Tag Archives: Florida

The Casey Anthony Trial

Medea (about to murder her children) by Eugène...

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Yesterday, in the 102 degree heat, sitting on the easy chair with clicker in hand I took a tour of the TV nether lands.  An alien area where  people pick one crime, one incident, to re-enact all the social goo we love.  I would not be one to deny anyone their low brow entertainment, but there was something tragic and pathetic with the attention and the devotion to watching the trial.

I frankly know nothing of the case and the characters and do not care to find out. But, for sure, the accused has no chance.  The mobs outside have drawn and quartered her.  The TV announcer, in a sportscaster tone, spewed the highlights and the drama of the day in court.  If I was an alien from another planet, I would think this was the only murder of a child in America, ever.  Ninety percent of America fancies itself to be a forensic expert by merely watching some television shows such as CSI.  People across America are glued to this spectacle of  Roman Colosseum style justice.

Medeas have come and gone and they have alway grabbed our attention.  They offer one balm to the shallow thinker: ” Evil”.  A clear and true manifestation of all that is evil beyond the shadow of doubt, or argument.  It seems calming to offer up to the masses something they can all agree on:  an evil mother.  Annually about 1,400 children are killed/murdered, 60% of those deaths are committed by parents.  Yet, this woman is chosen for the drama.  This pathetic oddity who seems to have wanted to relieve herself from the burdens of parenthood.  So once again, we take our social problems and dilute them down to a melodramatic passion play.  A play that makes us feel superior and cleansed and united in a common social value system.

I am not making excuses for any parent who harms a child.  In fact, there are no excuses.  In the drama spectrum we have the Disney apotheosis of the orphaned child, the ultimate angel.  To the tragic cases such as this, the Medea, the mother that kills her child, the ultimate manifestation of evil.  As our moral compass is tested, time after time, we look for the easy black and white narratives to comfort us.  Our politicians have adopted this language of the grotesque to soothe our confused little brains.


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Preachers, Clerics, Imams and Rabbis: Oh My.

Cults and new religious movements in literatur...

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In the churning urn of burning funk we call news, there is always some imam, cleric, preacher,  or other holy man who is given public recognition.   Typically, they are minor players, representing some fringe element of the religion.   In the same way that fashion models are the freaks, sorry about that, the outliers of how we look.  How many women are six feet tall and weigh 115 pounds, we all know the average woman is about 145 pounds and about 5’4″.

Yet, the average woman, the average preacher, cleric, imam or rabbi, are not fun.  It’s the freak who issues a fatwa about unrelated men must be suckled by women if they are to be in mixed company; the rabbi who says that musicians should be lashed for playing in mixed groups; and now we have the southern preacher who will burn the Koran. Oh, this game is not just played by us, this is a global game.  If there is one thing that is truly global, it’s taking the freak and making him the symbol of the other.  And here I thought globalization and the world wide web would humanize us.  Pffft.

Why was he given so much attention?  Why was he given such importance?  Well, toxic populism needs to make enemies.  What better arena than the demonization of other religions, of symbolic acts like burning?  Now, somehow this act of vengeance and idiocy is being twisted into an expression of free speech. So, this nimrod will burn the Koran, what satisfaction will he gain?  Does he get power over other nimrods who strap on a vest of dynamite cause a nimrod in Florida burned the Koran.

The Generals, the Secretaries of State and Presidents now want moderation and to quell the preacher cause his act will bring doom upon America.  How naive do people think the world is?  You think the preacher is the cause?  Think Iraq, think the settlements, think Gaza, think not helping the Pakistani flood victims.

As the politicians and their cohorts, the media, churn the images of the sideline freaks, we move into a collective hysteria that ignores the real crimes against humanity.  We focus on medieval acts of symbolism, slight and insult, while the real issues get obscured by the daily freak show of imams, clerics, preachers and rabbis of the grotesque manifestation of their religions.

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Filed under American Politics, Culture and Society, Media, Middle East, Uncategorized