Sunday, June 20, 2010
1. The Judge Judy Feedback Loop
As the chicken is to the egg, so is Judge Judy to that dominant mindset of our elders: that here in Hell’s handbasket, young folks are verminous and should be treated with the sourest suspicion. I rarely see Judge Judy, but today it happened, and her cold-blooded impatience shook me with the ball-cupping horror of coming awake in a sleeping bag full of snakes. Well, not quite, but as she chewed some defenseless human’s dignity off, I wondered if she causes old people (who love watching her, I’m told) to think most (younger) people are foolish scum, or if that basic retiree’s outlook is what drives Judge Judy to arrange her Theater of Justice to skin them alive. Today she all but said that she just bases her decisions on fuck-all, when she said, “You’re lucky today, ma’am—any other day, this decision could have gone the other way,” begging the question, BASED ON WHAT? Zodiac signs? Menopausal biorhythms? I know when you’re a professional bitch paid to prey on an endless parade of humps, there are no bonuses for politeness, but they do stamp the word JUSTICE on the show here and there.
All that’s beside the point, which is ratings. You don’t become a household name through careful onscreen deliberation. Much better to snap, fume and excoriate, to embody that frustrated demon that gestates in the bellies of so many elderly Americans: The World Will Never Be Good Again, Because Young People Are Lazy Nogoodniks and Liars, Not To Mention Mostly Not White. Ironically, Judge Judy is mostly not white, yet she has been channelling her fickle Dr. Laura WonderBread prejudices for so long that she gets a free pass. That’s not to say she’s racist. She just seems to hate all human weakness to the point of sadism. Today she berated a young woman for moving a 4-year-old child from one state to another, changing jobs, and for having a relationship that went bad. Well, sorry Judy, not all of us make millions on our own TV show. Some people lose their jobs, relocate, start over, and get so desperate that they appear on JUDGE JUDY to be reamed in exchange for paid legal fees.
The other day, my mom quoted a friend of hers as saying, “The world will never be the same again,” in the usual context that suggests everything used to be so much better… I think what most old people are lamenting, if they were being totally honest, is the world where they were young, and foolish enough to think they were in control of it.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. I’m laying some of it on Judge Judy/old people/Judge Judy....
2. COPS: Proof that Abuse of “Innocent” Citizens is Always Justified
Like JUDGE JUDY, COPS does a good job of painting the world in shit-tinted pigments. I always groan inwardly when my wife flips on COPS because, even though it can be entertaining and even educational, it’s corrupt at heart. First, nearly everyone is treated as if guilty until proven innocent. Then, as if by magic, 99% of all suspects end up being guilty, usually of drug/alcohol use/possession. Of course all the footage of innocent people gets edited out because it’s not exciting TV, leaving a clear portrait of Cesspool, USA: mostly poor, defeated users and abusers for us to laugh at. Laugh you should, because if you take it seriously, be prepared for a total disregard of human rights, an endless parade of cop-on-perp physical abuse and overreaction.
Of course, if you just finished watching JUDGE JUDY, you’ll be relieved to see beefy Boys in Blue punish the crap out of strung-out Mexicans and white trashoids, EVERY ONE OF WHICH is carrying either a crack pipe or a gun in his pants or his car. At first, you might mistakenly think, Hey, why are they pulling that guy over? (Oh, they say he rolled through a stop sign—OK, that wasn’t filmed, but whatever). Then you might indignantly say, Why are those THREE BIG COPS ramming that skinny loser’s face into the sidewalk? He’s obviously no threat to them! But watch carefully—all will be revealed. Yes, all suspicious-looking people are guilty after all. There’s nothing that can’t be tagged as illegal, and if the police do something REALLY cruel, they’ll edit that out for you. In the end, you’ll forget even your own Constitutional rights.
If you missed it, tonight's episode featured a Mexican guy caught peeing outside ("suspicious activity"). For some reason, not only did an officer show up for this negligible offense, he chased him down (actually the fat cop fell far short of catching him, but some quick civilian grabbed him), mashed him on a lawn and humped him a few times as if simulating prison sex, cuffed him, let two other officers pile on, jerked the guy up, clonked him around and into the squad car, bound his legs, put some kind of padded helmet on him, and found him to be intoxicated. Thank god they got that urinating menace off the streets!