American Sweetheart

SUBHEAD: We have over a thousand cable channels, and none of them puts on a coherent news program on Sunday nights.

  By James Kunstler on 11 July 2011 for -

Image above: Nancy Grace on CNN's Headline News cable channel. From (

Forget Michele Bachmann... how about Nancy Grace for President? - that little firecracker of retribution with the carnivore gleam in her eyes, the pouty lips concealing fangs of vengeance, the wafting perfume of scorn and opprobrium, a very exterminating angel among the lumbering dark hairy beasts of Sodom America. I cringe a little, frankly, when I click through the CNN gauntlet and glimpse Nancy in full dudgeon, her delicate nostrils quivering with rage. Does she want to kick my ass, too? Who put the testosterone in that girl's Red Bull?

All last week it was Casey Anthony 24/7 on the cable news stations - and Nancy Grace's nostrils were flaring so wide I was afraid her head might explode. But let's face it: America is fascinated with Casey because Casey IS America. America, just like Casey, is too busy looking for the latest party to take care of its children. But just you wait. The court of public opinion is going to lay a million-dollar book deal on Casey Anthony, and a Made-for-TV movie deal, and a "reality" show on the Food Channel ("101 Meals You'll Never Have to Serve To Your Annoying Child Because You Killed It"), plus cars, luxury homes, personal watercraft, a wardrobe of phosphorescent tube-tops and hot-girl skirts, and sixteen untapped credit cards that have been prayed over by qualified preachers twenty-four hours a day....

I'm sure glad I don't live in Florida.

Did you ever get the feeling that your country was melting down into a puddle of toxic goop? And presiding over the meltdown, under that sturdy, bomb-proof, gleaming, platinum helmet of perfectly plasticized hair... the stern visage of Nancy Grace, beaming disapproval across every hill and mole-hill of this land. Sometimes I fear Nancy would like to wrap duct tape over America's head and just throw the damn thing in her fabulous backyard pool.

I couldn't help thinking last week that this Casey Anthony verdict business was the odd "tipping point" incident that would finally shove the zombified American public into some mode of animate engagement with the reality that lies beyond reality TV. But so far it's still just reckless housewives and monster trucks as far as the eye can see across this tortured landscape. I was more than halfway expecting something new and different - like, say, a dispossessed 99er taking a horsewhip to Mitt Romney at some Iowa meet-and-greet. I would pay cash money to see Nancy Grace paddle the fucker with a cricket bat. If the heat is getting to me here in upstate New York, imagine how addled their brain-pans must be in the Heartland! It was 113 in Kansas City yesterday.
Well, don't worry America. If you don't have the energy to flush yourself down the drain, it looks like Europe will do it for you. PIIGS are flying over there. Straight into the black hole of insolvency. They have reached the point where they can't pay for anything anymore and they've run out of tricks for pretending. Something has finally shoved these countries past the financial point of no return and now the political pillars are shaking loose. There is simply too much tension in the money system and, long about last Friday, you could hear the distant sound of something snapping - I think it was a big Italian bank. The whole Mediterranean rim is about to return to the living standard of about 1830. They could be so pissed off, they'll eat the very tourists who amount to their last remaining revenue stream. Meanwhile, I don't see how all the other banks survive this evolving cataclysm.
Including the big US banks, most particularly the so-called Too-Big-To-Fails. President Obama goes before the TV cameras in an hour or so. It had been my impression that he was going to try and throw a scare into his fellow pols over the debt ceiling and all that. But by the time he gets to the microphone, the bourses of Europe will be in full swing. Will he, as rumored on the Web, declare some "executive action" on the debt issue, telling Congress (in effect), "... your services in this matter are no longer required"-? This is a very gnarly moment of history. We are turning a page in the grand fiction of what money is and whether we are capable of governing ourselves.
We have over a thousand cable TV channels where I live, and none of them puts on a coherent news program on Sunday nights, so weekends have become news blackouts. Talk about the diminishing returns of technology! Have you heard enough yet about Casey and Little Caylee? Do you need to know what Juror X had for breakfast that dark day when the verdict was delivered? Are you feeling so bad about yourself and your nation that you, too, need a paddling from Nancy Grace? O land of seething woman attorneys, we are a wicked people who deserve to be punished. Bring us our just desserts - but not the low-fat tofu cheesecake, thank you - and deliver us from fecklessness. And folks, remember to hydrate!

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