Thursday, July 07, 2011

This Modern World

The most salutary thing that could come of the Casey Anthony Case is would be Nancy Grace's committing seppuku but that ain't gonna happen. That would require some self-awareness, some sense of personal responsibility and the capacity for shame. Satan take the capacity for shame from people like Nancy in trade for the promise of fame -- or at least air time.

But the thing to really remember about the case is not the travesty of justice (we piss on justice in this country all day, every day), but its quintessence as values-porn. The case pushed all the right buttons as Amanda points out: a victim so innocent she's practically a snowflake baby; a defendant who's demonstrably slutty, has tattoos, and has Hispanic paramours. This case is just right to inflame the resentment and bigotry of rubes coast to coast.

Never mind that tots die every day in this country due to the stupidity and/or depravity of their waste-case parents. Little is done about this and no power in heaven or on earth can make the media take an interest if, say, the moron in the dock is fat and black. It's just not good TV. But get a pouty-hot redneckette in handcuffs before the cameras, and not only can she focus the lady of the house's maternal outrage, but Dad can think in the shower about how he would punish and punish the little slut.

The fundamental truth is that this was a Show Trial. It had nothing to do with getting justice for anyone. If we were at all interested in justice the entire Bush administration would be awaiting their dates with the firing squad. The Show Trial is about distracting us from facts like that. It's also about scapegoating, about making a human sacrifice to the "principle" of justice, rather than, say, trying to bring about justice in a rational, workaday, painstaking manner.

Casey Anthony did it, some form of "it", I dare say. But Dick Cheney had people tortured to death. Casey probably won't be bragging about it the way Dick does. So there are travesties and travesties.


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