I'm sure that some of the Romans who went to the Coliseum actually felt sorry for the Christians or rooted for the gladiators not to be killed or injured. Even the folks now rooting for Britney Spears may actually be playing a part in the drama her life has become.
It seems to me that we're about to witness a mediacide, a murder by media. I'm tempted to say that it'll be the first time that the media has hounded some fragile soul to death, but Britney Spears' precarious plight is Marilyn Monroe-like.
We've turned our media into the modern coliseum, a place where celebrities can be made and then destroyed. I remember finding that viral video so odd - the one with the poor guy crying that we should, "Just leave Britney alone!" Suddenly, the man's words seem prophetic.
Should the poor little thing actually take the route of Marilyn, perhaps the greatest tragedy is that not only will her persecutors escape prosecution - but they will actually benefit from the flurry of interest in her demise. Britney may have become famous by singing fairly banal pop songs, but at this point, her life has become a tragic opera.
About a year ago, Craig Ferguson spoke eloquently about the fact that even our icons are real people, and Britney in particular. His words are still worth considering.