Jul 6, 2011

My Missing Chip

There seems to be much outrage over the jury verdict concerning the Florida murder case. I may know less about it than anybody else in America. I know that a young mother was accused of killing her daughter; that's all I know. I haven't watched or listened to one minute of the case, or one minute of the other tragic cases that have dominated our media for the last decade. I don't understand our preoccupation with these tragedies; I'm missing the chip. Today, and in the next month, that jury decision will be the topic of endless speculation. Television is dominated by crime shows, especially with autopsies. I can only hope that those fascinated by all those things, never have it visit upon their real life. For this post, I choose no photograph. Please restrict comments to the psychology of the public fascination, not particulars of this tragedy.


  1. The public fascination with the Anthony trial stems from a normal desire to be entertained by another's tragedy. My grandmother, and even my grandfather after he retired, watched The Guiding Light and Search for Tomorrow for decades. Now we have cable TV and real stories.

    If there are any culprits here it is the market driven cable news networks and the educational level of the viewers.

    For-profit companies like CNN, Comcast (now Universal-NBC), CBS, ABC-Disney and Fox all want viewers so that they can sell junk. They broadcast what sells. We watch, buy and accumulate junk.

    In addition we have failed to adequately educate citizens to understand the large economic, political and social issues of our time. Lacking that ability we look for good simple stories that we can understand. It's like condemning the Pittsburgh City Council pay raises while ignoring the steel execs meeting to destroy whole communities.

    We want our news to be stories of good guys versus bad guys. Israelis good--Palestinians bad. Tax payers good--bureaucrats bad. (sorry MM)

    In a nut shell we love the Anthony story because we can really understand it and feel some emotion. It sells and we buy. We slash public education that would make us more informed and better citizens (and informed cable news viewers) while we cut taxes for Brian Roberts and his friends and lay off teachers.

  2. I can only speak for myself: the Anthony trial was a fascinating glimmpse into the world of the criminal justice system. It was also a stark reminder that folks are innocent until proven guilty.

    Americans tend to have a voracious appetite, however, for the gruesome. The outrageous line-up to get into this trial seemed to indicate that we (as a society) can make a celebrity out of anyone. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Ms. Anthony ended up with her own cable news show one day.

  3. "while we cut taxes for Brian Roberts and his friends and lay off teachers"

    Class Warfare with this post????

    How Progressive...


  4. This country could not be any sicker and not of a rational mind ...

    Exhibit A --- obsession with Casey Anthony trial

    Exhibit B --- obsession with Class Warfare

  5. The French man, Strauss-Kahn, was also tried in the court of public opinion.
    The blogs are now loaded with folks opining "off with their heads".
    Seems there are a lot of angry people are out there who believe that severely delivered retribution is the answer to all of societies ills.
    Matters not that a jury of her (or your) peers made a presumably informed decision based on legally presented evidence.

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  6. The rich made this country great. Class warfare is the work of uninformed minds. When the liberals cut out the tax deduction for yachts over 50 tax paying men lost their jobs. Exxon is not the problem. Comcast is not the problem. Their execs hire maids, grass cutters, pool cleaners and others who would be unemployed without the rich.

  7. Anon 10:07:

    "Seems there are a lot of angry people are out there who believe that severely delivered retribution is the answer to all of societies ills."

    well said dude!!!

  8. The guys working up on the scaffolding on the Morning Call building are really nice, although they are imported labor from afar and speak no english.

  9. We are so cut off from our feelings and emotions in life we need to find an outlet.

    If not, we can not handle the feelings of utter emptiness and isolation and feel we are going crazy.

    Transference is the natural consequences of this psychological depravity.

    Our lives are empty. we have become observers and not participants.

    In some twisted way, engagement in these events, through the media, seems to normalize our individual participation in this collective depravity.

    The real frustration and fascination is we expect everyone to be just like us and it is almost impossible for many of us to believe they are not.

    We keep waiting for the tide to turn where the villain sees the light, is overwhelmed with repentance, and gives credibility to our narrow and biased judgments.

    Somehow it legitimatizes our private misery.

    We are addicted to this crap. The commentators (i.e. Nancy Grace), who do the daily news blasts on these issues and engage the public, are lower than pond scum in the evolutionary chain.

    Pimps of emotion and moral corruption.

    Damn that felt good! Thanks for the topic.


  10. "It's like condemning the Pittsburgh City Council pay raises while ignoring the steel execs meeting to destroy whole communities."

    The city council raises are taken from the citizen's taxes, (that would be our money). The steel industry execs have no legal or moral obligation to supply anyone with jobs. It is mainly the government at the different levels, that destroy communities due to high taxation and regulations that drive companies away. The government doesn't create wealth or supply meaningful jobs, the private sector does. Is a person wanting to improve one's life by earning more money, a greedy person? If so, we are all greedy! By the way, buying "junk" is an American freedom the last time I checked! The biggest piece of junk we all are "forced" to pay for (with our taxes) is called "the government!"
    Sorry to get off topic but some things need to be said!

  11. Hey MM is there a City Council mtg tonite? Or are they on Summer Break?

  12. Anon 2:43 -

    Tonight's Allentown City Council meeting was canceled.

  13. My right to buy junk is important. The steel execs and big business have no influence on our government. Corporations operate totally separate from government. Anyone who blames business is stupid. It is the bureaucrats that have caused the decline of our manufacturing base and today's recession. Make no mistake about it---big business has nothing to do with the evil government that causes all our problems. Thank God for the rich! I know some by the way.

  14. CHUMMY,

    YOU are addicted to this.

    I am not.

    Please make a note that YOUR "we" DOES NOT include me.

    Thank you.

  15. MM -

    Regarding the fascination with the Anthony trial, I think there are several factors at work and I'll focus on three of them:

    First off there is the terrible tradgedy of a child, missing for months, who ultimately turns up dead. People first heard of the case when the child went missing, and it's human nature to feel concern about a lost child. Once the child's body was found, it's natural that those following the story wanted to see someone pay for the crime.

    Second, there is the possilbilty fo the mother being the killer, and nothing is more unthinkable than a mother killing her own child. The bizarre behavior of the mother after the child was reportedly missing made her a likely suspect.

    Finally, I think there are many people who view the trial as a sort of reality show, with the possibility of the main "contestant" facing the death penalty. I don't really understand why some seem to enjoy that aspect of the trial, but I do think it comes into play.

  16. GL, Does business need government to exist or does the government need business to exist? Who needs who? Who supports who? Who supplies the jobs and creates wealth? Who raises our standard of living, the government or the private sector? Who are the givers and who are the takers?. Who pays the taxes and who are the recipients? Who has got us into financial irresponsibility by spending too much money? Who is behind printing money that has nothing to back it up? Who is destroying our children's future for personal gain and to stay in power? Your love affair with a power greedy, corrupt government and hate for Capitalism astounds me! Move to Cuba if you don't like it here in the United States, the greatest country on earth!

  17. Dude:

    The rhetorical "we" - as in literary device. Don't worry all know your sanctity is maintained.

    Must have hit a nerve.You Should look at that. For your own growth and self enlightenment!

    Apparently you do not know the definition of Chumscrubber.

    Chummy - no I do no need any more friends. Go to the laundromat.


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  19. Stealth.

    July 6, 2011 4:55 PM
    You do notice that Mr GL signs his name to his opinions?
    While I too disagree with many of his opinions, we are lucky to have his and other intelligent, educated views presented on this fine blog.
    Your questions are good but you don't appear to always have credible answers either.
    Your heros on the right wing radio usually start with a grain of truth and then tell a fantastic (as in fantasy) story.
    That grain of truth needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
    Love it or leave it is some worn out phony rhetoric.

  20. Anon, July 6, 2011 6:55 PM.
    You forgot to sign your name to your comment.
    "your heros on the right wing radio"
    I never mentioned a single talk show radio host in any of my comments!
    "his and other intelligent, educated views"
    That is debatable!


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