Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Catching Pedophiles: Good Clean Fun

One of the recent posts by Maddox, "Spot the Pedophile" has received more support in the last month thanks to NBC's Datline. Since news broke a whopping two months ago that MySpace is, with few exceptions, the internet's answer to the trailer park, news outlets are taking care to warn parents in suburbia that this interactive white trash bash can cause unsightly pieces of lower socioeconomic fare to come home to roost while the parents are sipping martinis at the yacht club, or each working that second job to cover the fifth mortgage on the house that's, well, outside of their means.

Of course, before MySpace, there was always just "The Internet," where cyber seduction was in full swing probably sometime around mid 1994. News stories would occassionally pop up detailing the latest pedophile nabbed in a sting operation, and the national sex offenders watch list definitely pricked a few eyes and ears considering, well golly, there's a lot of convicted sex offenders out there! But now, finally, the Powers That Be have seen to it to put a stop to the as-yet unconvicted. Thank goodness.

Now, of course there's some supplemental relief. As a man who watches too much television, there's just not enough feel-good programming out there. "Cops" is always good for a few grins, but it never gets a good timeslot (like I'm going to stay in on Saturday night), thanks Fox. That one "60 Minutes" piece a few years back about the African orphans from that one war over there getting to come over here and get a fresh start in the U.S. was definitely a tear-jerker, but such heart-warming stuff just isn't typical enough for CBS. And, I'll admit, I've had a few good doses of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" that make me glad to see Little Timmy won't have to climb the stairs with those crutches anymore (because ABC went and built them a house with an elevator), but this has finally run its course because they've picked a few families that, well, just don't deserve it.

And, so it goes. Fox, CBS, and ABC have all taken their shots at valuable public service, so now NBC is up to bat, taking charge at giving me a little taste of justiceTM. As a college-educated TV watcher, my attention span for this will last at only one or two episodes more, but for now the two episodes I've viewed have left me on cloud nine.

And what's more great, it's a communal experience. As American as apple pie.

While "Cops" probably gets its fair share of ACLU viewers just warming their bleeding hearts seeing that pusher get busted "just because he doesn't speak English," and Nigerian(?) immigrants (or any immigrant) are bound to tick off somebody, and Extreme Makeover sob stories probably raise even in bottom of the most giving heart the question, "Couldn't you have just cleaned up the yard yourself, just a little bit?" Nobody, and I mean nobody, can yet sympathize with a pedophile.

Okay, so there's the Michael Jackson trial to consider. Let me rephrase: Nobody, and I mean nobody, can yet sympathize with a pedophile that doesn't have his name on a multi-platinum album called "Thriller."

Pedophilia is well on its way into the annals of mental disorder, where homosexuality resided a whole ten minutes before it began its long (still going, and forever going) journey into the embrace of the American majority, and polygamy seems to be taking the bypass straight to this route thanks to HBO, but for now, satisfaction in pedophile nabbing is good clean fun that (cue background music) all Americans in this sharply divided nation can unite to enjoy. While gas prices surge, the (southeastern Michigan) economy barely sputters along, and our resolve against the terrorist threat is ceaselessly tested, we can all unite in the cause and cheer as (this week) the Fort Meyers Police Department grabs big Dwayne in his cowboy hat, tosses him to the ground, cuffs him like Dano and books him for attempting to solicit sex from a minor.

(fade background music)