The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Monday, February 28, 2005

O.J. and Michael Jackson


Speaking of damage to the base chakras...
##
The twin cases of O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson fascinate America, partially because of the cult of celebrity, and partially due to racial issues inextricably intertwined with these two men. Let me make it clear: I have an opinion about them, and I might as well put it up front.  In one case it is more than opinion, and in another, it is an opinion regretfully embraced.  Sigh.

Here ‘tis.  Both are guilty, but only O.J. is a monster.  Michael is a sad, sick shell of a human being, abandoned  and used by the very people who should have protected him.  He is ruined now, as the most cursory glance at what one must regretfully define as “his face” would reveal.  More on that later.  The question is: if we apply storytelling techniques to both of these people, what do we make not just of them, but of the world’s reaction to them?

Let’s start with O.J. 

When I first heard of his arrest, my thought was “oh, no…he couldn’t have done that.  He wouldn’t have been stupid enough.”  That was my first thought.  But then, I’ll tell you the moment at which I realized that he was guilty.  It was during the Bronco slo-mo chase down the 405.  He’s on the phone whining “Poor little me” and “I hope my kids remember me from happier days…” with a gun at his head, old buddy Al Cowlings driving him into history (and simultaneously submarining David Hasselhoff’s career.  Seems that the former Baywatch star had bet everything on a pay-per-view musical concert from Munich that just happened to be broadcast the same night.  No one watched…yes, yet another thing to hate O.J. for!)
##
At any rate, my spine was crawling.  I got  on the phone and asked several friends the following question: if you loved your ex-wife, and had kids with her, and those kids were upstairs asleep when she was butchered in the driveway with a friend, what is your first thought? 
Invariably, the first thought by four male friends was: Are the kids o.k?  Did the Manson family try to kill them?  Get them to safety!
##
O.J has never, ever expressed the slightest concern for the kids.  Almost as if he knew who did it, and had no fear that they might be in jeopardy.  Hmmm
##
Years later, I made the acquaintance of a lady in the adult film industry, who was a former girlfriend of Al Cowlings, the gentleman who drove the Bronco.  She told me that the night of the murder he arrived at her house, threw her on the bed and almost broke her in half with his…enthusiasm.  Later, he told her that there was nothing more exciting than cutting a woman’s throat.

I might not have taken that seriously, except that a few months later, I read an article that another adult film actress said that Al Cowlings told HER that the infamous “bloody glove” that didn’t fit O.J. belonged to him.
##
So there it is.  For years I’ve carried this knowledge in my head and my heart.  I know what happened that night, but it’s all heresay, and inadmissible in a court of law.  Feh.  So two murderers are walking around, and will probably never be brought to justice.  It nauseates me, but there it is.

More tomorrow…

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