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A Man Needs A Fish Like A Woman Needs a Bicycle
Monday, March 21, 2005
WHY THE MEDIA IS ALL OVER THE SCHIAVO CASE: I just read Atrios today, on his puzzlement concerning the media's fascination with the Schiavo case:

"It also should be emphasized just how out of touch the media (specifically, the cable nets) is on this issue. They've been almost completely on one side of this."

It is not very hard to understand this at all. And it is not hard to understand the actions of politicians and the feelings of the majority of folks who think that Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die, and yet are still clearly fascinated by this whole "life and death/against the clock/moment of truth" spectacle. The answer is right there in the "life and death/against the clock/moment of truth" spectacle.

Once the plug (so to speak) had been pulled, Ms. Schiavo is "on the clock," a fact made abundantly clear in various comments from Republican officials (who now figure that time is of the essence. Where were they six weeks or a year ago?). We have "heroes" (Terri's parents, legislators both state and federal), we have "villians" (Michael Schiavo, the Hospice, various doctors, the Florida judiciary), the spectre of slowly looming Death, and most of all, we have a STORY ARC. We have THEATRE. That is a story we can sell. That is a story we want to buy. What more could one want in the marketplace of ideas?

Take One:
I can see the clock ticking down, we are behind by five, one last play, the hail mary pass, its going, going (slow mo-quick cut-player-crowd-slow mo-repeat-rinse-cycle) and its ....

Take Two:
We only have an hour to find the bomb that will blow all of us (and the little kiddies) to smithereens (59 minutes & 49 seconds later) ... Clock face ... 11 ... "Which wire?"... 10... "I can't tell" ... 9 ... 8 ... Which one? ... 7 ... 6 (cut to face dripping with sweat) ... 5 ... 4 ... (cut to concerned, equally perspiring, sidekick) ... 3 ... "Choose!!!!!" ... 2 ... 1 (snip) ...

We have a game and we have a genuine compression of time. This is the fuel for the SPECTACLE of it all.

Ahh, a heartfelt book-deal, with options, a screenplay, perhaps a Broadway success; and an Oscar for the title role... Do you think we can get Alan Rickman as Michael?
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