Monday, May 14, 2007

Madeleine ... beats me


I know, I know... this probably will enter the history of this blog as the most contemptible piece I have written... BUT, someone's got to say it. Some 10 days or so ago, a blond little British girl (Madeleine) was kidnapped by someone in Portugal. No doubt this is terrible news for the little girl, the distressed parents and anyone who has heard about this story.
Ever since, however, something or other (is it the blond hair?) has blown this sad saga out of all proportions. The story remains the number one news item on the evening news and any other news bulletin you choose to pick (not the many more kids that get murdered on a daily basis by allied troops in Iraq, for instance). The suggestion was made, somewhat excitedly, to broadcast the girls photo on Eurovision (a particularly tacky EU wide song contest). Dutifully the BBC News wrote to the organisers of the song contest and requested just that. One wonders how many other national broadcadsters in Europe suggested the same in response to kidnapped kids in their respective countries. It goes without saying, there's plenty of prey-alongs, too, as if this would change anything substantially for the kidnapped girl. The family's priest reportedly flew to Portugal to ... do what? The BBC reports, 'In the UK, a text message urging mothers to pray for Madeleine's safe return to her family is being passed on by mobile phone and in internet forums.' There's also an army of UK lawyers in Portugal that won't be able to change anything in the ongoing investigation by the Portuguese police force. We even had a 'run for Madeleine' (no kidding, people in Glasgow ran 10k 'for' Madeleine). Evidently the kidnapper didn't really give a toss. As usual, when there's a limelight related opportunity, Richard Branson offered some cash to find this girl (as opposed to any other girl that's also currently missing).
So, while one appreciates the need to generate publicity to ensure the case isn't forgotten, one can't help but wonder what it is that makes this girl so special when compared with other kidnapped (disappeared) kids in the UK and the rest of the world.

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