Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From Saunders To Martin: One Hundred Posts About the Big Parade

I cranked out the first post of this blog on November 2nd,  2011. It had to do with the savage murder of Carina Saunders and the shooting death of her former classmate Kelsey Bransby. Now, five plus months and ninety-nine posts later some of the people who may, or may not have dismembered Saunders are in the Oklahoma  County jail. None of them seem any closer to trial than the moon is to the earth. Bransby has been largely forgotten, except by her family and friends. The investigation and media coverage of her killing was minimal at best from the very beginning and for all practical purposes stopped by Thanksgiving of last year.

Shortly there after former Penn State assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky was arrested in connection with multiple incidents of child molestation. Very quickly it became apparent he'd been running amok for years and the powers that be at Penn State had been turning a blind eye to it all. I suppose they were hoping against hope that his behavior would some how turn out to be not true, or, naively, stop all on its own. His fall precipitated the fall of Joe Paterno, who was up until that moment, one of the most revered figures in all of American college football. Sandusky, who has a home patio that overlooks an elementary school playground, has yet to be brought into court and maintains his complete innocence.

The body of Alina Fitzpatrick was then found in far east Oklahoma City. She was nude, covered with bruises and abrasions, and had a paper like gag stuffed in her mouth. The medical examiner came to the conclusion her death was probably caused by an overwhelming amount of meth in her body and listed it as suspicious. After a while the police said they were keeping an "open file," but not investigating it as a homicide. Then they clarified themselves by saying the investigation was on going into the circumstances of her death. To this date there have been no arrests and once again the local media appears to have forgotten she ever existed.

Then came that gruesome circus known as the republican primary season. Never have so many grossly incompetent people spent such extravagant amounts of money campaigning for an office they were utterly unqualified for. The field was so breathtakingly grotesque that for a while there was even a dalliance with a Donald Trump candidacy. The names charged in and then fell out like some dreadful roll call of right wing hacks. Bachman, Perry, the sex mad pizza magnate Herman Cain and Huntsman. Then finally there was the closet racist Ron Paul, the serial philanderer Newt Gingrich, and the anti contraception fanatic Rick Santorum. All of them wild eyed bumblers who exposed the far right of the republican party as a dangerously stupid lunatic fringe bent on nothing more than making all the rest of us be good. The whole fetid bunch eventually succumbed to Mitt Romney who will be the nominee. Not that the republicans really wanted Romney. In fact if they had found anyone who could put together two coherent sentences at one sitting, Romney would currently be writing the memoir of his second failed run at the presidency.

There were other things during these first hundred posts. Whimsical things like people on Fox News accusing the muppets of socialism and some clown in the Indiana legislature claiming that the Girl Scouts of America promotes abortions, homosexuality, and encourages sex. Then there was the guy who claimed Dick Nixon and Bebe Rebozo had a flaming gay relationship. It was and is an image so mind shattering and awful that just talking about it might turn some of us to stone.

There was of course the, pardon the pun, aborted effort by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to cut the funding of Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screening program. It was a move so intensely unpopular that it took the Komen people all of about three days to reverse themselves and remove some of those responsible for it. For just an instant there was Joseph Kony, the baddest of the bad in Africa, but he is a long way away and the guy who started that fad went severely off his nut in the most public way.  

And now the focus is on Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. The first trial of the century in the twenty-first century is looming somewhere in the near future. Zimmerman is out on bail and Martin is still dead. He was shot because he was young, black, had a hood on, and was scared enough to run from an unidentified man as he tried to get back to where he was staying. Zimmerman claims he was simply defending himself from the kid he was chasing. The feeding frenzy is unlike anything since O.J. Simpson went into the dock. There will be a final outcome, but whatever it is huge portions of the public will be outraged. Large numbers of people will not do the right thing.

Sonny and Cher once sang, "the beat goes on." I prefer to think of it as The Big Parade. It never ends, well at least not until that fantastically huge asteroid slams into us. It is for now an ageless montage of all that is us. All that is good and evil. All that is brilliant and horribly stupid. In this new era of social media and world wide instant information we have never been so connected, yet had our differences so dramatically exposed. We have never been as well informed and mis-informed. We have never been exposed to such a flood of data. The deluge challenges us to the point of meltdown. We ultimately are human and we choose to believe what we want to believe despite all evidence to the contrary. It is the nature of the beast.

May God save the Internet and may God damn it also.

In everything there is duality.



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