By Frank Moher
Rupert Murdoch has spoken, and now O.J.’s book and TV interview are gone. The Juice has been squeezed out. And everywhere, of course, newly-minted moralists proclaim that The Right Thing Has Been Done.
Not since Mel Gibson’s drunk driving arrest has so much fatuity been heard in one 24 hour period. Of course the book and interview (on not one but two nights) would have been an outrage. And no doubt still will be: is there any question that both will eventually emerge anyway? But now that we know they’re out there, waiting to be shuffled onto the media forestage, can we not just get the whole thing over with?
I had no intention of watching the TV special, though not because I eat a high moral fibre breakfast; I simply knew that I could get the essentials from the internet later. As for reading the book: I’ll wait to flip through it in the remainder bin. But do I want to know what Simpson has to say? You bet. If the sonuvabitch wants to confess, let’s let him. Take the money from the book and the show, give it to the Goldmans to help settle that $33.5 million still owed them from the civil suit, and give us and them some closure.
Closure may be a very ’80s idea, but that doesn’t mean that, unlike Milli Vanilli, it isn’t real. Is there anyone who isn’t still carrying around a large burden of irritation that this guy actually got off scot free? Well, yes there is, actually: a significant segment of the African-American population, who think he was set up. They might have to come to terms with that sentimental proposition, were O.J. to admit, even obliquely, that he did it. That wouldn’t be a bad thing. As for the rest of us, we’d finally have the satisfaction of saying “Christ, it’s about time,” and walking away, as from a bad smell. The Goldmans and Browns, those poor, tortured families, aren’t the only ones who need to move on.
A young man was recently murdered in a bar fight in the city near where I live. He came from our small community, and our anger was even greater than our grief. Or at least mine was; I’d never really carried around so much unprocessable rage before. But then arrests were made, and the bar shut down, and the management of the bar announced that they wouldn’t even try to re-open it. And suddenly the anger I heard and saw around me began to lift. The grief remained, but we knew which emotion was which now, and could let go of the one that was making us more sick than heartsick.
There won’t be any arrest in the Simpson case. But there might be some cold comfort. And I’ll take that over a murderer breezing around claiming he’s innocent anyday.