Static: Thursday, February 25, 2004
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Schlock Value

Schlock Value

Top o’ the front page headline in the New York Times Feb. 24: “C.I.A. Was Given Data on Hijacker Long Before 9/11.” Top o’ the front page headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram same day: “Graphic Gospel: Gibson goes for shock value over substance,” followed by two stories about the most aggressively marketed movie in Static’s memory, The Passion of Christ. That Tuesday, there were stories about the Passion in every section of the daily, except Business, which hit Static as passing strange, since this is really about money. Even more strange: Two days earlier, the front page of the paper’s Weekly Review section was entirely devoted to the movie.

Something’s wrong when a movie is more important than breaking news that German intelligence sources gave the CIA the first name and unlisted telephone number of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers a full two and a half years before the attacks, with the clear warning that he was a key member of al Qaeda and his movements should be tracked, a warning that fell through a wide CIA crack.

The CIA story was also on the S-T’s front page, true — in the lower right-hand corner. It was easy to miss, what with the large-as-life living-color photo of the fake bloodied head of the fake Jesus filling the center of the page. Queasy Static quickly turned to the inside where it learned that a suicide bomber killed 10 people in Iraq the day before. There, real blood flowed.

Hell on Stale-Biscuit Wheels

Static has noticed that it sometimes seems to have a weirdly toxic effect on the world around it — kind of like the way a streetlight will go out just as your car approaches. In Static’s case, it seems to have the ability to kill off things just by liking them. Favorite brand of tea? The stores no longer carry it. Restaurant? Out of business. Soothing view? Oops, a sign declares this spot to be the future home of the newest MegaBlob store. So, trusting in this strange but comforting dream of power, sneaky Static would like to announce a few of the things it loves most in the world: Reality tv. Spam. Jerry Lewis. City of Fort Worth crews who put down new street surfaces and then promptly tear them up in order to work on the utilities. And, best of all, perhaps, jail food contractors with literally captive audiences, who figure it’s OK to serve rotten food to county prisoners. Their particular hell will be served out someday by the lowest-bidding devils.


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