atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#410: For the love of....

I made the mistake of perusing today's Chicago Sun-Times again.

The Sun-Times is Chicago's conservative newspaper. It sure as hell beats the Tribune, anyway, which might as well be re-named Chicago Pravda. But with mainstream and/or traditional media, that is a relative measure, not an absolute. It's kind of like saying that 33°F water isn't "freezing".

One of the big stories of late surrounds the trial of a guy who went into a Brown's Chicken in Palatine one night and killed a bunch of people. It was a mystery for a few years; then they finally figured out who did it, caught him, and put him on trial.

The murderer avoided being executed for his crime (eventually, anyway) due to the vote of one juror, a young woman, who reportedly said, "You can't convince me otherwise." Okay, that's fine; that's the way the system is supposed to work: everyone on the jury has to agree to execute a criminal, and if even one disagrees--for whatever reason--then execution isn't part of the criminal's future.

What really annoys me is how much the Sun-Times is concentrating on the lone bimbo. Today there is a story about how she is "emotionally scarred" because the other jurors were "like a lynch mob".

Well, you see, that is another aspect of the system. It is why, when the jury is dismissed to vote on the verdict, it is said to be in deliberation--deliberation means that they are discussing the case and having votes and trying to come to a decision. And it means that sometimes the one dissenting vote will have to defend his position.

I am not and won't be critical of the young woman for having a belief and remaining true to it, no matter how silly and useless I think it is. But if she is "emotionally scarred" after having to defend her decision, she has no place in adult society and shouldn't be allowed to vote.

* * *

Of course I saw an article about Michael Moore's new movie, Sicko.

Sicko purports to explain how "broken" the US medical system is, and one way Moore did this was by taking people to Cuba for medical care. (The fact that he apparently broke the law to do this is usually not mentioned. Besides, those laws only apply to the little people in flyover country, not to big--and I mean big--important rich west coast liberal film directors.)

The film ignores a few facts about Cuba and its medical system in order to make its point. For example, the fact that--when confronted with a serious illness in glorious-dictator-for-life Fidel Castro--they had to import surgeons from a non-communist country to perform a relatively simple bowel resection. Cuba's own doctors were not equal to the task, apparently. Nor was its medical equipment, which the foreign surgeons brought with.

I expect that the bright and shiny medical facilities seen by foreign press (especially from the United States) are only used when foriegn press is present, or when one of the Party elite gets a boo-boo. Certainly the general populace isn't allowed entry into the places, except as window dressing: "You--today you will pretend to be sick for Tom Brokaw. Get onto this truck." "Who is Tom Brokaw?" "Shut up and get on the truck or be shot." Yeah.

Anyway the film is being screened at the Cannes film festival, where the high-and-mighty circle-jerk lather praise on each other. No surprise: critics and journalists just love Sicko. Michael Moore could make a movie about wheat germ, and as long as it was critical of the US, the critics and the journalists would hail it as the greatest documentary of all time. Come to think of it, any movie just has to be critical of the US, and the critics and the journalists will love it. This is why Red Dawn was a "right-wing fantasy" but A Handmaid's Tale was a "thought-provoking drama".

If either of those movies deserved to be called a "fantasy", the latter one was it; it was definitely a "left-wing fantasy" in which Christian fundamentalists turned part of the US into a religious dictatorship. As dystopian stories go, this one was badly executed. Red Dawn at least got the politics right.

* * *

The paper has a full-page ad from the Humane Society, protesting the impending repeal of an anti-pate de foie gras law.

What, you may ask, does the Humane Society have to do with a high-fat-and-cholesterol appetizer usually only eaten by rich people?

The stuff is made from goose liver. The geese which donate their livers to the cause are force-fed. Their livers expand 10x and supposedly the flavor is better. Of course, none of this is very good for the goose, but it's going to get the axe anyway, right?

I am generally opposed to the mistreatment of animals, even food animals. I want my food animal to live a reasonably happy life before it is killed, cut up, cooked, and put on my plate. So I prefer not to eat veal, for example.

But I have never eaten pate de foie gras, and I never hope to. It's one of those French cuisine things which I have no interest in. I admit that I have no culure, if by "culture" you mean "European preferences". I'm an American, and if Europe doesn't like the things I like, the entire fricking continent can go sod off, for all I care. (As an aside, French cuisine relies on sauces because it was developed before refrigeration. Strong sauce hides rancid meat flavor rather well.)

The Humane Society ad plays up the class envy angle, of course, mentioning "fat cats" and such. *sigh* Because only the rich care about eating crap like that, I guess. Well, that's not surprising: French cooking tends to be pricy and stuff like that pate tends to be at the top of the bracket.

I fail to see how allowing a high-dollar appetizer means force-feeding geese, though. Why not just make the force-feeding part illegal? Let the people who want to eat the crap have it; just mandate that the livers must not come from geese which were force-fed. But I guess that's too complex for them; it's much easier to ban than accommodate.

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