Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Watching big media chase a perceived money-generating instant celebrity, while for some is akin to witnessing a devastating car accident, generates a lot of cheap drama for the infotainment subdivisions of those same media conglomerates.
Red-tailed fox rapidly becomes cash cow for even the most intellectually bankrupt corporate hunters as hunky promiscuous murder suspects and pixilated super models titillate or repulse through a wide range of programs and spin-off products. Somehow this “synergistic” high tech corporate prostitution has been glamorized not so coincidentally by the public relations and marketing division of those very same conglomerates.
For some weeks, in addition to those left behind, I’ve been worried about all the soldiers who have so recently experienced the “pop” instant return from hell to home. I’ve wondered about the nightmares and flashbacks and I’ve worried about the excessive media attention and its effect on survivor guilt. But that was before Viacom’s crude shakedown attempt to secure “package” rights to Jessica Lynch the commodity. Orlando Sentinel syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker offers sage motherly advice:
…When you were rescued, your story became about them – Katie, Diane, Jane and the rest who hope to bounce their ratings and thus their own fame and fortunes. Once they “get” you, all that you are, have been and hope to be will be distorted by what they need you to be…you need time to heal, to learn and to gain insight…figure out who’s in a hurry and then figure they’re not your friends…
To truly absorb the idiocy of the Viacom/CBS proposal consider today’s Washington Post description of the MTV aspect of the package:
…Letters sent on April 17 from CBS News Senior Vice President Betsy West mention Viacom-owned Simon & Schuster being "extremely interested" in a book about Lynch, and a possible MTV special featuring a concert in Lynch's home town of Palestine, W.Va., "by a current star act such as Ashanti, and perhaps Ja Rule." There's also talk of an "inspirational" CBS Sunday movie about Lynch, a CBS News spokeswoman acknowledged…
Call me a wacky old white guy but the idea of Ja Rule and Palestine, West Virginia just doesn’t seem, at first blush, to be a marriage made in heaven.
I instantly thought of emailing fellow blogger The Hillbilly Sophisticate who is not only amusing but actually resides in that portion of the piney wood. I emailed:
I found your Monday Lynch post very interesting and was wondering if you could provide…local reaction to part of this morning's Washington Post story on the CBS "incentivized" offer.
My question: Do Ashanti or Ja Rule have a large following in Palestine?
Follow up #1: Does Palestine have a large ethnic hip-hop subculture?
Follow up #2: What appears to be the reaction of Palestine's youth to the offered stars?
The Sophisticate has posted answers to my questions from a local Palestine social gadfly.
Here’s Follow up #1:
Sean: Does Palestine have a large ethnic hip-hop subculture?
Brooklyn Hillbilly: "Palestine is 100% white -- I'm guessing there's no subculture at all -- no goths, no punks, no hip hoppers -- but, possibly some mulleted metal heads - but that's more of a species than a sub-culture."
The mullets also sound like better fodder for the cannons of big media.
Shouldn’t our heroes be protected rather than exploited?
Photo: The Hillbilly Sophisticate