Monday, March 6, 2006

Justice is blonde

“It’s difficult to imagine two more different pieces of circuitry: The Supreme Court is hard-wired to suck out the drama from even the most emotionally charged conflicts. … The court somehow scatters its own unique brand of boringness and uptightness over every drama it touches.

“Whereas Anna Nicole Smith exists exclusively for psychodrama. If she isn’t wearing something sparkly or saying something filthy, she might not exist at all. Which is why [last week’s] collision between the two worlds [was] so compelling. …

“The case is Marshall v. Marshall, a meandering ‘Dallas’ retread involving the 26-year-old stripper Anna once was; her 89-year-old oil-baron husband, J. Howard Marshall (they met when he was wheeled into her strip bar); their short (14 months) happy marriage; and the ensuing 10-year battle over his will. …

“[T]he court has worked its magical spell of blandness, even upon Anna, and she is just another litigant with a probate dispute. … She has stepped into the only place in America where her breasts have no power.”

— Dahlia Lithwick, writing on “Rack and Ruin,” Feb. 28 in Slate at

Pervert ‘playground’

“ … is quickly becoming a sexual predator’s playground. …

“So rampant are the reports and allegations linking sex-crimes and even murder to activity on MySpace that producers at ‘America’s Most Wanted’ are looking into the connection. … A sampling of the current cases under investigation should be enough to take decisive action today:

“In February, a 14-year-old New Jersey girl was found dead in a dumpster after arranging a meeting with a stranger on MySpace.

“A 15-year-old California girl was abducted in December and found murdered in January. Her MySpace page included personal contact information and lots of activity. …

“In Lafayette, La., four teen girls were sexually assaulted by a local pervert who found them on MySpace. …

“Kids and adults alike have got to understand that their information on MySpace can be viewed around the world by anyone at any time.”

— Rebecca Hagelin, writing on “Kiss Me, Touch Me,” Feb. 28 in WorldNetDaily at

Monster Thickburger

“In the fall of 2004, CKE Restaurants introduced the Monster Thickburger at its Hardee’s franchises. It was a 1,420-calorie, 107-grams-of-fat double-patty slab of decadence, topped with four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, mayonnaise, and a buttered roll. The chain promoted these sandwiches with some provocative advertising, including a spot in which model Cameron Richardson rides a mechanical bull while seductively mouthing the burger to the Foghat tune ‘Slow Ride.’ In another, Paris Hilton eats a sandwich while washing a car, wearing virtually nothing.

“You have to admire CKE’s efficiency. The company managed to enrage both left-wing public health activists and right-wing public values activists with a single ad campaign. Among the food scolds, the Center for Science in the Public Interest called the sandwich the culinary equivalent of a snuff film. Among the family values scolds, Brent Bozell called the campaign a ‘sleazy attempt to sell burgers with pornography.’ It was a tidy moment of convergence.”

— Radley Balko, writing on “Curb Your Enthusiasms,” in the March issue of Reason

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