Art imitating life

November 4, 2006

Man. That Law & Order is just on all the time. It’s freakin amazing.

But specifically, I watched two episodes tonight–back to back, naturally–with storylines lifted straight from the news. Totally bizarre. I think the first one was Criminal Intent (that’s the one with Vincent D’Onofrio, right?) and I missed the first five minutes or so before the opening credits, but it was almost immediately apparent that our pal Vince was sitting on a plane next to a guy who was clearly playing former Jonbenet murder suspect John Karr.

Of course, because it’s TV, the episode had to end with another suspect confessing in tears. But up until they figured out Fife (the Karr character, a former school nurse returning cooperatively from Vietnam) hadn’t really killed Amber-leigh, the storyline was actually following the news coverage pretty closely. Reporters snapped Fife drinking champagne on the plane, for one. The major detail they omitted? In this version, Fife wasn’t allegedly making appointments to have a sex change. Interesting, since L&O is usually so obsessed with the deviant sexuality and whatnot.

And speaking of deviant sexuality… next came an episode of Special Victims Unit. A large part of the storyline involved the main policewoman (I have no idea anyone’s names on these shows) being undercover in this convoluted eco-terrorism investigation (which, by the way, stuck out to me as totally implausible. Let’s be honest–after 2003, is there really even one federal agent investigating domestic terrorism involving environmental groups instead of Arabs?), but then the plot took a twist: said main policewoman discovered that a dead pharmaceutical exec had a secret child sex dungeon below his garage. About ten minutes before the show ended I realized I’d seen a story in the Metro about a girl who’d spent years trapped in a similar hell, then finally managed to escape.

Uh, but I don’t think she cut up a guy’s penis and killed him and dragged him into a pharmaceutically polluted river in real life. That’s the only difference.

Kids should be able to play tag at recess.

October 25, 2006

That is all.

Enron again

July 7, 2006

An odd take on the untimely demise of Kenneth Lay: a newscaster asking if this “sends the right message to corporate executives.” I’m not entirely sure I know what message it sends, but I presume he’s talking about the fact that, under the current laws, someone who is convicted but dies before appeal or sentence dies effectively not a convicted criminal.

Um. So are they saying that corporate executives are now going to say, whoa, wait a minute–I can defraud my company, my employees, and my shareholders for a fortune, and if I get convicted, all I have to do is die before sentencing!

Both morbid, and strange.

On why local news stinks.

July 6, 2006

I was watching a handful of news shows last night (all local, all with way too cheerful anchors) and one of them covered the story of a home invasion, in which two men apparently assaulted and potentially raped some young girls, then grabbed some valuables and left. Broad daylight, nice neighborhood, terrible thing to happen.

The interesting bit came when the camera followed the 19 year old who lives in the house–they didn’t specify if he was the brother of the girl who lived there, which I found interesting–as he was being questioned by police “who asked him some of the same questions as this neighbor: ‘Do you know those guys [the attackers]?'” The reporter went on to state that the teen had frequently had large parties in the home, with “underage drinking, drugs, maybe more,” and that his mother was charged earlier in the year with serving alcohol to minors. Thus, “neighbors weren’t surprised.”

I’m sorry–remind me again what the link is between having high school parties and having guys come beat and rape your sister and her friends?

Things like that make me so mad. Clearly what the reporter was intending to convey was that the neighbors don’t have a particularly high opinion of the kid or his mother, that they’re used to wild parties there, and that the kid is clearly in with “the bad crowd,” and they’ve made the leap from bad crowd to two violent black men. By reporting it this way, however, your average Joe Newswatcher sees the story and thinks huh, sure isn’t surprising that happened to those crummy people.