Thursday, February 5, 2009
Boulder, or Just Stupider?
There are certain things that... well, it seems like they're just going to go on forever. Things that no one individual has any chance of outliving. Like fighting in the Gaza Strip. Or Africa being terminally screwed up. Or Jesse Jackson and/or Al Sharpton parachuting into any place where there is even a hint of racial strife – to make matters worse, of course. Or the endless recount of votes in the Minnesota race for Senate. Or Jimmy Carter “monitoring” third-world elections. Or Robert Byrd. Or “McCarthyism” and “Watergate”. Or anything else ending in "gate". Or the “Holocaust” -- oy! Or even stuff like Elvis memorabilia. And Dick Clark on New Year's Eve. And "Punxsutawney Phil" (a little local reference there). And Regis Philbin in general. And Topol. And Robert Goulet. And Wayne Newton. And kids playing “Marco Polo” in public swimming pools (and “Heart and Soul” on the piano at every party). But, despite all this, there are some things that eventually come to an end. For instance, Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. has stopped showing up at every civil rights rally or observance to act as a kind of austere, waxy, living icon. Ted Kennedy, while not yet quite muted, has cut back on his demagoguery a bit. The Aga Khan has stopped accumulating wives (yeah, I know, this is old stuff, but I thought I'd throw it in). And Zsa Zsa Gabor and Liz Taylor have stopped accumulating husbands (ditto). But there is one thing we all thought – hoped! -- fervently! -- we'd heard the last of, and that's Jon Benet. Yeah – the pre-school beauty queen whose bizarre demise caught the Boulder, Colorado police department flat-footed (so to speak) and continues to do so to this day... but rather than call this whole business a lost cause, guess what, they're taking it up again. Not as a “cold case”, because it was never even lukewarm, but because this time – aha! -- they have “new technology” and “tools they didn't have a decade ago”. Right. Maybe. But they still have the same old stupidity. Think of it as the L.A. Police Department writ small – the L.A. bunch being the guys who, as someone said, “tried to frame a guilty man” in the O.J. case. I don't think all the new technology and tools in the world are going to save these clowns from their own incompetence... plus, isn't there a point beyond which it's OK to just let things like this rest? Don't they eventually wind up looking just a bit obsessive, like Inspector Javert of “Les Miserables” fame? And yeah, I know, the “long arm of the law” and all that... and I would never advocate calling off the “Nazi hunters” just because all their quarries are over the age of 90 (would that there had ever been “Bolshevik hunters” of equal determination!). But in this case, they ran into a stone wall, and yes, they bungled, but even if they hadn't would the stone wall have been any less stony? There may be no such thing as a perfect crime, but there are many crimes that might as well have been perfect. Think “Jimmy Hoffa”, for example. I'm usually not all that impressed with people who are anxious to “move on” from traumatic events, but sometimes I just think, enough already, the show's over, the circus train has left town, let's just get back to normal living.