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Down with Martha

Matt Bramanti | Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Martha Stewart is going to jail, and I couldn’t be happier. The fact is, I can’t stand the woman.Now, it’s not for the reasons you might suspect. I’m not jealous of her homemaking skills. I don’t have deep-seated insecurities because I can’t make marshmallows from scratch or handcraft a saddle over my lunch hour. I’m not threatened by the prospect of a powerful woman in business. I don’t even mind that she’s known as a mean-spirited person with a nasty temper.Nope, it’s a lot simpler than all that. I don’t like Martha Stewart because she’s a scumbag.She lied to federal agents, tried to cover it up and got caught. Now she’s getting her just deserts.Some people have argued that she’s being singled out because she’s a celebrity. I’ve heard people complain that former Enron boss Ken Lay has yet to face justice, even though his apparent crimes were much more serious. However, that argument ignores the fact that the Enron case is incredibly complex. Some of the top financial minds in the country assembled an intricate maze of transactions designed to inflate company profits and artificially improve Enron’s balance sheet.Martha’s case was a lot more simple. She got an inside tip. She used it to dump her shares on an unsuspecting public. Then, when she was called on the carpet, she lied through her herbal tea-stained teeth. This wasn’t a tough case to figure out. Barney Fife could’ve cracked it by the second commercial break.It’s safe to say that Martha’s not going to hold up too well in the care of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. By most legal experts’ best guesses, the domestic diva’s next redecorating job will be in a federal prison farm in Danbury, Conn.This is a woman who’s used to whipping up roast duck a l’orange for fun. Now it looks like she’ll be churning out license plates for a while. People like her just aren’t built for prison. The homemaking maven built a $2 billion media empire from scratch, and soon she will share a cell with two or three fellow convicted felons.Now today, of course, is St. Patrick’s Day. I propose we all take this opportunity to be anti-Marthas. This is the feast day when we celebrate the man who cast the snakes out of Ireland. So cast the doilies out of your life. Forget trying to cook a seven-course meal. Leave that towel on the floor. I, for one, will leave my tackily decorated room, then head to North Dining Hall to wolf down a bowl of Frosted Flakes. By the time you read this, I’ll be at the Linebacker Lounge, shooting pool and drinking large quantities of green beer.As Martha would say: It’s a good thing.

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer. Contact Matt Bramanti at bramanti.1@nd.edu.