Generation Y's Howard Beale (dk) wrote,
Generation Y's Howard Beale

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mmm... miss these mj-inspired posts

so i spent a fair amount of time this weekend watching tv (and, uhm, doing other stuff) in a hotel room, because a friend came up to visit and other than seeing movies and mullet-spotting; there's not a whole hell of a lot to do around here (unless you count the mall; i'm tempted not to).

the hotel had a shitty satellite feed that brought in maybe 10 channels. one of them was CNN; and nearly half of the stories i saw fit in the category of "mentally unstable people abducting and harming/killing others".

8-year-old girl kidnapped from downtown sacramento; found hours later in knight's landing. video footage of child's family, in tears and hoping for a safe return. aerial footage of body of murdered 5-year-old girl recently discovered in orange county. post-traumatic interview of one of the two teenage girls kidnapped by roy ratliffe that could, i'm sure, only convey the tip of her emotional iceberg.

now, i don't want to get off on a rant here[/bite]; but we do not live in a perfect world. some people just go fucking nuts and start killing other people, and there is apparently no solution for this, because it keeps happening, and more than half the time, all the authorities can do is clean up the bloody mess. as much as nobody likes the thought, it really does happen *all the goddamned time*; elizabeth smart certainly wasn't the first.

so why was *her* story such big news? because her dad, tom smart, went to mark klaas (father of polly, who was abducted and killed not far from where i live in the early nineties), who's about the closest thing the whole abduction "industry" has to a "consultant". klaas advised mr. smart on how to maximize the publicity of his daughter's abduction, giving him a day-to-day tasklist on how to scratch the media's sensitive spots. press report on the first day, candlelight vigil on the second day, yadda yadda.

so *that's* been explained- but why the sudden focus on other abductions? it's been established in my mind that the news is intended to spoonfeed you stuff that someone in power, somewhere, wants you to think about.

it can be used as a device to focus public energy on a certain subject, so that some balance of "legislation vs liberty" in government is upset, and a new law is made; or used to flood people with worrying information that keeps their minds constantly occupied, thereby distracting collective attention from something else. a frightened mass presents a vulnerability; a chink in the armor, a hole in the firewall, something to be exploited.

the news elsewhere in the world doesn't read like it does here.

so what are we being distracted from?

*shrug* perhaps i've been watching the sos_usa community a little too closely.

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