New Book Makes Paris Hilton Disappear from the Headlines

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In a newly released book, Paris Hilton disappears - from the headlines, that is. Similar treatment is dealt Britney Spears, Prince Harry and all other flashy targets of intense media scrutiny, in a book designed to bring the real issues back to our intoxicated national conscience.

The Soul Diet: Ten Steps towards Metaphysical Health (Neeman House, 2007) does not ask the media to quit obsessing about the flimsy foibles of Hollywood icons. "That's like telling a kid to look away from a pile of candy," says author Yitzchak Goldman. "The media knows what the public laps up, and so they too lap it up. The only way to change things - to make Americans better educated about the Iraq war or about the American Constitution than they are about Paris Hilton's outburst in court - is to encourage the consumers themselves to redirect their focus toward what matters."

And how does one accomplish that?

Goldman talks about a two-week Media Fast as part of his program.

"People are starting to recognize the need to make a clear distinction between media usage in their business lives and the media usage in their personal lives." Goldman believes people are overwhelmed by the influx of media imagery and messages made possible by the rapid and continuous advances in technology. "The introduction of more and more sophisticated communication devices means you can't go anywhere without being connected to absolutely everything that's going on in the world. Even when you're sleeping, you're receiving email. It becomes more and more difficult to sift through the mess and determine what's valuable and what's junk."

To that end, the Media Fast portion of the diet serves as a forced respite from all media messages in one's personal life, enabling one to get reacquainted with one's own uninterrupted, "untainted" thoughts. It also allows a reassessment of priorities. "I have heard that many of our troops in Iraq are disappointed, to say the least, with Media fixation on domestic trivialities rather than on the importance of their plight, says Goldman. "A Media fast is an opportunity to allow pause for reflection on such issues." After that, he says, the "Soul Dieter" is able to move on to the remaining steps of the diet, and to a more objective sense of self.

Goldman's workshops help people apply the diet to their personal situations. "People constantly tell me how much time the Media Fast frees up for them to do things they've always told themselves to do and just never seemed to have the time."

As for the celebrities themselves, would a Media Fast leave them starved for attention?
"No," Goldman laughs. "Many of them will be the first to tell you that there are far more important things to talk about than themselves."

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