Weekend reading roundup.
This article in the NY Times terrifies the shit out of me. It turns out that the Detroit police officers who shot 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones may have been showing off for the cameras when they threw a flash-bang grenade through her window. Specifically, they were being filmed by A&E police reality show The First 48. I watched the Memphis episodes of this show pretty often, but they were eventually kicked out of town, so to speak. This was due to the possibility that potential jurors were being influenced before trials by seeing defendant’s confessions on-screen. Although I’m not certain that this is the entire reason why The First 48 cameras aren’t allowed to follow the Memphis Police department anymore, and while I certainly miss catching bits and pieces of my hometown on national television, a big part of me is glad that the city came to this decision. It’s disturbing to think that a defendant’s right to a fair trial could be compromised by reality TV cameras, and it’s even more disturbing to think that they could indirectly be responsible for the death of a child.
Now that I can read whatever the hell I want to rather than what’s on my syllabus, I’m plowing right through Chuck Klosterman’s latest book of essays, Eating The Dinosaur. I have really polarized feelings about his work; like any good pop culture nerd, sometimes I love it; but sometimes I find it (and him) to be insufferably self-centered and almost obnoxious. We’ll see how this one turns out.
And finally, my dear friend Sarah Fortune has written a tribute to her life in Midtown Memphis and it’s so beautiful that it makes me want to weep. Check it out, even if you’re not from Memphis. She does a wonderful job of pointing out the inherent, complicated intersections that come along with the territory of choosing to live in Midtown.