Saturday, April 02, 2005

I haven't much felt like posting for the few weeks for a couple of contradictory reasons. For one, I was enjoying the arrival of spring and the Iranian new year's festivities that accompany it. On the other hand, the necrophiliac media, as an article I just read aptly described it, left me feeling too depressed to comment on anything.

For two weeks it was the impending death of terri schiavo, and now we have non-stop coverage of what are surely the pope's very last days.

One of the many tragic ironies in the case and coverage of terri schiavo is related to the fact that her condition was caused by an eating disorder (which brought on the heart-attack that caused her brain damage). Terri, who like 7 million other women and girls in the United States, starve their bodies in pursuit of apparent "perfection", was in the end starved to death after her very "imperfect" images were repeatedly broadcast worldwide.

Speaking of obsessions of media, it is worth looking into Jennifer Matsui's recent article published in Counterpunch, where she pulls no punches in uncovering what she identifies as some of the underlying motivations of those most fixated with cases such as Terri Schiavo's. Among Matsui's incisive observations/claims are the following:

Since feminism was successfully transformed under the banner of neo-liberalism into just another consumer option,('The right to Shoes') a kind of backlash women's movement has emerged in the 'Red States', where local communities have been crushed under the weight of Wal-Mart and Evangelical Christianity. The adherents to this new religion are for the most part, politically and econonically disenfranchised women seeking an outlet for their feelings of rage and hopelessness. With McMedia spurring them on with its wall-to-wall coverage of sensational trials, these women have adopted the silent symbols of gender inequity like Nicole Simpson, Laci Peterson, (and now Terri Shiavo) as their official martyrs. According to this rather nihilistic interpretation of feminism, dead women demand and deserve 'justice' while living ones go on maintaining the status-quo.


After the Colombine Highschool massacre in 1999, McMedia went on a rampage through the well-manicured streets of Littleton, Colorada, looking for clues as to how this particular tragedy could have happened, and psychoanalyzing every little aspect of life in an otherwise picture perfect community. By contrast, the invisible inhabitants of the Red Lake Indian Reservation (where the latest school massacre took place) are considered unworthy subjects for pop-psychologists and armchair experts since they fall into a class and income bracket which renders them irrelevant to the interests of 'real Americans'. Perhaps if the average American ever got a glimpse into life on an Indian reservation, they might just abandon their comfortably held delusions about the 'Land of the Free' and feel less inclined to celebrate the 'American West' and cheer for the 'Redskins'. The realization of a genocide going on in your own backyard tends to put a damper on the BBQ festivities.

for Jennifer's full article, go here.

for other article's by Jennifer Matsui, you can check the site of my friend sunil, dissident voice, where he has archived numerous articles she has written for him in the past.