Friday, May 05, 2006

Where Misfortune Means a Fortune

Every time I walk into the local Borders bookstore, I am amazed to see dozens of neatly arranged books, in well decorated gold striped jackets delineate the entrance. I decided to take a quick roll call this weekend. There it was, primetime America’s who’s who. Colonel Karpinski, Medeleine halfbright( Albright), Edward Kennedy, Michael Savage, Thomas Friedman, Gen. Tommy Francs, Terri Schiavo. The list goes on.

As I do it every time, I flipped through some of those. The Guests of Ayatollah by Mark Bowden seemed compelling; the language and style was intoxicating. So was Thomas Friedman. Then, I moved on to Colonel Karpinski, and her account of the notorious Abu Gareb prison story. This woman was at the helm of the infamous scandal and here she is, profiting from the tragedy. Then, I read the back jacket of the Terri Schiavo book. I paused, and thought about the notion of a woman, having brutally killed her young children, gaining from that heinous act. And so are the big publishing houses.

That is America. You hear news about a man who accidentally shoots his friend while they both practiced shooting beer cans off each other’s head. Next month you are guaranteed three hard cover, gold striped, special edition books with an eye popping dust jacket and special extra thick glossy inlays packed with color photos and bonus material; one book by the guy who pulled the trigger, next by an eye witness and last, one written by the guy who got shot and died on the spot. (The dead man's book will invariably be the best seller). You can also see interviews with the authors on Larry King and Nancy (Dis)Grace. If one is incarcerated, the veteran anchors will beam live from the prison, on a special encore presentation of Larry Ling Live.

I must not ridicule people for profiting from tragedies. May be, it helps them ‘put things behind’ and to ‘move on’. May be, it helps the public to get a ‘new perspective’, a ‘first person account’, a ‘closer look’. What ever it is, I can only view it as a charade to milk from ones infamy or a tragedy.

Cartoon Quip:
Larry King to a woman who molested her 13 year old student: “How was the sex?”
Women: “It was wonderful; I have never had it better”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could not have been said better !

10:14 PM  
Blogger Pradeep said...

Just like tragedies make news. Anything that is functional is no big deal, but when things go wrong it is talked about. May be that's the way life is.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Srinivas said...

Better than netaas who swindle relief money. But agree with you in general.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Roger Piper said...

I liked the shooting beer can example. Hilarious !


10:17 PM  
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