mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF conservatism & deviance

Lessons from JonBenet

All the hype about JonBenet Ramsey adds up to one message: if you're beautiful and talented, keep it a secret. Hide your light under a barrel. Be afraid. A drooling pervert is around the corner... if you show off, he'll GETCHA!

I'm no fan of beauty pageants, but if you have a daughter that's gorgeous and talented and pageants are in your tradition, why not give her an opportunity to shine? Jon Benet met with a tragic end. Lighting struck. But prior to that she didn't look abused to me, any more than Tiger Woods looked abused by his father.

We are both fearful and punishing of beauty and talent — unless it's sports, or whatever the approved local competition is.

I'm just speculating, but as our society grows more conservative, the number of predators and porn addicts seems to grow. Is there a connection here? To be mainstream, you must be conformist and mediocre. Be otherwise, and you're subject to judgment — and whatever evil comes your way. We spend a lot of time categorizing and chasing after deviants — society despises them but is utterly obsessed with them. The feeding frenzy over John Mark Carr won't go away.

I've read that it's a tradition among working class Irish-Americans to keep their kids humble. Don't be showing off what you have or you will tempt fate. Doesn't the tragedy of Jon Benet prove it? Her parents may not have murdered her, but didn't they tempt fate by encouraging her to be a beautiful talented winner?

My thoughts are half-baked, but the crimes that obsess our airwaves usually say something important about where our society is going.

8.24.06

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