Friday, August 18, 2006

All Jon Benet...

...All the Time

Another fine distraction, Bush. I switched on the news this morning early and was not surprised to find every network dominated by news of the arrest, in Thailand, of a spooky character who claims to be the perpetrator in the notorious Jon Benet Ramsey murder case. How they love to keep replaying the same couple of minutes of tape of this obviously insane man in his green shirt and white pants, his vaguely startled, vaguely complacent look--and of course those pictures of the unfortunate little victim with her beauty pageant costumes and her curly hair. What a bunch of voyeuristic creeps we are, to be fascinated by this kind of thing. I presume the media know their audience well enough to cater to their interests.

Meantime, in the real world, a judge in Detroit turns thumbs down on your NSA's wiretap program, and your Gonzales announces his intention to appeal the decision. Until that process is complete, I understand, the program will continue unabated. Nothing if not stubborn, then. Nothing if not dedicated to getting your own way. On the same day, another judge upholds the decision against the tobacco industry--but voids the multi-billion dollar fine that had previously been awarded. Oh, and the war in Iraq contiunes, fierce as ever. Terrorism seems able to thrive, despite your "war" on it. Darfur's descent into holocaust hell remains unaddressed by the world community. And Hezbollah makes hay while the sun shines in Lebanon, whilst Israel and America are stuck with the dual, contradictory image of at once being disempowered by the powerless, and having blood on their hands.

And the news media give us... Jon Benet. As they gave us Michael Jackson. As they gave us that unfortunate woman who drowned her children. As they gave us the arrest of Mel Gibson for drunk driving. And Brad and Angelina and their baby. As they have regaled us with countless other stories of murder and wayward celebrities. So many distractions, Bush. I imagine you must welcome them as a relief from the scrutiny to which you might otherwise be subjected. But what does it have to say about the rest of us, and about the culture we have created?

As for me, I have an interesting day ahead. This evening, a gathering of men--as a birthday gift to myself--to hold my feet to the fire and hold me accountable for where I stand in my life right now. To help me look in those hidden corners of the psyche where I still manage to believe in my own bullshit. A hot seat, in other words. Tomorrow, by contrast, a day-long retreat with our Thai Forest Buddhist teacher--a distinctly cool seat, with plenty of opportunity to look inside in another way, in silent meditation. And tomorrow evening, up in Santa Monica, a birthday celebration for four Leos, two artists and two art writers--one of the latter being myself. And I thought I was done with that birthday for this year...

Anyway, Bush, it's a busy day or so ahead. Don't expect to hear from me until Monday. Unless you inspire me irresistably, before then, with another of your antics...

10 comments:

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tim 8>)... said...

Great blog Peter. A thought comes to mind - if Karr was arrested in Bangkok on child sex charges earlier; wouldn't he think he'd be better off in the U.S. than in a Thai prison? Hence the confession.

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Dave said...

Hey, Peter,

I'm back in action. I think we need the JonBenet stories to bring in newspaper readers, but they should have their own sensational-entertainment section, like "Food" and "Comics" in the Times--maybe called "Newsfiction."

Ideally, everyone should be watching and listening to PBS and NPR news, but 'twon't happen. Have a happy smoke-lodge.

PK said...

I feel your pain..:). If I have to see that one more second, the neighbors are going to hear me for blocks..lol. Don't think he did it, but then the DNA will prove or disprove. If he didn't, we'll have another week of why he said he did. Agghhh! It sounds like you will be off enjoying yourself, good for you:)! While you're doing that, I will be watching PBS, as long as I don't have to hear anymore of JBR.. Enjoy your down time my friend...

Dave said...

RePeter,

Christopher Dickey in Newsweek on line has a great name for the Jon Benet, Mel Gibson pseudo news: "pulp fact," an entertainment genre. I like some of these stories ONCE--like Mel's claims that he owns Malibu and that the Jews have started all the wars. I don't think of it as news but as gossip. The trouble is that it goes on and on and on, each new pulp fact (or pseudo fact) an excuse to repeat the whole damn story over and over.

If we had Pulp Fact sections of newspapers we could throw them out with the classifieds.

PK said...

Hey Dave, you're alright:D, now if we could just get the papers to do that... but then they'd have to throw 9/10ths of what Dubya says into that too..lol

Dave said...

Yo, pk,

Bush couldn't make the Pulp Fact section--all pulp, no fact. He'd have to have his own section (which he could share with Cheney and Rumsfeld), maybe called Bullshit, Lies Outright and Platitudes: BLOP (like a blog with dyslexia or bad eysight on the eye-chart).

Maybe we can get the newspapers reorganized properly before the elections. I'll give the Chandlers a call and get to work on the LA Times.

PK said...

LMAO!!!:D! You're good at this:D!