In this entry, I am going to talk a bit about the 2017 Oscars, crime and society in general.
I was extremely peeved by something that happened at the Oscars. No, it was not the FUBAR at the end. No it was not the fact that that state-sponsored/over-hyped-up turd Arrival got so much as a single Oscar. It was not even all the anti-Trump speeches.
You see, I know that Hollywood is fantasy, detached from real life. I thoroughly love Michelle Dockery as "Letty Raines" on Good Behaviour and Walton Goggins' "Boyd Crowder" on Justified is one of my favourite antagonists, who I like infinitely more than I like the real-life "Louder with Crowder." I have to admit that both "Letty Raines" and "Boyd Crowder" can technically fit the description of Whiskey Tango, although they are both immensely classier people than the mobs at Trailer Park Bhoys, Letterkenney, Schitz Creek and Corner Gas. That being said, I fully recognise and understand that "Letty Raines" and "Boyd Crowder" are entirely fictional and bear no resemblance at all to actual, real-life white trash. I know this because I know actual, real-life white trash. I had a boss who was actual, real-life white trash. She had nothing at all in common with "Letty Raines" and "Boyd Crowder," and had a LOT in common with Sofia Vergara, the only difference between the two being ethnicity and pigmentation. She was loud and ratchet as hell, whinging all the time, cussing all the time, showing none of the ingenuity, pluck and initiative of "Letty Raines" and "Boyd Crowder." Instead, she just whinged and whined and cussed until everyone gave her her handout. Her gross lack of professionalism--her gross lack of even a concept of professionalism--was easily and serially documentable, leading to her eventually getting the extremely well-deserved boot from higher-higher.
So, when Jimmy Kimmel or Meryl Streep makes an anti-Trump speech, I tend not to listen. Jimmy Kimmel and Meryl Streep pronouncing themselves on Trump is akin to a proctologist pronouncing himself on matters dental. It really is that simple.
No, what got me peeved about the 2017 Oscars was the fact that I learned that, on top of the damned TV mini-series, they made yet another damned movie about....wait for it...O.J. Simpson!!!!
I remember the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase and trial. I wish I did not. Many outlets at the time understood that their customers shared my sentiments, hence why some had the tagline "Guaranteed: No OJ News Here Today!" Yet, then as now, there were some eejits who were hooked on to this damned story and who yapped and yammered about it constantly, which made an extremely annoying story even more extremely annoying, especially after the trial commenced. Even then, in the mid-1990's, literacy was a dying art.
The big indaba about OJ, you see, happened nearly a decade after David Simon published Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets, which went on to inspire an NBC series. I have noticed, then as now, a massive overlap in the Venn diagrammes of a) people who did not read Homicide and b) people who get excited to the point of arousal at mere mention on the name "OJ Simpson." Then, during the trial phase of the indaba, people thought they were witnessing how the criminal justice system actually worked. They were not. They were observing an exception to how the criminal justice system actually worked (and works.) Had they read Homicide, they would have known that, contrary to TV, real-life murders are usually detected hours, if not days, if not weeks, after they occur, and that, "while the victim only dies once, the crime scene dies a million deaths," i.e. there is usually very little by way of usable forensic evidence (aka "clues") to identify a suspect. In the rare instance a suspect is identified and meets the criteria for arrest, said suspect will not be meeting an eager, Batman-like devotee of justice by way of a prosecutor. In real life, prosecutors in North America are those law school graduates who a) were not good enough to get hired by Cromwell and Sullivan to do mergers and acquisitions/martini and fornication fresh out of law school, and b) were not beefy enough to get into the second choice, Famous But Incompetent, and who are thus biding their time until the next "Red Ball" (high-profile case) offers them free press to audition once more for Cromwell and Sullivan.
Despite this, prosecutors are still not the lowest on the food chain, are still not the worst of their law school class. That would be those who have no choice other than to work for the public defender. Most murder suspects in America do not have OJ's means, which means that most murder cases with a suspect under custody do not go to trial. Instead, two of the most incompetent, barely-passed-the Bar-Exam lawyers work out some kind of deal.
OJ had the means to hire big name defence counsel. Defence lawyering is still not as prestigious as mergers and acquisitions lawyering in North America (in contrast to Germany, where there is nothing scandalous at all about a nobleman of Ferdinand von Schirach's stature becoming a career defence lawyer.) How do I know this? One of OJ's lawyers was none other than Alan Dershowitz, famous for getting a von Bulow off the hook for murdering his wife while having a dalliance with a Moltke. Alan Dershowitz is a Harvard Professor. Alan Dershowitz has written a bajillion books, just like his student and fellow star on the CNN Jeffrey Toobin, a former prosecutor. All of that makes the uninitiated think that Alan Dershowitz is a lawyer of some competence. This is false. If Dershowitz really was a talented lawyer, you would never have heard of him. By being a professor, by writing all those books and by being a regular on the CNN, Alan Dershowitz is going against the fundamental principle of lawyering in North America.
No, that fundamental principle is not the Constitution. The Constitution is to lawyering what fibre-optics are to proctology and what Sony cameras are to high-end adult entertainment. It is merely a tool. No, the fundamental principle of lawyering in North America is called billable hours. The short version of "billable hours" is as follows. Be doing some lawyerish activity on behalf of a client, stretch it out so it takes the maximum amount of time humanly possible, by which way you can milk your clients for every cent you can. When Dershowitz--and Toobin, and Mark Geragos and the rest of the constellation of"legal experts" on the CNN--are on the CNN or writing books, they are not doing lawyerish activity on behalf of a client, which means that the CNN and their publishers are paying them far less than they would be making under billable hours. Now, why would Dershowitz et al piss away their time on books and being "legal experts" for the CNN? A charitable explanation would be that thy are civic-minded and aim to educate the public. A more realistic interpretation is that they do not do mergers and acquisition, or just plain ole lawyering, well enough to live off of billable hours alone. That is something worth pondering before hiring a lawyer just because you saw him or her blab a lot on the CNN.
So, yeah, OJ was a motherlode of billable hours. Most murder suspects are not, which renders OJ's case a freak one-off and not a standard-issue murder case. Many people did not get that then and many people still do not get that now. I remember the day there was a verdict. Everyone was abuzz about it on the break. Some big mouth asked "Who here thought he was guilty? Who here thought he was innocent?" I was the only person in the room who did not raise his hand one way or another. This drew a lot of attention my way. Inquiries as to why I did not raise my hand were made directly to me. Already more than a little pissed off that this conversation had taken on the proportions it did, I gave as polite a version as I could of Andrew Dice Clay's character's response to the hot barmaid's question as to whether or not he suspected foul play in the recent death of a celebrity in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane: "I'll let you know when someone pays me to give a shit!" This caused some consternation on the part of the others in the room, and even more annoyance on the part of myself. The others, you see, were under the popular delusion that juries uniformly reach their verdicts like in the Henry Fonda filim 12 Angry Men, which is to say after careful deliberation, weighing up the evidence and thoroughly eliminating any hint of reasonable doubt. It is certainly possible that there are indeed some juries that work that way. What is known from David Simon's book Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets is that there are also juries who make a decision because they are damned tired of being sequestered away from their normal lives for so long and just.want.this.shit.to.be.done with, their decision having zero to a purely coincidental relationship with things like evidence, reasonable doubt and guilt. Defendants are tried by juries of their peers, and said peers have lives, get bored, get, tired, get annoyed and get the feeling that this trial jumped the shark weeks ago.
That was then. Today, with the damn mini-series--and now, with the damn movie as if the mini-series just was not enough--a new generation of eejits thinks that OJ was the only thing going on during those years, and I have been pestered--on more than one occasion--for what I, as someone who "had lived through it," thought about it. My answer is along the following lines.
"Contrary to what you saw on TV, OJ was far from the only thing going on back then. While OJ was a thing, tens of thousands of Rwandans were massacred by their fellow Rwandans, hundreds of Yugoslavs were massacred by their fellow Yugoslavs in Srebrenica and Timothy McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, murdering 168 people. Sinn Fein/IRA were still massacring people left and right. Québec was also in the throes of a deadly war between 1%er sects of the era, in which an innocent eleven year-old boy was murdered by a car bomb. OJ was a thing...an extremely annoying thing...but FAR from the only, or even the most important, thing going on."
Weans who were not around in the era of OJ usually take a deep breath when they hear this and gain some sense of perspective. I do not know if that is necessarily a good thing. I have a sense of perspective. One of its downsides is that it drives me absolutely nuts when people obsess over a media-hyped non-story like OJ...and Trayvon Martin, which was a more recent incarnation of the same spectacular, extremely exceptional, freak one-off episode in the routine of unheard of, unpublicised plea arrangements between two low-end lawyers too dumb to do mergers and acquisitions, and not muscular enough to join Famous But Incompetent, which is how the criminal justice system actually works in real life.
Consider the suspect in the Trayvon Martin case, George Zimmerman. Like OJ, if he was in fact guilty of murder (what was at issue was the legality of his killing Martin, the fact that he killed Martin not in dispute), he was a dismal, contemptible amateur who was easily nicked by a police force very well known to be nowhere near the level of professionalism of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the British South Africa Police's PATUs (Police Anti-Terrorist Units) and Special Branch or Koevoet. Now, contrast OJ and Zimmerman with Québec hitman Yves "The Apache" Trudeau, who, between 1969 and 1985, scored 42 confirmed kills, including at least one innocent civilian entirely unrelated to underworld proceedings. "The Apache" was so good at the killing profession that Québec peelers--even in the epoch of famous Sweeney Constable "Shotgun Bob" Menard--were simply unable to find any evidence of his killings until he confessed to them as part of a plea deal wherein he also grassed on several of his associates who got sent up the river for life as a result. "The Apache" only got convicted of manslaughter for forty-two deliberate, premeditated killings, served a short sentence, got into Witness Protection, then got nicked again for paedophilia before finally dying of cancer.
In isolation, or going by the CNN, OJ and Zimmerman can look like deadly killers. Compare them to "the Apache," and one sees that calling them "killers" is an insult to the good name of killers.
Not to mention that, while the Zimmerman trial was going on, war broke out in South Sudan, killing an estimated 10,000 people by 2014. Focusing entirely on just one killer who committed just one killing during the exact same epoch is patently obscene. But nothing is too obscene for the CNN, as their morning show bozo peter-principled to the nightly news Don Anderson's shouting matches marketed as "news" demonstrates.
There is another reason why I have a personal animus against the entire Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman saga. You see, Zimmerman was defended by this lawyer named Meara, who, after the court was in recess, appeared on the CNN and discussed what he could. Meara was such a gentleman in contrast to the hysterical, histrionic de la Rionda, whose patently obvious exploitaion of the trial as a free, public audition to get him into Cromwell and Sullivan or Ashcroft-Sutton where he could get limousined around doing mergers and acquisitions/martini and fornication may have contributed enormously to the jury's decision. In fact, Meara's thoroughly professional demeanour reminded me of that of the extra-procedural behaviour of Jack Thompson's "Major J.F. Thomas" from Breaker Morant, one of the very few --possibly the only, in fact--cinematic/TV depictions of a criminal trial I can watch without hurling. "Major J.F. Thomas" is a humble "country-town solicitor" who turns out to be very good at criminal law, thoroughly defeating the prosecution's arguments at every turn. I respected Meara who, after the Zimmerman trial, appeared a lot on the CNN. I thought he was a refreshing counterbalance to the histrionic Geragos, Sunny Hostin, Jeffrey Toobin and Alan Dershowitz.
Then, more recently, there was another officer-involved shooting. Meara showed up again on the CNN--this time as a lawyer for the family of the decedent. This was a smack in the face to me. I took Meara to be a 21st-century "J.F. Thomas," the kind of lawyer I had known growing up. His showing up as a lawyer for the family of the decedent told me that the only difference between him and Dershowitz, Geragos et al was his polish, that he was just another one of those lawyers hustling the public on the CNN because he could not accrue enough billable hours by his damned self.
There was, however, one spot of decency about the Zimmerman trial, which happened the year before The Sarkeesian Effect went into production. Jordan Owen, the man behind TSE, is a young man. To this, I attribute the fact that he was following the Zimmerman trial with far more attention than I was without me, a fan of his already at this time, being aware of it. I became aware of Mr.Owen's interest in the trial the night the verdict was announced. Mr. Owen was upset at the verdict and made this clear on social media in no uncertain terms. This dispels the social justice jihadists' standard accusations that Mr. Owen ever shared the beliefs of the alt-right race realist manosphereans who infiltrated and tried to divert TSE.
Now, some will look at the fact that I regard the OJ and Zimmerman case to have received a disproportionate amount of coverage as evidence that I have something against Blacks/Africans. I do not. As I have said here on ProblematicPeople.com, the site run by the superb artist Wooly Bumblebee, who is also promoting AkkadianTimes.com, I much prefer Blacks/Africans to Québecois because the former generally understand and thoroughly abide by the sterile cockpit rule in official dealings while Québecois overwhelmingly have zero concept of this rule, even in their "professional" lives. It is just that I have the gift and the curse of perspective when it comes to these things. Let me give another example of what I mean.
Currently, both the French and English language mediae in Québec are making a big indaba about the fact that there is an inquiry into un-kosher goings-on in the ranks of the Montréal peelers. The French language media have been having this as their main moneymaker for roundabouts a week now. Many Québecois think this is a big story. That they think this once more shows the big lie that is the Québecois mission statement "Je me souviens de mes origines françaises" ("I remember my French origins.") Québecois write a variation of French, they speak a gawd-awful bastardisation of an abortion vaguely resembling the French language, in the same way Vindicator, Sargon, Charmingman93 and Dick Coughlan speak something vaguely related to what the civilised Crawley family of Downton Abbey speak. But Québecois plainly and simply just are not real Frenchmen. The real French magazine RAIDS is widely available in Québec. RAIDS, you see, regularly has detailed, multi-page articles on the French law enforcement agencies RAID and GIGN. Semi-literate, or even quasi-literate Québecois who bothered to read RAIDS would have immediately detected that the Montréal peelers are nowhere near the level of professionalism and excellence of RAID or GIGN. A picture is worth a thousand words. Compare what the head of the Montréal peelers looks like
with what the OC of RAID
look like. One is a disgusting slob whose inappropriate display of affect (and one tiny little ribbon under his badge) is plain for all the world to see. The other two are clearly professionals who take themselves and their jobs seriously enough to look like damned professionals on camera. Here is another contrast. The vast differences in paralinguistics stand out screaming.
Expecting Montréal peelers to be as professional--i.e. as fuck-up-free--as the professional, real Frenchmen of RAID and GIGN is akin to expecting the Trailer Park Bhoys to do Hamlet. This "big Montréal peeler scandal ''news' " story, in other words, is just another instance of Québecois being Québecois and completely failing to be real Frenchmen, something that happens every day and which is thus entirely unremarkable.