Wed 2 Aug 2006 11:13 PM
I’m rarely incited to genuine anger over media biases, at least not the kind that everyone in the media seems to think I should be upset about. Here’s a good example of the kind of bias that actually bothers me.
So, this mom basically can’t take a joke, goes apeshit over her fucked up cars – all in the name of being a rolemodel for her kids – and now some douchey high schoolers are facing felony vandalism charges. The subtext of this article is that this mom’s a hero, and oh my, isn’t it great that Mrs. Housewife took matters into her own hands and found those obviously evil adolescents. By the end of the article, we’re supposed to be jumping up from our seats calling for the blood of these little assholes.
Whoever has TP’d someone’s house in high school raise your hand. Wasn’t
it great? I’m not going to sit here and bemoan the end of a Golden Age of toothless suburban vandalism, but things have taken a turn for the worse.
First, I know this is on par for the immovable ‘slice of life’ category of articles. It will always be around as long as there’s war and suffering to make us look for something a bit lighter from our daily news. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
What really totums my scrotum is the celebration of a vengeful property owner amidst a dirth of publicized civic activism. Where’s the story about a mom investigating where all the money went that used to go to her kids’ music and art programs at school? Is it going towards a media blitz during her kids’ cartoons trying to preen them for future military service? I guess not, since all the recent cuts for student loans won’t really leave them much of a choice. Or whatever the parallel would be for this news turd. (This one’s just for fun)
I know, even I’m bored at the idea of reading that story. But there’s got to be a better way. The pleasure of reading the original article is the American Beauty syndrome, where the routine of not having much to worry about is broken by someone breaking their mold and people feel empowered to do something that’s not expected of them. The image of a regular old mom, or any denizen of normalization, going through security footage at her local grocery store is just too seductive to bear.
This is activist journalism for the economically wronged. It’s condoning vigilanteism as long as a quantifyable crime has been executed against your estate. Most papers try to adopt the neutrality of silence on most boringly relevant issues facing their community, taking a pro-economy stance on everything else. When a civic issue is raised, no matter what the angle, they’re immediately condemned for taking sides.
I think it’s sad that the mom took things to the police and pressed charges. Finding out who the culprits were is one thing, calling for the heads of kids from your community is another. I think these things are possible because no one really thinks of it as a community. Suburbia’s adopted the facelessness of big cities without the excuse of social overload. People are pulling back from the terror of uncontrolled interactions, building castles on the hill, and releasing the boiling oil on anyone who knocks on the door. Meanwhile the anger of isolation just builds and builds, waiting for that first fateful roll of butt-rag to be lobbed through the bare branches of their favorite tree.
Let’s all just get to know our neighbors and try to calm down a little.