After being acquitted of the murder of her daughter, Caylee, hyper-exposed defendant Casey Anthony was released from prison on Sunday, July 17, out on time served for charges of lying to the cops. Much better than the death penalty she was facing for the murder.
The reason I know Casey Anthony was released from jail this past Sunday is because while my wife and I were out to a delicious sushi lunch Saturday, it was all over the news. I mean, I knew Headline News was like the tabloid CNN, but seriously, it was out of control. They literally reported that Anthony, who at the age of 25 is more or less done with her life, bought Peanut M&Ms.
Peanut M&Ms! Who gives a shit? I don’t even care when Barrack Obama buys Peanut M&Ms. I wouldn’t care if Jesus Christ came back, went to 7-Eleven, and got himself a pack. No matter how you cut it, that’s just not news. That’s candy. There’s a difference and you should learn it.
Frankly, I didn’t follow the trial and don’t know enough about the case to opine on whether Casey Anthony killed her daughter—what the hell kind of name is Caylee, anyway?—but, as she was found not guilty on those charges, that should be enough. Not to get all sanctimonious, but if we try people in the court of media-spun public opinion and put more faith in Nancy Grace’s salivating rants than our own justice system, why have one? And while we’re at it, bring back public executions! Hell, if a thing’s worth doing, let’s go all out with it.
Of course, Anthony’s not the first of her kind. Usually it’s someone famous—I remember being in school and having class stop so we could all watch the O.J. Simpson verdict in the library—but every couple years there’s another “trial of the century”-type case, and they come and go, and people have loud opinions, and then they forget them, and in the middle of it, guilty or innocent, lives are ruined. Whatever. Who wants pizza?
As much as all this speaks to some of the ugliest aspects of our culture, what’s worst of all is that even the seeming upside—that we, as a people, can still be horrified by terrible acts like the murder of a child—isn’t one. Because the terrible truth of it is we like being horrified. All this media blitz? It wouldn’t be there if people weren’t tuning in, and you know what you do when there’s something on you don’t want to be watching? You stop watching. People eat this shit up, and so there it is, on TV, on the computer, in the papers, everywhere, all the time. I had to actually work to not pay attention to it.
Totally worth the effort, though.
Killing kids is nothing new. It happens more than you’d think, and I’m pretty sure it would happen even more if our bodies didn’t pump us full of endorphins and fool us into thinking these little pains in the ass are somehow the centers of our being and the best part of our lives. Chemicals—as science tells us—are some tricky shit. And though it feels even more obvious than that to say, I just have to point out that if Casey Anthony was poor and black, or poor and white, or ugly, or fat, no one would give a shit. It would just be another murder trial, and that would be the end of it. But because she’s painted as some spoiled party girl and there’s a picture of her holding a drink and smoking a cigar—god forbid someone actually has a good time—we get wrapped up in this whole sexualized disgust thing. It’s fucked up, and I mean that.
But you know what my absolute favorite part of the whole Casey Anthony thing is? It’s over. The trial has ended, and yeah, the civil court pending cases will probably get some play, but not nearly the same level, and I think that’s just fantastic. We can all move onto the next thing, still not think about the two/three wars we’re not quite winning and demolish someone else’s existence.
The mob rules,