Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Shut the F**K UP!!!

There are times when I wish the media in this country would just SHUT UP.
Actually, there seems to be a story nearly every day that I don't consider news and never will: who Paris Hilton (or anyone of her ilk) is/is not screwing; who won/lost the latest installment of any reality series at all; and perhaps most annoying, who wore what to where. I don't know about you, but for me, that stuff was stale in high school.
Then there are the stories that never die, the old stalwarts. Car bombs in Baghdad. Murders and attempted murders and rapes and muggings and child molestations and teenage swarmings and corruption in high places. The names and faces change, but the general layout of the news never seems to.
My wife wonders why I watch it, day in and day out. I have my excuses. Mostly I watch it for the same reason people watch soap operas: I need a daily dose of wow-my-life-is-so-much-better-than-that. Also, and don't laugh, I try to keep a close eye on geopolitical events. If 9/11 is ever repeated (exceeded), I hope to see it coming and take evasive action. If Ebola (or Marburg or avian flu or Captain Trips or anything else of that nature) ever gets to be anything more than a minor nibbler of the old and infirm, I want to bloody well know about it. The news can be a burden--not many people want to know who's got the nukes and who's threatened to use them--but it's my burden, damnit.
Unfortunately, carrying this burden can get to be a bit much when every media outlet in view suddenly goes crazy.
That's what's happened over the last two weeks. The craziness has a name, and that name is Karla Homolka.

If you've turned on a radio or a television in the last fortnight--or so much as glanced at a newspaper--you'll know that the female half of Canada's most notorious couple is slated to be released on or about July 5th. Still over a month away, As far as our mediocracy in Canada is concerned, this is Christmas rolled into Canada Day wrapped in Valentine roses. Only thirty three shopping days left!

There's been so much babblage about Karla's propensity to re-offend, her recent love-letters to a convicted murderer, her hair style, for Christ's sake. Not only that, we've been subjected, once again, to every last detail of her sordid and disgusting criminal career. I wonder, will The Donald be waiting at the jailhouse door to audition her for an all-new The Apprentice? Will FOX step forward with their new pitch, Who Wants To Marry A Schoolgirl Killer? (She's had dozens of proposals to date!) Stay tuned, you'll be the first to know!

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I once had an unhealthy fascination with the whole fiasco. Like a good Canadian, I abided the terms of the publication ban that cloaked much of the case in mystery, but once it was lifted, I did read more than my share of material, including a full-length book. I went through a phase where I read everything concerning the Holocaust that I could get my hands on, too. The sheer depth of evil in both cases kept me reading and asking myself what kind of minds consent to such utter depravity.

I can state with absolute assurance that Karla is a psychopath in the clinical sense of the word. She is also narcissistic in the extreme. All this media attention must be making her giddy. Why are we glorifying a psychopath?
Oh, they'll tell you that's the last thing on their minds, that they're only "getting the facts out there." Except the facts are known, and have been known for twelve years. Why the need to mull over them for six weeks? Why reward Karla with scores of camera flashes as she takes her first step as a marked woman?

For a marked woman she is, have no doubt of that. I'd like to see an expert sniper planted among the phalanx of media. That likely won't happen. But Karla will find that the real world, now that it knows what she is, will be much less obliging to being manipulated than has been her prison world. And there are a lot of people out there who agree that sickness like hers must be expunged by any means necessary.

Should she be released? Hell, no. I think the justice system made a terrible mistake when it agreed to the plea-bargain in the first place. And it should have reneged on its "deal with the devil" when certain facts Karla had been withholding (like the rapes of "Jane" and "Stef Doe") came to light. I for one would have applauded, hearing the judge cry "Booya! You get eighty years, not twelve!" And never mind the precedent. The Bernardo/Homolka case is its own precedent. It stands alone in the annals of Canadian crime.

In any case, I've heard just about enough. And there's still more than a month left to go. We'll hear from everyone who ever had any contact with Karla, Paul, Leslie, Kristen, or any of the legal team. We'll know Karla's favourite breakfast food and her shoe size. We've already seen the baby pictures, but I'm sure somebody out there wonders if Karla was breast-fed. All Karla, all the time.

Shut up, already.

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