On the heels of coming home from my first rally planning committee meeting of the year, I learned that other activists were at work on their own event, when I read the headline Strippers in Smith Vigil. Apparently in honor of the death of a fellow former exotic dancer, the girls of Rick's Cabaret will don the traditional black mourning pasties and sheer black veils as they cease shaking their money makers to pay homage to Anna Nicole Smith. At the stroke of midnight, the lights will dim as they gather on stage to blow their fallen comrade a goodbye kiss. To add class to the event, the single source of light in the room will be a spotlit empty stripper pole. Dignity in life, dignity in death.
While it is tragic any time someone so young (especially someone leaving a small child behind) dies, the circus around this messed up human being's death is appalling. Whatever else she was, this woman was so obviously a colossally wounded, lost soul. While she chose to live out her struggles in the spotlight, it just seems wrong to turn a death into such a sensationalistic, gluttonous frenzy of infotainment.
It is amazing to me how many "news" segments have been devoted to speculation about everything from the events surrounding this woman's death to the paternity of her infant daughter to hard hitting investigations of why a TrimSpa spokeswoman would have Slimfast in her refrigerator. If only the media (and the public) would give the same attention to the war, healthcare, the corporatization of our government, and accountability for our political leaders. Speaking of which, I have to break from my thoughts for a moment to point out the irony of George Bush uttering the words "money trumps peace sometimes" during his press conference as I type.
If we want to conduct hard hitting investigations and hold someone accountable, now there would be a good place to start! And, so, I am off to hold my own mourning ceremony for a media that has for years failed to step up to the plate and do its real job. (No pasties or strippers poles will be involved...trust me, nobody wants to see that.)