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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Jessica Cutler and Lynndie England?!

The Sunday Post Magazine has a long piece on the Washingtonienne scandal, which provides a fun recap of everyone's favorite blogslut's misadventures, but writer April Witt nearly ruins it for me with her overanalysis of Jessica Cutler's larger cultural significance:

"She's a sign," says Daniel Yankelovich, the pollster and analyst who has been studying American values for 50 years. He means a sign of our times, as is Jessica's frumpy 21-year-old contemporary, Pfc. Lynndie England, whose gleeful mugging for the cameras as she mocked naked Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib unsettled the national conscience. Both women have left many people questioning: How did we get here?

Jessica's "behavior is not mainstream majority behavior in the same way that most soldiers in Iraq are not abusing people," Yankelovich says. "She's an extreme, but she's a sign. These kinds of signs are breaking out often enough that you know they are signaling something much larger and more important."

Sorry, sleeping around is a far cry from torturing prisoners.