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‘The Sugarland Express,’ 2012 edition

Jim Goad:

The attention-seeking self-defeating reality-TV narcissism of Thaxton live-blogging his own crime recalled a similar situation in Utah last year, when Jason Valdez kept his Facebook friends apprised during a 16-hour standoff during which he informed his friends that his female hostage was “cute.”

It recalls the grisly 2011 case in Australia where a man live-blogged his stabbing murder of his two-year-old daughter.

It recalls the young idiot thugs so desperate to preen in front of what is essentially the World’s Mirror that they post videos where they beat men to death or drive through neighborhoods randomly shooting bullets into the streets.

It recalls the heavily trafficked site WorldStarHipHop, described by its proprietor as the “CNN of the ghetto,” which regularly features voluntarily submitted handheld videos of people beating their victims unconscious, often while onlookers guffaw and even brag about how the clip will be a hit on WorldStarHipHop.

***
Goad’s larger point is that we have more to fear from the supersized State apparatus that increasingly monitors our every move than from the criminals this aparatus is ostensibly designed to capture.

Audiences in the 1970s instinctively sided with Goldie Hawn over the media and law enforcement hordes hounding her.

Yes, it helped that it was Goldie Hawn, but the set-up was typical of 70s films — and 70s audiences, overwhelmed by gas shortages, high inflation, hijackings and post-Watergate/assassination “malaise.”

However, people who grew up watching those “outlaw” flicks of the era are now in charge of everything, and imitating the bad guys.


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