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The Daily Inquisition / October 24, 2008

The Damnation of Ashley Todd

Statement of the Grand Inquisitor: Little need be said here. What does a Texas Republican know about stigmata? What could an Anglo-Saxon understand about self-mutilation? These things are better left to those who understand them. She invented the usual fictitious black mugger who somehow carved a backwards “B” on her cheek, hoping it would serve as her ticket to martyrdom and at the same time become the ultimate McCain/Palin sticker. But her people only cut deep when it is another’s face they carve; she got it backwards, and far too shallow. She was damned from birth, but now it is a matter, as they say, “of public record.”

Statement of the Defense: No quarrel with the verdict, but there is a gloomy fascination in the real misery that leaks from her horrible face. We who scan the crania know that there are few miseries worse than that of a remarkably ugly young woman at Texas A&M, among the prom queens. Add the grotesque displaced hatred of the rightwing nerd and you have a life that might be profitably exchanged for Hell. And yet she cut so shallowly! If nothing else, the Church taught its serfs to cut deep.

Statement of the Grand Inquisitor: You give her stupid misery far too much weight. The life of a gull–those two or three terrifed, heroic winters–has far more dignity and pathos. In her fall we see only the endemic self-pity of her tribe, the most pampered, querulous of all. We look forward with gusto to her eventual introduction to the knives that will cut dully and slowly and very, very deeply. Mourn the gulls if you must mourn any of the creatures stumbling across the earth.

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