another about this or that, but when confronted with stories of fellow citizens in peril -- particularly the smallest and most fragile of our citizens -- our default position is concern.
Maybe that just means I'm a huge sap, but it gives me hope that we're not quite out of steam as a culture or a people.
I still believe that it's hypocritical to damn the "info-tainment" culture while tuning in by the millions. A TV comes with a handy little device called an "off" switch. You can use it, or not. Ultimately, the choice is yours. There's plenty of "real" news and quality entertainment out there, provided you want to take the time to seek it out.
I still believe that same hypocracy is seen in our attitude towards those who seek the limelight. In this case, it's clear that Richard Heene's desire for fame is just part of a wider personality disorder, and that he needs serious and sustained help if he's ever going to be a decent father or husband, but he represents the most extreme end of the spectrum. There are hundreds, even thousands, of otherwise sane individuals who simply want to escape anoymity. While most of us will never try out for "American Idol," how many among us can say we really want to live out our lives as invisibles?
And yes, I still believe that Falcon Heene is a naughty little monkey. Just look what he did to his daddy's grand plan.
Well done, young man. Well done.