Saturday, February 10, 2007

NATION GONE WILD


NATION GONE WILD

This is the dawning of the age of transparent, alternate realities—the hell with Aquarius, no pun intended. Just take a look at the headlines this week to see why we must rescue ourselves from the “girls gone wild” narrative to focus on what really matters—the Iraq war and how we got ourselves into this mess and how we must get out.

Like a monster from which we can’t liberate ourselves, Iraq slouches into even more chaos, with American soldiers dying, helicopters dropping, and more news about manipulated intelligence de-emphasized. 1, 2, 3: Can we say Downing Street Memo everyone? But in the collective un-consciousness, this real news pales in comparison to the alternate news—girls gone wild.

Shifting our focus away from reality was the story about the grand diva of them all, Mommy Dearest Pelosi who, according to our beloved media, went wild. How dare she demand what her male predecessors routinely requested: a government plane and a non-stop flight home. Whom does she think SHE is? Third in charge? In a desperate attempt of distraction, the mainstream media jumped onto this story quicker than Krystle Carrington jumped onto Alexis in one of their many girl fights. I can almost here the Dynasty theme song ringing in my ears along with the media’s new moniker for Pelosi: bitch.

Pushing us further away from the truth into what the government calls “perception management” was that pathetic feature in Newsweek magazine this week—lo and behold, a feature about girls gone wild. Paris and Britney (dis)graced the cover; meanwhile, in terms of our relations with Iran, all sorts of things may go wild—but that doesn’t REALLY matter. Does it?

In a culture that is so supersaturated with an interest in the female gender, from Desperate Housewives to The Real Housewives of Orange County to Tyra's thoughts on weight, to Hillary’s joke about an evil man, an amazing disparity exists between how much the media fixates on and emphasizes female (mis)behavior compared to how the media turns away from and simply downplays the (mis)behavior of men. Take, for instance, Captain Lieberman’s insane request this week for a war tax. And Captain Lieberman’s indignant behavior on the senate floor to one of the senate’s long-standing patriarchs: Senator John Warner. You thought Joe was just flipping off us Ned Lamont supporters and CT bloggers? You know he’s become the ultimate madman when he tried to tangle with Senator Warner, not only a veteran of a war but also a veteran of Liz Taylor, the penultimate girl gone extremely wild.

But if you think I’ve gone wild with my “girls gone wild” analysis, just take a look at what’s dominated the news cycle these past 48 hours: Anna Nicole Smith, a girl who went too wild and died. Yes, an untimely death is certainly tragic, but when you take a look at the media’s treatment of this event, you’ve realized that we are a nation who’s gone wild, wildly away from what really matters. Ever since the announcement on Thursday of Smith’s death, the mainstream media has treated this event as “breaking news,” giving it “special coverage” status. The sub-narrative about the paternity of Smith’s 5-month old baby girl has only intensified the story even more; now Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband is claiming to be the father? Wild, very wild.

In a week when the pandora’s box about the build-up to the war—the Scooter Libby Trial/Plamegate narrative—has been opened once again and the expected tensions with Iran have escalated to suggest that there may be a coming war, our beloved media has done what? Focused on the girls gone wild. There is one exception, though: the media left a really wild girl alone who made a complete fool of herself, yet again, this time on the Imus show. Who’s THAT girl? Mary “Cruella” Matalin. Why was SHE left alone, you ask? Perhaps because Mary isn’t just a girl; she’s part of a men’s group that has gone absolutely insane. And I’m not talking about the fact that her cake-up resembles a drag queen’s. Imagine if the media were to focus solely on this group of men? Imagine if the focus were on...what really matters? Wild--I know.

1 comment:

atm said...

Let's not forget that the coverage of Smith has only just covered up that of an Astronaut-Girl Gone Wild. Luckily for her, she'll be forgotten by Sunday...