Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Jessica Turns 25, Gets Access to $800,000 Trust Fund

via Jezebel:

Baby Jessica, the toddler who tumbled down an abandoned water well and became trapped inside more than two decades ago, just gained access to a trust fund of up to $800,000.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Baby Jessica House (and the well!) are for sale!

3309 Tanner Drive is for sale!

For only $80.000, a rare piece of American could be yours (or mine!). Don't think I'm not seriously considering buying it and turning it into a museum/performance space. But that means I'd have to hang out in Midland a lot more. With all love and respect, I don't think Midland is my town.

But you should buy it! And let me visit!

WAIT A SECOND! If I bought this house, I would be the owner of the single largest piece of Baby Jessica Kitsch EVER. It would be like buying Baby Jessica herself.

(Thanks to my reader, Brian, for the tip.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Baby Jessica: Back in the game

It's been awhile. But I think the Baby Jessica play and I are ready to be friends again. It's a new world with a new president, and I've got new things to say.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear Baby Jessica Play,

I wish I could work on you right now. I put you in the freezer a few months ago because we had a fight, and you wouldn't just fix yourself. But now I'm going to do this National Playwriting Month thing, and see, I have to write a BRAND NEW play in just one month. Hopefully it will give me the kick in the pants I need to come back and work on you again.

I still love you Baby Jessica Play, even when you won't just write your own darn self.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby Jessica First

Oh wow. The stars & stripes graphic on the background of McCain's website are so small town pageant, just like Sarah Palin's hair. They would totally be invited to the Baby Jessica festival.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What now?

This poster embodies one of the main themes from my Baby Jessica Musical workshop.
Via Eric Lodwick

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chip, Reba & Jessica McClure in the hospital after the rescue.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. "
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday, March 20, 2008

life, liberty, and fame

" …one of the rights of being an American is the right to be famous."

-From a Today Show clip about people paying for “Paparazzi Parties.” Basically you pay $250-$2,500 for paparazzi to follow you around while you’re out on the town. You can even hire a bodyguard to “protect” you from the fake paps and be on the cover of a fake gossip rag.

Is fame part of the pursuit of happiness?

Is Baby Jessica responsible for the Britney Spears crotch shots and the death of Princess Diana?

According to a report by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press in 1997:

"In an era in which virtually all Americans share very few things, the story of Princess Diana's death captivated the nation. . . Modern communications have spawned an ever increasing diversity of tastes and interests and decidedly smaller audiences for everything from news stories to sit-coms. Add to this growing public cynicism and distrust, and the consequence is that there are very few things to which everyone pays attention. . . Jessica McClure is the only other individual to have ranked with Diana in news interest."

One of the most interesting conversations I had with D. Lance Lunsford in Midland was about how the Jessica McClure rescue was the first story that all the networks covered at the same time. I don't have all the research to back this up, but apparently it was when CNN's 24-hour coverage was still new (CNN started in 1980 but wasn't profitable until 1985.), and the other networks discovered that when they didn't continuously cover the rescue, their ratings went down and CNN's went up, so the other networks had to cover the story incessantly in order to compete. As Lunsford put it to me, the Jessica McClure rescue was the "proving ground for the 24-hours news medium as a conduit to the masses."

I know that nothing exists in a vacuum and no one person could be a single contributing factor to the insanity surrounding us today. BUT, I also wonder if, in a very broad sense, the Jessica McClure rescue was a catalyst (perhaps even a partial genesis) of our modern Us Weekly mentality? Did the coverage of the rescue help to feed the frenzy that led to things like the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase, and even more tragically, to the paparazzi chase that ended Diana's life? It's a rolling stone that only gathers more moss when you think that coverage of Diana's death further fueled our culture's demand for incessant media coverage, the kind of coverage that leads publishers to introduce to the world the "gift" of the Britney Spears crotch shot?

If Baby Jessica and Britney Spears are both All-American Girls, America's-sweetheart types, how did we get from rescuing a baby to publishing pictures of a pop idol's snatch?

Did Baby Jessica, in a metaphorical sense, grow up to be Britney Spears?*

*more on this later. I've got a billion Baby Jessica=Britney Spears theories.

Where were you when Jessica fell down the well?

". . .I remember very clearly when the whole Baby Jessica thing went down (no pun intended). I was seven years old and it freaked the bejeezus outta me. I didn't understand how the grown-ups in her life could have allowed her to fall down the well. It scared me to think that something like that could HAPPEN in this world....wasn't it the job of grown-ups everywhere to keep children--especially babies--safe?? If something like this could happen to a cute little baby, what could happen to ME???"

- The Milkman's Daughter.

Brooke covers in her post a lot of the initial thoughts and questions I had when I first started my Baby Jessica research.

If anyone else remembers where they were or what they were thinking when Baby Jessica fell down the well, please email me. I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Lightness isn’t stupidity. It’s actually a philosophical and aesthetic viewpoint, deeply serious, and has a kind of wisdom—stepping back to be able to laugh at horrible things even as you’re experiencing them."

- Playwright Sarah Ruhl in an interview with John Lahr in The New Yorker.