Behold Martha Stewart, American Icon, NYSE Symbol of Women Gone Wild, as in 'wild success.' She went up, we cheered. She came down, we cheered louder.
Success in this country is a lot like the WWF. Vicious and rigged, cast with people we love to hate, cartoons that can't get hurt, celebrities celebrated for stumbling into the public arena where anything goes and nothing's off limits.
This afternoon a jury of Martha's peers — as if she has any — found her guilty on all four counts on insider trading, but the real verdict came long ago: Martha's a known bitch who deserves whatever she gets because Martha's a known bitch.
The bitch is spayed and will no longer have the run of the house. The house will suffer for it. Those who laugh at the jokes about Martha adding homey touches to her prison cell might want to think about this: It could be you.
You get a tip, your stock's about tank. Who do you call? The police, your attorney or your broker?
Think Martha's a bitch? Which Martha? The character, the businesswoman, the brand name, the logo, the magazine, the tv show, the clothing line, the home furnishings, or the real person underneath it all — is that the one we've been instructed to call a bitch?
Because I refuse. I'm tired of these public trials, floggings, executions and stonings. I'm sick of seeing justice strut around the barnyard so cock-sure of itself, sick of these cock-peckin' prosecutors preying on high-profile people in order to send a great big message, which is mostly about themselves and future public office.
They say she's guilty, she's guilty: hope she learns from it. But to dismiss Martha Stewart as a bitch is a mode of character assassination that is easy to replicate in a windy public forum.
When Martha Stewart is weighed alongside her many substantial achievements, it seems incredible that anyone would buy into this "bitch" characterization. Bitch is such a round-about lamer than "lame" gender-derisive, borderline but edgy nearly n-word that's too old to have a definition anymore, the way "cool" no longer has a definition.
Martha taught me how to make muffins, if only in my mind, but mental muffins are to me far better than the real thing: less work, less fattening.
Let us now praise those whose heads have cracked beneath the folding chairs of brutes, and as they are dragged from the arena, let us stand at least in silence.