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May I Have Your Attention, Please?



May I Have Your Attention, Please?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.32

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    breast-baring, ditzy, halftime, newsworthy, piercings, wardrobe, decency, evangelist, footage, leprosy, shied, talk-show, behalf, crave, exposure, better
     content words:    Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Super Bowl, Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings, Princess Diana, Diana Princess, Wales Memorial Fund, Oprah Winfrey, Angel Network


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May I Have Your Attention, Please?
By Brenda B. Covert
  

1     Do you crave attention? Do you know someone who does? It has been said that attention is almost as good as love! It's too bad that negative attention seems easier to get than the good kind. Girls may act ditzy when they truly are smart. Guys may act rude and crude or show a portion of their boxers. (I guess that's better than no underwear at all!)
 
2     There is nothing wrong with wanting to be noticed. It's the way one goes about getting attention that can make us ask, "What was she thinking?" Most people prefer positive attention as their end goal. However, some people resort to crazy or shocking antics in order to be seen. Celebrities who have had attention for their talents sometimes crave even more attention.
 
3     Take Britney Spears. She made the news in 2004 for getting married and divorced within 55 hours. Before the year ended she married a man who had just fathered a child with another woman. Their public displays of affection crossed the lines of decency, but at least they made the news, right? In 2003 she "swapped spit" with Madonna onstage at the MTV awards. So far, Britney's ploys to gain attention have worked.
 
4     Another attention seeker has been singer Janet Jackson. Fans watching the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show were treated to what became known as Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction." She said it wasn't planned that way. Was that the truth? Her new single wasn't getting much air time. She needed a hit song. Her breast-baring stunt resulted in lots of exposure - excuse the pun. The next day her song was everywhere. People are still talking about her!
 
5     Randy Moss is a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. He made the news in January 2005. He pretended to moon Packers fans after a touchdown. That in-your-face bid for attention cost him ten thousand dollars. The fine didn't upset him. "Ain't nothing but ten grand. What's ten grand, to me?" was his response. He will earn $5.75 million this season. Moss' football career is peppered with antics like that.
 
6     These celebrities certainly get noticed. We may talk about them; we may laugh at them; we may express disgust with their behavior. I doubt that many of us are impressed. When we crave attention, we want the people around us to admire us--not laugh at us!
 
7     It's possible to get attention for doing good deeds! To be fair, though, many times the people who make the news for their good works aren't doing it to be noticed. They hope to make a difference. However, when a celebrity does a good deed, it gets a lot of attention.
 
8     Known for her big heart as well as her beauty, the late Princess Diana reached out to people suffering from AIDS and leprosy. She touched people that others shied away from. She also worked on behalf of land mine victims. She appeared in news footage and photos around the world. She used her fame to bring help to people in need. Even though she's gone now, the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund continues to help people.

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