is everybody in the US as glued to the whole oscar pistorius business as the brits? is this the OJ of our time? (except can it be, since OJ was already the OJ of our time? is this the OJ of the next time? are we in the next time? is NOW the NEXT time? or are we just at now now and next will be then? existential crisis!)
as one of the two mini-dramas unfolding nearish to my time-zone (the hilary mantel/kate middleton smack-down being the other), i'm kinda riveted.
first, because this story is everywhere. that shouldn't be at all surprising given i'm in a land where prince charles's taking the tube is major front-page news. it does, however, make it difficult to keep perspective, and i'm fast losing my understanding of what constitutes 'major' news.
you guys, it is like i am in wolf blitzer's THE SITUATION ROOM all of the time.
but i'm also interested in this story because it begs to be dissected from the angle of story telling. there's been absolutely no analysis of the media accounts that i've seen over here, which is odd (or maybe not really, because are the british papers known for their introspection? is that a distinctly american journalistic trait? as an american in a foreign country, i find myself rushing to brand every inconsistency as a national difference). because there are some fascinating dynamics at play here.
there's the disgraced olympian angle. the boogie-man that is the south african prison system. GUNS! and violence against women. plus, at the risk of being totally gauche, there's the fact that this is a crime involving a paraplegic.
there's all kinds of layers to stories like this so it's problematic to say that this story wouldn't be such a big story if that detail weren't a part of it. pistorious also wouldn't have been a paralympic hero if he weren't a paraplegic, so imagining how altering details might have changed the outcome of how his story was told is pretty futile. still (bear with me, because there's probably no way i'm going to word this right), that is an issue here, yeah? at least it is in the british papers.
pistorious's argument is that he felt 'vulnerable.' which is interesting. i don't have a clue what to believe about what happened here, but i do think it would be far more interesting if the vulnerabilities of paraplegia were discussed overtly rather than just being exploited for titillation, as they have been. a quirky detail in a salacious crime. particularly as culpability seems to hinge on this.
the fact that pistorious had to put his prosthetic legs on, and when, precisely, he did.