Friday, March 02, 2007

Bank robbery fame is the new reality TV fame

There is an article in Slate today about the aesthetic politics of animal preservation. Not surprisingly, it is easy to raise money to protect a "good looking" endangered species like the panda, but conservationists struggle to raise awareness and funds for "grotesque" but equally threatened animals like the aye-aye. (Which I personally find quite adorable.)

There is no hypocrisy here, because the humans aren't holding the animals to a different standard than they hold themselves. Everybody knows good looking people get all the attention and all the breaks.

Case in point the "Barbie Bandits," who knocked over a bank in Georgia earlier this week. A still from the surveillance video, which showed two attractive girls -- a blond and a brunette -- wearing over-sized sunglasses and somewhat tight tops, made their robbery a national story.

Proving their lack of proper face cover and the giggly way they presented the note wasn't an act, it took authorities about a day to catch the ditzy criminals.

Now bank robbery -- because it was such a plague during frontier times -- is up there with murder, rape, kidnapping and treason for crimes that will net you a significant part of the rest of your life in jail.

But the two 19 year old are only being charged with felony theft. This is ostensibly because they are part of what seems to be an inside job. I'm sure the cynic would point out if the bank was robbed by say, two aye ayes, the gremlin-faced rodents wouldn't immediately get such a lenient charge.

How good looking are the two girls really?

Well, unless you are Tom DeLay, nobody is at their best in a mugshot.

Still, I'd say good looking enough to be some make up and airbrushing away from a bank robbery themed Maxim spread. Which they will shoot when they get out of prison in one to three months.

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