It's not too often that you hear a news story that's equal parts absurd, sad, understandable, and practical, but this was the case yesterday as it was made public that Whitney Houston's family stripped the Beverly Hilton hotel room she passed away in to preemptively thwart any would-be looters.

Those who think the family may have been overzealous should be reminded of the celebrity-obsessed universe we inhabit. It's not a stretch to imagine a "fan" pillaging her bedsheets and towels and commanding a nice sum for them on Ebay.

Is this story surprising? Also, how have we contributed to a culture that makes things like this possible?