So desperate is the need to profit that not even personal misery is exempt from having a "For Sale" tag clipped on it.
Simpler and cheaper solutions exist than the emotional confrontations that have resulted from the firing of Charlie Sheen, the threat to union jobs or the possible cancellation of the NFL season.
Concern for Sheen's well-being by people who ought to know better -- especially professional journalists who are supposed to see through to the heart of a story, no matter how dark -- has been minimal.
Since Sheen's epic radio rant and subsequent meltdown, some editorial writers have considered the larger issues at play with the story. Here, a look at some of the best takes.
Let's replace him with Will's aunt from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and see if no one notices again. It worked the first time they replaced Aunt Viv with someone who looked nothing like the first Aunt Viv. Let's try it again.
I may be a clown, but I take your special day very seriously. And I've got tons of experience -- "over one billion hitched," just like the sign says.
Every generation, every year, every gaseous cultural hiccup, a new god/demon/pariah emerges upon whom we can project all our fears and judgments, outermost Tweets and innermost grunts.
No one can replace Charlie Sheen and the wealth of material he's provided to stand-up writers and comics everywhere. Here's the latest spoof: Adonis DNA Home-Kit Test.
What's next for John Stamos? I suppose there's a chance he'll pop up on Glee again, but we know he'll grace our TV screens this April, thanks to a guest-starring role in an upcoming episode of Law & Order: SVU.
Calling Brooke Mueller out because she started a rehab program doesn't exactly strengthen your custody case when you claim to have cured yourself of any alleged substance abuse problems, and that you have one speed, which is "go!"
Bipolar disorder is a life-long mood illness, often with the first onset during late adolescence or early adulthood. An essential element of bipolar disorder is that the individual has had at least one episode of "mania."
Charlie Sheen is fascinating, compelling, dangerous and exciting. We know it can't last. Eventually, Charlie will have to surrender and admit failure because too many people are watching.
Someday, it will be nice when we can have a national dialogue about mental illness without drawing any connection to violent crime, the vast majority of which is committed by those who are not mentally ill.
We don't have earthly gods and goddesses to look up to anymore, but we do have the next best thing -- celebrities -- seekers of fame and fortune, whose lives are thrown into the awareness of almost every living creature in the modern world.
Ironically, Charlie Sheen and the others may be addicted to drugs, but because of our need to keep our dopamine highs by watching and reading about them, we have become addicted to that.
As the world is transfixed by remarkable change in the Middle East, America's popcorn culture distracts us with another Nicholas Cage road rage movie ...