Saturday, June 11, 2005

Hey! Hey! Where The Missing White Women At?

From Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post:

"Someday historians will look back at America in the decade bracketing the turn of the 21st century and identify the era's major themes: Religious fundamentalism. Terrorism. War in Iraq. Economic dislocation. Bioengineering. Information technology. Nuclear proliferation. Globalization. The rise of superpower China.

And, of course, Damsels in Distress.

Every few weeks, this stressed-out nation with more problems to worry about than hours in the day finds time to become obsessed with the saga -- it's always a "saga," never just a story -- of a damsel in distress. Natalee Holloway, the student who disappeared while on a class trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba, is the latest in what seems an endless series.

Holloway assumed the mantle from her predecessor, the Runaway Bride, who turned out not to have been in distress at all -- not physical distress, at least, though it's obvious that the prospect of her impending 600-guest wedding caused Jennifer Wilbanks an understandable measure of mental trauma.

Before the Runaway Bride, there were too many damsels to provide a full list, but surely you remember the damsel elite: Laci Peterson. Elizabeth Smart. Lori Hacking. Chandra Levy. JonBenet Ramsey. We even found, or created, a damsel amid the chaos of war in Iraq: Jessica Lynch."

It's good to know that the mainstream American media has its priorities in order.

It all plays into the Bush Administration's strategy for Republican ascendancy: propagate voter ignorance, then exploit it. Josh Marshall links to a Publisher's Weekly review about a book called The Plot Against Social Security : How the Bush Plan Is Endangering Our Financial Future by LA Times writer Michael Hiltzik which says this has been the Bush Social Security strategy. But I believe this has been the strategy overall by the Bushies: keep 'em dumb, scare the shit out of 'em with terror alerts, give 'em slogans to make 'em feel safe, entertain 'em with missing white women sagas and celebrity trials (2,200 credentialed "journalists" covering the Michael Jackson trial), reap electoral rewards.

And it's working. Hey, look!!! A missing white woman!!! Ignore the mad cow!!!

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