I spent this week, as usual, surrounded by sports.
I watched several basketball games, including the UCLA vs. Arizona game (maybe the curse is broken!), Kelsey Plum becoming the highest scorer ever in NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball, and Gonzaga finally losing (no one’s perfect). I watched several tennis matches, I met Misty May, I took a gander at the Sports Illustrated swim suit issue (gross, I’m working up to talking more about that in a later post).
But this week, nothing felt incredibly inspiring to write about.
So, I did what every uninspired writer does on a dreary Sunday afternoon- I baked and I had an Oscar watching party.
To be frank, I haven’t seen much of the movies nominated, except for La La Land (overrated in my opinion), but I still enjoy watching the fashion, the jokes, and the original song performances (by which I mean Justin Timberlake is going to perform, so I’ll be watching).
As I sat munching on my hard-earned cheese, after baking and hosting for a couple hours, I looked up in time to see O.J.: Made in America win best documentary feature.
Now, like any 90’s kid, USC and UCLA student, sports and entertainment fan, and avid watcher of crime documentaries, I am obsessed with O.J. Simpson. I am currently watching The People vs. O.J. Simpson (now that it’s finally on Netflix) and I am completely hooked. I’ve heard that O.J.: Made in America is even better, and, since it uses the real footage of him, I’m sure I will love this documentary as well.
However, as interested and fascinated as I am by this case (this is compelling TV), when O.J.: Made in America won for best documentary, the annoying voice in the back of my head was thinking, “Is America rewarding a narcissistic murderer?”
I’m willing to hazard a guess that O.J. Simpson is sitting in jail laughing at America. Twenty-three years after the double homicide and people are just as obsessed with O.J. Simpson as they were when he first led the LAPD on a slow car chase (I still can’t believe that seriously happened).
The O.J. Simpson trial captivated America (and the world) for nearly a year and its conclusion brought no sense of peace to the public. If anyone was unsure of his guilt in wake of the overwhelming evidence against him, the leaked release of the “fiction” memoir If I Did It should have cleared up any lingering feelings of innocence anyone was feeling. Even if he is miraculously innocent, what kind of sociopath writes a book describing how he would have killed his ex-wife?
But here I am, captivated by all of the recent documentaries and hating that I am feeding into exactly what O.J. Simpson loves, media attention. While I’m sure O.J.: Made in America is a compelling, well-executed, well-researched film, I wish America would be a little more discreet about how fascinating they find O.J. Simpson.
No, it hasn’t escaped me that I am writing this blog about him, thereby perpetuating the vicious cycle. I’m human, I readily admit it. But this is my one and only post about him (I think).
Since Simpson is out for parole later this year (and it’s been reported he will probably get out) I can only imagine the amped up media coverage he will receive. As a man who turned his entire first-degree murder trial into a circus, he thrives on this attention. I think we should all make a pact now not to give him the satisfaction that we still care about what he does.