Friday, August 11, 2006

 

what's in your wallet???

it has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ... i'm suggesting this morning that we broaden the scope of this sentiment to include the notion that parody is the sincerest form of flattery...

the nashville scene is the mid-state's weekly newspaper that covers politics, culture, and the arts in an edgier way than you see in daily papers...and that includes having a sense of humor embodied in its longstanding news-that-isn't-the-news column the fabricator...and it was in this week story that tcask was parodied...

the article entitled Gangsta Rap Blamed for Elephant Violence...recounts the sad story of the death of a volunteer caregiver at the elephant sanctuary in hohenwald, tn ... the death of 36 year old joanna burke was a tragic accident that involved winkie, an elephant with whom joanna had regularly worked...

it could be said that the scene did not do the memory of joanna burke justice in the parody they created...and it could be said that the framing of the parody in which they blamed the actions of winkie on her predilection towards listening to gangsta rap on her elephant-sized i-pod was at best racially insensitive...

what was humorous was the depiction at the end that read thusly... In a related item, the Elephant Sanctuary's decision not to euthanize the elephant was greeted by cheers from members of the Tennessee Coalition to Abolish Killing of Elephants (T-CAKE), who were staging a candlelight vigil and singing a hastily written anti-pachyderm-death-penalty anthem, "Winkie Shall Overcome," at the time the decision was announced.

while the parody is humorous (out of the larger context mentioned above) it is embedded in a stereotype about death penalty abolitionists that requires public challenging -- that death penalty opponents only gather at vigils the night of executions to sing kumbaya and we shall overcome solely as an existential exercise of public opposition...

what the scene ignores, and their parody would have had all the humor wrung out of it otherwise, is that the vigils while solemn and necessary exercises are the least of what tcask does to oppose the death penalty...one need only read the 3 previous blog entries to understand that tcask is organizing a serious, professional challenge to the death penalty as a public policy tool of the state of tennessee and, that it is doing so by demonstrating factually that the state death penalty system is inaccurate, unfair, unreliable, and a HUGE diversion of taxpayer $$$ away from law enforcement, crime prevention, and crime victim's compensation funding while offering nothing in return to tennessee taxpayers and citizens...

so while there is definitely humor in the scene's parody of the ritual of the execution night vigil it misses the bigger picture when it fails to make the headline, "this is not your mother's anti-death penalty movement..."

peace out <3
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