Twenty years ago our entire nation sat glued to their TV's as a white Bronco led the LAPD on a surreal, slow-speed chase that began in Orange County and ended at the Brentwood estate of Orenthal James Simpson. After nearly an hour of negotiations, O. J. Simpson was taken into custody and the trial that would captivate and divide our country was soon to follow.
Simpson was of course accused in the grisly murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman and the trial was sensational not simply due to the horrific, over-kill violence of the crime, but because of the star status of the defendant. Simpson was a sports legend, a movie star and a charming celebrity pitch-man for Hertz and other companies and as a result of these achievements was wealthy and admired. Everyone liked O. J.
As the trial dragged on, it became increasingly evident to most people that Simpson was ridiculously guilty, so it was a stunned nation that watched the jury return a verdict of not guilty. Some of us celebrated, some of us were furious, but O. J. Simpson was a free man. But his life would never be the same.
And that strikes me as totally unfair.
Simpson, now behind bars in Lovelock Correctional Center for armed robbery and kidnapping, must feel really cheated when he sits in his 4 x 6 cell watching his little TV and daily witnesses fellow murderers, criminals and other noted assholes treated with respect, and even awe. They're not being hounded into self-destruction by the media and aggrieved family members. They're not being dragged into court. They thrive.
Take Dick Cheney, for example. Here's a guy who has the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers on his hands, not to mention a few hundred thousand Iraqis, and he's allowed to pop up on the Sunday morning news shows and hold forth on foreign policy, a subject on which he has been consistently and astonishingly wrong, all while being afforded the veneration due a Churchill or a Lincoln. O. J. wasn't even allowed to simply yuck it up with the boys at ESPN about something he's a recognized expert on — football — even after he was found innocent. His career was finished.
Okay, it's true that Cheney did not kill all those people with his own two hands (as far as we know). But he did shoot an old man in the face with a shotgun, for which the victim publicly apologized profusely. And he did lie like a dog to jump-start a war that has now cost between 2 and 4 trillion dollars. And, like O. J., he has yet to admit his crime or repent for it. But O. J. is in jail, probably thinking, "Geez, I only killed two fucking people."
Or take Senator John McCain. Here's a guy who doesn't just want to attack two innocent people and slice them up, he wants to attack just about every country on the planet and slaughter millions of people with high-tech weaponry. And yet he's treated as a hero. Why? Because he was such a Navy ace he crashed 3 planes before finally being captured by the North Vietnamese? And it was there in the "Hanoi Hilton" that he was given the nickname "Songbird" by his fellow soldiers. No, it was not because he had such a lovely voice. Years later, he would work diligently to prevent POW/MIA families from getting any information whatsoever on their loved ones. But McCain is still treated like Audie Murphy by the media.
This must be hard for O. J. to take as he watches from his tiny cell. If a traitorous warmonger like McCain can be treated with entirely undue respect, why can't he at least do another Hertz commercial for cryin' out loud? He could update the one where he runs through the airport, but instead of leaping over rows of chairs, he sort of hobbles around them, complains about his bad knees and says "Renting a car doesn't have to be murder." Then he picks a white Ford Escape and drives off followed by several police cars. It would work.
But it isn't going to happen. War is war and murder is murder. So Simpson will watch as blood-drenched criminals like Cheney, McCain, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Bremmer, Feith and all the other neocon wobblefucks who were so gloriously wrong on the Iraq war once again populate the airwaves and spew the same bullshit that brought death and destruction and abject failure to so many. And people will believe them.
Sixty-six year old O.J. Simpson will be eligible for parole in 2017. My guess is he won't be released. But if he is, he won't be getting an invitation from ESPN to do color commentary. He won't have any movie offers. Hertz won't be calling his agent because he won't have an agent. He's done.
But Dick Cheney will still be talking, as long as donor hearts are available. And I think we can count on Dick to see that they are.
©2014 Kona Lowell
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