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Bad girls, bad girls, whatchu gonna do?

stalvis Icon Posted by Silja J.A. Talvi

June 1st, 2006

I remember feeling a bit of outrage when Inner Circle sold to the rights to their song, “Bad Boys,” to the bonafide “father” of modern-day reality shows, COPS.

I actually had listened to the song way back when because Inner Circle still had a bit of a reputation for conscious music in the reggae scene. I stopped listening to it after it became that show’s theme song. No matter how long it’s been around, I’m still personally aghast at the fact that the show is so insanely popular with viewers; so much so that they’ve reached their benchmark 650th episode.

Reggae and the law? That relationship, let’s just put it this way, has not typically been a cozy one.

In any case, they apparently haven’t (yet) asked Inner Circle to do a “Bad Girls” version, but I suppose anything is possible, especially in light of the recent installment of the show under that name. It was the same theme, same format. But this time, all the attention was turned on female criminals.

If you could call them that.

One after another, police officers simply roll up on these “Bad Girls,” who are almost all strung out addicts. (Crack or alcohol being the culprit in almost all the cases.)

The case that stick in my mind is that of one woman, who looked to be 60, but could have been 30 for all I know. She is caught on tape as she’s being stopped and questioned by a female officer who suspects she’s high on somethin’.

Crack found, the woman admits that she used her paycheck to buy herself drugs. She comes across as a desperate mess of a human being, and just about admits at much. I’m already just about in tears watching this damn thing. (In point of fact, this woman’s so far gone that it’s going to take something short of a miracle to bring her back.) As she’s thrown in the back of the cop car, the police officer asks her if she has anything else on her person.

“Yes,” she admits quietly.

She has crack-smoking paraphenalia.

Where? Hidden in her underwear.

So, as the cameras close in on it all, the female officer asks her to dig it out so that she won’t have to. The camera zooms for the horrible close-up, and the woman digs out a stem from her crotch-area, both hands still in cuffs. She wriggles and struggles to pull it out, the shame is evident all over her face. Something like this would be humiliating just to endure, but to have this level of addiction and suffering broadcast around the world … well, don’t even talk to me about what “consent” means when you’re dealing with a woman whose entire, painfully limited world revolves around the poison known as crack cocaine.

And this, folks, is entertainment?

Oh, yeah.

It is.

p.s. If you’re interested, here’s a bit more on just how much entertainment value the mainstream media (tv in particular) gets out of *certain* kinds of women who commit crime–or from the interpretations of what it means when a woman commits a crime. It’s a piece I wrote for ITT with the same title, Bad Girls. That title, however, was based on a BBC serial tv show, and not on my own version of the Inner Circle song.

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  2. Alva Pacius
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