I think our juicy stories about others are one of the small luxuries in life that cross geographical, cultural and socio-economic boundaries. Everyone can do it, and almost everyone does. It connects us just as much as it can fragment but provides that little common link with others that we all crave.
Office gossip is alive, flowing freely and -- depending on your point of view -- either as natural as casual conversation or a pathogen infecting morale, productivity and even health. Adding to the darker view, gossip may be a special problem for women -- its most able practitioners and, perhaps, its most vulnerable targets.
It's frustrating for climate activists that some people seem to care more about Hollywood couples than global warming. America's obsession with Hollywood feels a bit like we're endlessly banging on the front door yelling "Fire!" -- only to be told, "Yes, we see the flames on the drapes, but America's Got Talent is on!"