Monday, September 17, 2007

The Day the Music Died

Two intelligent men, Roger Simon and Ed Morrissey, ponder the phenomenon that is OJ Simpson. Roger describes the OJ trial as a psychological pivot; the day he realized how things really were and how that knowledge changed his life. Captain Ed for his part sees in OJ a terrible looking-glass in which our notions of celebrity are reflected back with the grotesqueness of a funhouse mirror. "It's very likely that no American celebrity has managed to dissipate his life so totally and completely, legally, financially, and morally, as Simpson has done over the last thirteen years. And maybe that's the fascination."

Murder of course, sets OJ apart from comparison with Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. But I wonder if I would be wrong in thinking that OJ may be the least conscious of these ironies; that maybe right at this very moment, he is totally oblivious to the tragic figure that he cuts or the lives he has blighted and is simply thinking about how to get out of jail and recover the sports memorabilia that he thinks is his. One reason why people find it hard to understand apparently nonsensical crimes -- such as when we read about a man murdered for a slice of pizza -- is that we refuse to accept that some people can kill for pizza.

The quality that I have found most dangerous in other human beings -- and you don't even find it in all murderers -- is when they are in a complete state of nature; where sex is a just an itch to gratified, hunger just a craving, anger something to be fed. Such people are fundamentally no different from Great White Sharks prowling the oceans. They'll take off your leg without even hearing you scream, just as long as they have something to chew on.

I don't know whether OJ is like that: cruising around behind that smile with his fangs out. But I know that some people can just go on wrecking lives, incuding their own, without thinking anything of it. You can feel sorry for them, as long as you keep your distance or are ready to hit as hard as they hit you without the slightest hesitation yourself. That's your concession to nature; learning that you're an animal is unfortunately part of being a man. Nothing follows.

33 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

Killing me softly - Fugees

9/17/2007 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The Day The Music Died - Don McLean on Buddy Holly's crash

9/17/2007 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Isn't that the natural consequence of teaching men that we are nothing more than highly evolved brute beasts in a world without a transcendent moral code? Well how about that people start acting like....brute beasts.Ideas have consequences.Strip away the thin veneer of civilization and what do you get? Hang around awhile and we might find out.

9/17/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I used to watch the Juice run when he played for the Bills and I lived in Buffalo. I believe he gained over 270
yards in a game twice in the same season. I guess he was kind of a moral idiot savant. His one skill in life was running with a pigskin bladder. Other than that he ought to be part of AQ in Iraq or the Jungaweed posse in Sudan; just another monster in tennis shoes.

9/17/2007 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On a happier note:
---
How to wean a fighting force off heroin and teenage concubines

Catherine Philp in Gereshk
Captain James Johnson was pleased with the scene at the police checkpoint above the bazaar in Gereshk. All the policemen were present, no one was high on heroin and there wasn’t a male concubine in sight.

“Last time we were here it was like Trainspotting,” Captain Johnson said. “Everyone was completely spaced out, lying around the place with tourniquets around their arms.”

Outside the town, where the highway fords the riverbed, the second checkpoint was a different story. A row of suspiciously shiny rifles sat atop the mud wall. An enigmatic character in a black turban lurked around the compound.

In the lookout tower the visiting British police mentoring team discovered a prisoner, wild-eyed and giggling quietly, chained at the ankles and the waist. “He went home without permission,” said the police commander. “This is his punishment.”

Heroin addiction, the exploitation of teenage boys for sex and a less than salutary regard for human rights are just a handful of the problems British soldiers in Helmand face as they struggle to build a credible local police force capable of defending their people against the Taleban.

9/17/2007 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Alison -- every society has it's own religion. It's universal. Considering that most of human existence (behaviorally modern humans date only 50K years ago) has been hunter-gatherer "state of nature" the social-glue that holds people together is likely religion. That restrains the OJ's from cutting off heads for fear of Tharak the Thunderer torturing them in the afterlife with red hot pokers, or such.

Now of course modern men worship their own will and ego, and what a God that is.

9/17/2007 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Whiskey,
"We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.We laugh at honor and find traitors in our midst.We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful."

-C.S.Lewis

9/17/2007 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I keep waiting for OJ's two kids to explode into our consciousness front and center. The courts should have taken them away from him, but didn't. Given their childhood, their dead and mutilated mother, and the remaining parent bringing them up is a promiscuous double-murderer, what sort of human beings will they have turned into by now.

It's nice to know that some of the family who stood by him and swore fealty to him are now declaring bankruptcy. Dominique Dunne and other writers who attended that trial spoke of them as being decent human beings, but really -- how could they have participated in that travesty and continue to think of themselves as being decent or honorable?

9/17/2007 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

With the jury absent on September 6, 1995, the defense asked Fuhrman whether or not he had ever falsified police reports or if he had planted or manufactured evidence in the Simpson case. He invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

from Wiki

9/17/2007 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

During cross-examination, Fuhrman denied using the word "nigger" in the previous ten years. In response, the defense produced four witnesses as well as an audiotape flatly contradicting his testimony. In one 1985 recording, Fuhrman gave a taped interview to Laura Hart McKinny, a writer working on a screenplay about female police officers. In the recording, Fuhrman bragged about his membership in the secret organization within the LAPD known as MAW (Men Against Women).[1] In further interviews, Fuhrman bragged about beating and torturing gang members and was quoted as saying, "Yeah we work with niggers and gangs. You can take one of these niggers, drag 'em into the alley and beat the shit out of them and kick them. You can see them twitch. It really relieves your tension."[2] He went on to say "we had them begging that they'd never be gang members again, begging us". He said that he would tell black people, "You do what you're told, understand, nigger?"."[3]

Although very limited excerpts of the tapes were admitted as evidence in the Simpson trial--and though the defense never proved anyone fabricated evidence in the case--the admitted portions of the tapes were strong enough to cast doubts on Fuhrman's motives and credibility.

from Wiki

9/17/2007 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Bob --

The mostly black jury knew damn well OJ did it. They were NOT stupid. But like the KKK they put race ahead of everything else.

What the OJ jury showed was that blacks were just as racist, if not more so, than anyone else. Of COURSE they protected OJ through Jury nullification. It's not OJ murdered anyone that was important to them or that the Jury saw as human beings. A young Jewish man and a white woman once married to OJ? Please. For most black people either one of those deserved to be murdered.

And it goes farther than that. In New Orleans, crime goes unpunished. Juries before and after Katrina do not convict black criminals. Even though their victims are black. [I once drove past a crime scene on Magazine, near Uptown which is a nice area. Antique shops used line the street. A boy of 13 on a bike had been shot dead. His shoes, bike, wallet had been stolen. Even his watch was taken. Police caught a suspect but the jury refused to convict. Another incident involved one man beating another to death with an iron bar at Carrolton at the border of mid-City and Uptown. I drove past as the police were carting the body away. The jury refused to convict on that one either -- both men were of course black.]

Blacks are of course extremely threatened by the end of Segregation. Gone is that terrible unity formed by a common enemy and oppressor. Now the threat is inter-marriage and cultural and racial absorption. No wonder the street militias of criminals and gangsters are protected out of racial solidarity. No wonder social control such as "too white" or "not black enough" are common. No wonder OJ was let off.

Black men and women are not stupid. They have chosen to be the Serbs of America and will fight to remain Black no matter what. To be alone, separate, and to have racial identity as the dream. Dr. King's of course was killed before he was. The end of legal (and soon, social) segregation inevitably killed King's Dream.

OJ, Ratko Miladec, Milosevic, and all the rest are the result of the same thing: a small group of people determined to kill rather than be absorbed by others.

9/18/2007 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

AlBobAl's just upset that Angelinos like Furhman are setting up shop in his neck of the woods.

9/18/2007 01:54:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

The amazing thing about this story is that apparently nobody told OJ that he was one of those rare individuals who had the ability to CREATE sports memorabilia.

Buy a black leather glove or a clasp knife, autograph it... Instant sports trivia!

9/18/2007 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Whiskey 199 has it right.

And what I always think of when this case comes up, is that if some Armed Citizen had been out for an evening stroll, happened upon the assault in progress, put a few rounds into The Great Football Star and stopped a double murder - then it is the guy with the gun who saved the day who would have been the subject of The Trial of the Century. And who would be, at best, in jail, and at worst, have been excecuted.

And they would still be holding candleight vigils and protest marches over the Death of OJ.

Thin veneer of civilizaton, indeed. It is thinnest for those who defend it the best.

9/18/2007 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/18/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

The jury nullification process started when the LA political establishment chose the most favorable venue for OJ's trial (not West LA, but Central LA). This was a political decision grounded in Left Victim Group-ism. I wonder how Roger felt about the decision when it was made. I assume he approved.

At the time of the murder I worked with an African American who had, or so he said, retired from a Gang with honors (his next felony conviction would mean an additional decades behind bars--he thought a total of seventeen years was quite enough, thank you). He was actually quite a nice guy but assured me that he did have those "prowling shark" capabilities. And I believed him. I'd give him rides home and remember the story of the scorpion and the frog--me being the frog.

He thought OJ was a cooked goose but I told him OJ had a one and ten chance of getting off. "Wait until the high priced lawyers get a hold of the case and get everyone confused," I said. "He won't have any money left but he may well get off." And that was before the LA political establishment and the Media decided to play racist games with the case.

9/18/2007 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Black men and women are not stupid. They have chosen to be the Serbs of America and will fight to remain Black no matter what.

This just doesn't ring true to me. I see as many black men with white, latino, or asian women as I do with black women. Black men and women aren't fighting to remain black by any stretch of the imagination.

One COULD make an argument that what a substantial portion of this ethnic grouping is in fact fighting for, is to remain victims. . .to retain a sense of entitlement. . .to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions and lives.

9/18/2007 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

BeedleBob - what on earth do either of your two Wiki quotes have to do with the FACT that two people were damned near beheaded???

Can you say, "red herring", or in this case, "black herring".

At least on this go-round, I think there won't be nearly as much political correctness. We're tired of being told that we're all guilty of some undefined bigotry, we're tired of racial reparations bullshit, and we're tired of being told we can't use words like "niggardly" because it will provoke Muslim-like fits of rioting and rage.

9/18/2007 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

The politically correct term (this week) is "African-American".

Doesn't putting the word "African" first mean that you consider your heritage more important than your citizenship?

Martin Luther King would never have approved of the term "African-American", but racial hucksters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson like it just fine. Pinch Shultzberger at the NY Times has done more damage to the black race then David Duke ever did during his Klan days. The soft tyranny of lw expectations and the politics of victimhood have destroyed better menthan OJ...

BTW: A friend pointed out to me that the OJ memorabilia he was attempting to reclaim actually belonged to the Goldman family, in accordance with the terms of the civil suit settlement. How dumb does that make OJ now?

9/18/2007 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

It's a fact two people were murdered. Question is who done it?

Racism in a case like that? Heaven forbid. If OJ had been tried in a gated white community, I do imagine he would have been found guilty.

When a star witness pleads the Fifth, most people would tend to discount all his testimony. Jesus.

That Katlin(sp) kid, the houseboy, he may have been the only one that told the truth in the whole circus.

The LADP doesn't have a sterling record for truth telling. In fact a good part of it is corrupt. But I imagine OJ did it too, though whether it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt is a good argument.

9/18/2007 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger alohasteve said...

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9/18/2007 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Dang it, I can't recall her name, or find a reference to her in a search, but there is a lady, an urban sociologist as she calls herself, at UCLA, specializing in the LAPD. Last I heard her interviewed on an hour radio program she basically said the LAPD, which has always had some greater or lesser amount of corruption at the lower levels, was becoming worse, with the systematic corruption rising into the mid management levels. I think if you check around a bit you'll find there are lots of problems and what's found may well not be all there is. This was two or so years ago I heard her speak. Maybe things have improved since then-maybe they are all angels now-- but I really doubt it. If I am on a jury and a man--an officer of the law:)--takes the Fifth on the grounds his answer may tend to incriminate himself--I'm not believing him.

9/18/2007 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

OJ got tried before a jury and they found him not guilty. What is the problem with accepting our legal system in this case? Why this preoccupation with second guessing it? Nobody here sat through the whole trial, listening to all of the evidence. What makes you think you know better? The MSM reports??? Tell me how you trust the MSM to tell you the truth again?

What I find really puzzling in this is that he was found not guilty in criminal court yet found liable in civil court. What the hell kind of justice is that?

9/18/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

What I find really puzzling in this is that he was found not guilty in criminal court yet found liable in civil court. What the hell kind of justice is that?
////////////////
Its the best that money can buy.

9/18/2007 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

It certainly appears to be a system that can be bought.

9/18/2007 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Yash -- if your assertion was true, then why the constant refrain of "acting white" or "not black enough?"

Like the Serbs, Blacks fear intermarriage and assimilation. Look at Obama. His "Dreams of My Father," details his fears of marrying a white woman and further diluting his "race."

Blacks are not stupid. They want a resumption of total unity and separation from white society.

Balbarb -- The Jury was not stupid. They understood that the DNA evidence, OJ's behavior, attempted flight into Mexico, injuries sustained, etc. meant he did it. And just the racist white juries that refused for decades to convict the murderer of Medgar Evers, the racist Black jury put racial solidarity over everything else.

And besides, most Blacks thought that Goldman (a Jewish man) and Brown (a white woman) deserved it. Just as most whites believed Evers deserved murder by De La Beckwith.

Let's be honest about such things.

9/18/2007 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

There is a diffence in a civil case where it's 'more likely than not' and a criminal case where it is--or supposed to be--'beyond a reasonal doubt' or 'to a moral certainty' or whatever the language is.

9/18/2007 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

There's also a case to be made for having professional juries, though it is not a very good case.

9/18/2007 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I understand that there was a lower burden of proof required for a civil case but I find it hard to understand how you can be found not guilty of a crime the be brought into another court after acquittal and have that court penalize you for the crime you were already found not guilty of. You would think that you could simply point to your acquittal as a substantial piece of evidence, a FACT established in court, that you are not guilty of that crime. I realize a criminal court does not find you innocent but dragging it over to a second court with a lower burden of proof seems injustice to this novices eye.

9/18/2007 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

They didn't find him innocent, they found him not guilty, in the criminal trial, a distinction with a difference. That's to say, they said they didn't have enough to stick him. I recall the slow speed chase, but not a flight to Mexico. Wasn't Scott Peterson caught at the Mexican border? Memory dims, but the memory recalls the DNA evidence was less than perfect too, with procedural errors, and a new guy or girl in charge of it.

9/18/2007 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

OJ got tried before a jury and they found him not guilty. What is the problem with accepting our legal system in this case?

The name Lizzie Borden ring any bells? Yes, the one who took an axe and gave her father 40 whacks. After Miss Borden was acquitted she stayed in Fall Creek where the murder(s) had happened the rest of her life. And she was shunned the rest of her life by the decent people of Fall Creek, the same ones as who had acquitted her.

You might want to look up the word "shun". It's got a long long history as a fall-back position when regular people feel that justice has not been served.

OJ got away with murder. He was acquitted, but to a great majority of Americans, that was a miscarriage of justice based upon (1) an incredibly ignorant jury and (2) racial politics. Therefore, after his acquittal, he was shunned as punishment for the two murders. He was disinvited from his membership at the Riviera Country Club, he was chased out of Los Angeles and out of California, and he's had the beady eye of law enforcement in Florida on him since he arrived there.

Now, the man has managed to put his head back in the noose, and we can quit shunning him and go back to hanging him, which is what should have been done in the first place.

Oh, and for people who get upset about double jeopardy and trying the same person twice once they've been acquitted -- read some history about the civil rights movement in the South. KKK members started getting tried a second time by the Feds on civil rights charges after they were initially acquitted on murder charges by biased white southern juries.

Being put on trial twice for the same crime doesn't happen very often but when it does it's usually deserved. And, after all, OJ *did* kill two people so I figure he's got another trial or three due to him.

9/18/2007 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Dozens died in Syrian-Iranian chemical weapons experiment...
Proof of cooperation between Iran and Syria in the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction was brought to light Monday in a Jane's ...
-Hewitt

9/18/2007 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Yash -- if your assertion was true, then why the constant refrain of "acting white" or "not black enough?"

I think that this is related to the goal of remaining a victim. If you consort with or act like your 'oppressor', it's bad, right?

It may be different where you are, but I never EVER hear 'acting white', or 'not black enough', except when the MSM plays the race card.

9/19/2007 12:49:00 PM  

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