November 21st, 2006


no O.J. "confession"

I'm disappointed the O.J. interview/book thing is off.

Go ahead--- assail me if you will.

A portion of my disappointment is not having satisfaction for my personal curiosity about what (surely bizarre) stuff he was going to be saying. Another portion, however, is that something seems amiss to me in what we're scandalized by here.

We've got a crazy, celebrity exhibitionist culture, and that particularly sick potential money-making off of what is broadly thought to be a murder's quasi-confession doesn't shock me or even seem to me a new low, from Fox or any of the rest of 'em. Having the focus of scandal on the broadcasting & publishing of "sick" stuff is, to me, shining the flashlight in the wrong place.

If he did do it, and he wants to say he more or less did it, that such a thing could come to us via mass media that operate for profit is not terribly relevant to me. I could probably pull up some free speech concerns if I wanted, and also cite qualms about the powers of movements for "victims' rights" (and the related concern for surviving loved ones' feelings). But what keeps striking me when I hear talk of the latest thing is this: if he did it, to hear and read what he said would mean facing more directly that someone could get away with such a crime, and thus being forced to ask ourselves (in the real heart of the subject) why and how that could come about. To me, such a focus gets at the heart of the true scandal of O.J.-if-he-did-it: that silences surround certain kinds of violence, and that celebrity and wealth give an abuser even more power than our broad culture gives abusers. Perceptions about race, of course, are thrown into the mix, particularly once we're talking about what happened after the murders.

If he didn't do it, celebrity and wealth and race are still in the mix. But maybe that "confession" would have largely un-done the "if he did it" caveat in talking about that extraordinary story and its life among us.

also, last night I had a weird dream in which 2 of you were featured players

vjsmom and I were at my mother's, which wasn't my mother's apart from one piece of furniture I recall, and for some reason I felt compelled to register a complaint with Mom (who was alive) about Dr. Pepper (I think that's cuz squirrelykat and I were recently talking of the beverage)--- a complaint which I'm fairly sure (for reasons I won't bother to detail here) was tied in to childhood food restrictions and such. My mother left the room for a minute, which is when I think the part happened in which I saw the pencils & stuff in two cubbies of the hutch (the afore-mentioned piece of furniture) all messed up & felt an urge to straighten that stuff up. Then Mom came back & thrust to me, with an air of thus proving something contradictory to my complaint (perhaps the equiv. of "You had it fine--- see?"), a b/w picture in some publication (Life? It was almost that big) showing a group of women at some kind of college feminist gathering. Under at least several of the women there were little notes they'd each written, along with their signatures; the one my mother was pointing at was by homovegetarian, and was signed with her name (in a rather smaller, cramped-looking hand than homovego's real writing, but similar in style).

The blurb before her name made some reference to the happy wild (perhaps sexual? or liberatedly lesbian?) life of the person it was written for---which my mother clearly took to be me, though that was an obviously ridiculous leap. Wish I could remember what it said specifically. I did read it in the dream. I do know that my mother seemed to think it was a queer reference, and that it indicated the audience (I) had been living a happy queer life and thus should shut up about everything else, I was being so indulged. It was like "ha!" cuz I'd been busted since Mom knew homovegetarian's name & spotted it in that scandalous scene.

vjsmom and I were puzzled at her thinking, and noted to ourselves (giving up on Mom) that the picture was taken in 1991, long before I knew homovegetarian, when she was in college. So S & I left and went to that college (the dream cut to our being there) to research the picture. Crazy, yeah, but that's a dream for ya. So here's the funny part: at that venerable institution we found, among other materials the group had kept, some archival (also b/w! ha) footage of a meeting of this group, on 16mm film, which we played, ultimately revealing homovegetarian to have gone through a phase of being a sort of leather-clad chanteuse. She was just ebulliently charming and subtly playful as she performed casually & improvisationally, moving among members of the group, like some cross between herself and Marlene Dietrich, with a wardrobe kind of like a Hollywood motorcycle gang guy from the 60s but done over by an ever-so-slightly hip designer.

I never got as far as having to decide whether to confess to her that we'd seen this old film, as the enjoyment of having found such a nugget was apparently too much to sustain slumber, and I woke.