Saturday, November 13, 2004

Who the hell is Scott Peterson, and why should I really care?

All I know is that he was on trial for the murder of his wife and unborn child and he got found guilty yesterday. Other than that I've been completely ignorant of this entire case.

Seriously, what impact does Scott Peterson have on my life? None, really.

It wasn't long ago that a man killed the pregnant mother of his child not far away from here in Burlington NC, cut the body into pieces and stuffed them into a trashcan. Funny how that never got any national airplay... but then, a double-murder in a blue-collar industrial town just isn't as glamorous as a double-murder in posh, ritzy California. Low-income assailant and victim versus young married couple where she and the baby died so that he could live the party life again: you tell me which one the TV cameras are going to play up and focus on the most.

Chalk up the Peterson murder case as the latest in a string of incidents - like the OJ trial and JonBenet Ramsey murder - that too many Americans got caught up in paying too much attention to, like a long drawn-out train wreck. Tragic as all of these things were, the real tragedy outside of the courtroom is that a nation obsessed with celebrity and fame is so addicted to finding - or making - a story like this to focus its attention on, that it's distracted from the things around them that REALLY matter.

But it's so much more fun to see Scott Peterson looking at the death penalty here than it is to watch dozens of American kids over the past several days cut to pieces in the streets of Fallujah, I suppose. Even though it wasn't their fault that they weren't spoiled rich kids trying to return to bachelorhood.

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