Friday, 8 May 2015

#34 - "If I Did It" by O.J. Simpson

Blood Orange


By Beau Dashington

(book chosen by Peartree)

Editor's Note: Hm.. I thought this was about Mr. Boddy and OJ's secrets to winning Clue.

The Piece of Shit Book Club™ is nothing if not topical. And what could be more topical in mid-2015 than a mildly interesting news item from almost twenty years ago? Nothing, that's what. The OJ Simpson trial is important, and we all care about it much more than Ebola in West Africa, conflict in Syria, or famine in Afghanistan. Why is it still relevant? Let’s find out.

I actually remember where I was when the OJ Simpson verdict was announced. It was 1995 and I was in English class. Some nerds came over the PA, and they mentioned that OJ was innocent, and everyone went crazy. The rest of the day was consumed by a variety of racial theories proffered by twelve year olds. Now, either these kids were precocious racists, or most racists have a child-like intellect. Because I have never seen any theories of race more developed than those that your typical pre-teen can offer.

Anyway, back to the story. Noted actor and part time football player Orange Juice (OJ) Simpson was suspected of foul play in the death of his wife and “her associate” (i.e. bang partner) Ron Goldman. Even though Orange Juice was found not guilty in 1995, he has been hounded by accusations ever since. In order to prove conclusively his innocence, OJ wrote this book describing in meticulous detail exactly how and why he murdered his wife.

The book is, as Juice tells us, a story of love. It details the moment he first met the love of his life and fell head-over-heels, right up to the point that he fatally stabbed her. It all begins with OJ married to a woman who is five months pregnant. He goes out for a beer, meets an 18 year old blonde waitress, and he liked what he saw. He leaves his stupid bitch wife and shacks up with the waitress, Nicole Brown. But things didn't go as well as he had hoped.

One of the main problems, OJ notes, is that Nicole got fat and bitchy while she was pregnant. OJ didn't like this at all. After the birth of their first child, Nicole wouldn't stop crying. OJ was confused; he didn't know if it was from being happy or terrified. He tried to console her and comfort her by telling her she had nothing to be afraid of. Except being murdered by her husband, of course. She had pretty legitimate fears about that, and even wrote about it in her diary. But OJ laughs that off, saying she just liked to write short stories. Turns out, she only had one story: being abused by her husband. But she kept writing it again and again. I guess she had writer's block.

He also details a number of times when the police came to his house after Nicole phoned them. OJ doesn't think it was fair that society accuses him of spousal abuse. He was shocked at the accusations. As he says: “Once. I hit her once… and ever since that day I've been known as a wife-beater.” 

Yes, OJ. That’s pretty much how it works.

Eventually Nicole left, and then she starts to fall apart; fighting with her friends, crying, getting knocked up by random dudes. You know, chick stuff. She also started hanging out with people that OJ says were pimps and drug dealers. And this whole time OJ wasn't being a dick, he was just trying to raise money for “children with birth defects”! What a guy. So anyway, one night OJ went round to Nicole’s house and saw she had a gentleman caller. They started to fight, so OJ grabbed a knife and killed his ex-wife and her lover.

So why is this book still relevant? Well, frankly, it isn't. Simpson clearly wrote the book to make some cash. Only he couldn't, since he still owed Nicole Brown’s family millions of dollars after being sued. So the family took legal ownership of the book and they are now claiming all profits. I am not sure what is worse here; the (alleged) murderer profiting from the crime, or the family of the victim doing the same? As tragic as the murder was, perhaps the family and friends should just let the dead rest in peace, rather than publishing their private diaries or a confession by the (alleged) killer.

Since he was African-American and his wife was Caucasian, the trial created a rift in the USA. But oddly enough, OJ never blames the trial on race. He doesn't even mention it, neither in this book nor in interviews. He claims he was accused because his ex-wife was a crazy bitch. Either way, the trial hit a cultural nerve. Many said OJ was arrested because of his race. Others have argued it was because he was a convicted wife-beater and serial criminal. But I guess the jury is still out on that one. Oh wait, no it isn't. He’s innocent. Except he’s in jail now for kidnapping and trying to kill someone else. Go figure.

At least, though, with this highly publicized trial, and a confessed (alleged) murderer walking away from the crime, race relations in the USA were finally solved forever.

Oh, what’s that? Baltimore is on fire because of allegations of racism in the USA? Oh…

Isn't Baltimore always on fire?

B. Dashington


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