A(u) Pair - A(u) Princess
Screaming down the French (super) highway at 150 km/h, she smiles
(drunk?) at the drunk-driving chauffeur, and then leans over to kiss the
multi-million dollar man. Bam-Bam (this was no cartoon), the wheels spin,
shiver, wobble, screech, as a five-ton tumble-weed Mercedes limo does a Spinal
Tap dance down the womb-like tunnel of (dead) love, isn't Paris romantic? A
picture's worth a thousand car-crashes, and they flash, flash, flash the pooling
bloody upside-down non-integrated cyborg. Airwaves blare the dizziness of
euphoric mourning, remembrance of her head banging, back and forth, back and
forth, back and forth, her head banging, back and forth, back and forth, back
and forth, his head banging, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth...
LONDON - The British press, principally the tabloids, has latched onto the
murder case against Louise Woodward, the British au pair charged with killing
an 8-month-old baby in her care, with an intensity unlike anything since the
coverage of the aftermath of Princess Diana's death.1
This is the a(u)parent hyper-nostalgia of a Princess reconstructed
into the televisual body of a 19 year-old killer. She shook more heads than
little Matthew Eappen's. The micro(il)logical insignificance of this story
aside, Louise Woodward iconographically reinscribes the (virtual) global
community with a simulated return to that retro-time when Diana owned our
media(ted) hearts with the innocent charm of simplicity. How could Princess Di
possibly have killed a baby? OJ was no princess, and he got off; watchers cringe
as our icon of a land-mineless world is found guilty of murder 2. Princess
Louise said she loved Matthew and never would have hurt him (except maybe to
shut him up), and WHAM the world is on the scene screaming for justice, for the
Princess's freedom (I doubt she wanted to stop their screams).
Kill Fry Die - Necromancer (Massachusetts Votes on Death Penalty)
Now's the time for cybernetic image technology...
The skillful proponents for killing criminals schedule a vote some
three weeks after two heinous murders, and it looks like they will win. Some
complain, some protest, some argue, but enough want to kill. Dead bodies please
these onlookers, especially dead women. Mother T's dead body lay fittingly in
the missionary position, like a clothed stripper before a long night's work; the
necrophiliacs thronged to watch her strip from the inside out. Her decomposing
body surrounded by 10 million (people) dollars worth of flowered funeral
accumulation. Let's not forget our princess; attendance at the long Di(ing)
funeral parade topped her perfect marriage.
Reincarnated into Louise's virtually imprisoned body, Di watches, with
British disapproval, as the "[Massachusetts] Legislature, by an 81 to 79 vote,
revived the death penalty that had been put to rest in 1984 by a state Supreme
Judicial Court ruling that it was unconstitutional."2 Reviving a
dead issue situates itself at the heart of this transubstantiating scene.
While the reborn princess sits through a trial by jury, the jury is
out on the death penalty in Mass. Both the House of Representatives and the
Senate vote for sterile injection revenge murders, but they vote on different
bills; (re)voting will be required. Princess smiles her famous smile, leaking
tears of regret onto the pages of Cosmopolitan, and winks at the camera
man. Her secret fluxes through satellite transmissions, blinding viewers with
its appearance, hypnotizing them with its intensity. Without knowing exactly
why, they begin to create web sites for justice (Louise Woodward Justice), they
organize, they protest, they just might win without a vote... Boom-Boom (this
was no shoot out)! Murder 2, the world Wales at the horror-the horror (this was
no(t) novel). With the blue flicker of the screened memory, John P. Slattery
finds himself post(psycho)analytically transfer(enc)ed over the imprisonment of
Princess Di to the redefining space of savior. He Votes No Go On Death Penalty.
"AU PAIR CASE WEIGHED HEAVILY IN OUTCOME."3
In a stunning reversal, the Massachusetts House last night refused, on a
tie vote, to reinstate the death penalty, bucking the wave of support for the
resumption of state executions that followed a string of heinous murders in
Slam Blam Pop
(Counter Cultural)-(Fatal) Forgetting (Fatal) Strategies
Leveled by the slow accelerating temporal dimensions in the
sur-hyper-real historical psychosis of the year 199(?), the social (dis)ordering
leaks (blood?) at the subtle cracks in a virtual wall of exclusion, or it
projects images of freedom and justice (for all) on that wall, but not everyone
watches this simulated freedom...
For decades, some of the most eloquent opposition to capital
punishment has come from the black clergy, reflecting the anxieties of a
community that has long believed the ultimate penalty is unevenly enforced.
But in the death penalty debate that has engrossed Beacon Hill, those voices
have been almost silent, observers say.5
Even though communed around the TV screen like all of our First World,
the African-American population does not see what their others see. After all,
Princess Di was just another white bitch who died in a Mercedes. No need to
Necromance her imaginal flesh through this nineteen year old cherub faced a(u)
pair. While the Promise Keepers systematically White Out memories of the Million
(Wo)man March and cybernetically find and replace "a(u) princess" with "a(u)
pair," the African-American community, lead by the clergy, employs a new
strategic overlay to (re)write on this dried Liquid Paper. This is a (Fatal)
Forgetting (Fatal) Strategy. Counter-culturally forgetting the princess injects
the next phase in Blacking On the American constitution of oppression. It's not
that the black clergy stopped caring about the death penalty, but they refused
to revive the image of the broken bodied British white martyr so recently in the
grave. A new strategy of underparticipating in the simulacra in order to achieve
political ends, indifference par excellence. Counter (cultural) Forgetting has
been born and it signals the potential (total) control of the marginalized
(silent minorities) over the political sphere.
Black Power can now be read as Black Resistance to the simulated icons
of world emotional attachment. This refusal undercuts the mysterious white
desire to overcome temporal materiality through virtual practicality by
internally closing off affective attachment to the image. From now on the
structural imperative of the African-American community will be one of
constructing (black) communal iconographics, while simultaneously Counter
(culturally) Forgetting the delusional pre-inscriptions digitally remastered in
white (noise) studios. Through the rubric of indifference, this tactical
reversal in the African-American world materially dismantles the continual
reproduction of hegemonic individualized icons. And as a subaltern effect of
this strategy, the political arena begins to make transference-identification
decisions as an attempt to reincorporate people of color into the system of
domination. Black indifferance to both the a(u) pair and the death
penalty twisted the legislative scales, and the "Death Penalty Never Happened."
Who said fatal strategies can't work?
Hernandez, Peggy. "London Press Trumpets Cause," Boston Globe (WWW
archives). 5 November, 1997.
Jordan, Robert A. "Death Penalty Opponents Vow to Overturn Last Weeks Vote,"
Boston Globe (WWW archives). 2 November, 1997.
Lehigh, Scott. "Au Pair Case Weighed Heavily in Outcome," Boston Globe
(WWW archives). 7 November 1997.
Walker, Adrian & Wong, Doris Sue. "Momentum For A State Law Is Halted As
House Member Changes His Mind," Boston Globe (WWW archives)). 7 November,
Walker, Adrian. "Black Clergy Are Largely Silent On The Issue, Observers Say,"
Boston Globe (WWW archives)). 6 November 97.
Ross Glover is a graduate student in Sociology at Boston College.
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