• Ethan Couch And The Perils of Affluenza.

    If Ethan Couch had been anything other than a clean-cut American teen of affluent upbringing, he would have spent his New Year's behind prison walls, contemplating the 20-year sentence he received for killing four people while driving while intoxicated. That is, if he wasn't subdued to the point of death or gunned down for being belligerent towards law enforcement.

    Instead, Ethan Couch walked, citing his privileged, affluent upbringing as a fatal flaw that prevented him from seeing wrong from right. It would have been an amazing thing to see a judge buy a Chewbacca defense like Couch's "affluenza" claim, except that seeing justice make a mockery of itself over and over again tends to kill the novelty of it all.

    Lady Justice is blind, but seeing her sword fall a certain way for some and not at all for others makes you wonder.

    In the end, it's Ethan Couch who'll suffer dearly. The message he's gotten out of this is typical for any affluent teen who squeaks their way out of trouble: as long as you have money (or mommy and daddy's, in most cases), you can get out of any jam*. And he'll keep abusing that "Get Out of Jail Free" card again and again until his luck runs out. An overdose on alcohol in a frat house bathroom after one too many shooters. A head-on collision with a sturdy oak after a stint behind the wheel on a bender. A live co-ed with an accusation or three (or a dead co-ed and a piss-poor attempt at evidence removal). It's only a matter of time before his "affluenza" suddenly bolts out of remission with a vengeance. And the prognosis for that is all-too-grim.

    In the meantime, the families of the four victims are doing the only thing that seems to resonate with affluent individuals. The District Attorney for Tarrant County, Texas is also looking into a definite cure for Couch's "affluenza."

    * It also helps if you're also a clean-cut white kid. A wealthy Trayvon Martin would likely still be a dead Trayvon Martin.