following this summer's murder story

There are some murders we follow. There are some murders we don’t.

During the infinite newscycle of OJ-iana, the only thing that really impressed us was the slo mo car chase. Oh, and OJ’s houseguest, Kato Kaelin. Actually, Kato impressed us a lot – what a job! My own parents evidently abused me: they never once mentioned the career opportunity of being a houseguest to the stars. If LI had known about this as a tyke, forget the dreams of wealth, or the teenage idea of writing and forging, in the smithy of my soul, the consciousness of my race – fuck that. I would have cultivated better hair, better connections, and practiced saying things in the mirror like, “My Cher,” (or Billy Bob or Telly or Chevy or whoever), this is a big place you got here! Roomy is no word for it. You must get lonely here sometimes, eh?” But no, as aforesaid, my folks abused me by hiding the facts, which I can only excuse them for partly by the fact that we were hicks living in Dekalb County, Georgia, where houseguests were usually your uncle or aunt.

But the murder of Jon Benet was much more interesting, in that sick way that certain murders unzip the underlife. Unfortunately, that is only probed by the tabloids. That is, by reporters and celebrity tv persona who have a fair share of the necessary voyeurism to gawp at the doings behind the drapes but no real curiosity about the meat and beat of people – about their pulsing existences. This is why tabloids are frustrating – they strip the two dimensional of its clothing, but its like the Rape of the Sabine Women being reenacted with mannequins. There is no there there not because there is no there there, but because the there has been condensed, evaporated, and replaced with there-substitute.. Plus, of course, the compass points are all the assumption that the only perspective is that of straight morality, and zero question about why, if the straight morality is such a good thing, we find it so utterly, utterly boring, and why it has created a system that is, in so many ways, detestable. Now, LI is not necessarily against boredom – as so many of our long posts attest! – but we do think that it is motivated, and hence subject to the endless novelist’s project.

Since we are neck deep, at the moment, in Mailer’s Executioner’s Song, we are just in the right spirit for the news about Jon Benet’s supposed killer. I should emphasize supposed, since a confession does not equal case solved. The confession is, to say the least, confused, and the pre-made articles pouring out from straight news outlets about how the tabloids injured the poor parents and distorted the facts – amazing how the press, resistant to any criticism about its three year obeisance to Bush and the rush to war, is always willing to criticize the tabloids for the rush to judgment on any given topic - aren’t convincing to me, yet. We will see.


new york pervert said…
Roger--I think Southern Baptists don't know how to do the LA slouch from 'houseguest' into 'houseboy' and 'hustler', since Angelenos don't have houseguests unless they're more famous than they are, in which case they'll gladly go broke over it. The opening long essay 'the white album' has an especially good portrayal of the flexibility of the word 'hustler' as described by one of Ramon Navarro's murderers. I'm sure you know it.

The glorious Ann-Margret Olsen played Patsy Ramsey's mother in the 2000 shit-TV movie 'Perfect Murder, Perfect Town...' etc.

This forcing of making the noblest veteran Hollywood glamour-pusses play Deep South grandmaws has been happening to an alarming degree. I had to fast-forward the other night to see Angie Dickinson, inspirer of the song 'The Look of Love', in 'Big Bad Love,' an awful movie about an unwashed Mississippi writer and beer-guzzler. She did it perfectly! and still looked gorgeous at 74, much better than Debra Winger at a lot younger.

I sure always jumped the gun in the Ramsey case. There's something wrong with it: there's always something that makes it impossible to follow or leads you straight to the parents really obviously, then you find that didn't ever work, and this new confessee may just have been an aficionado of the case and memorized the details well, like for Catechism Class.
roger said…
We will see what the DNA says. The confession, though, seems pretty clumsy to me -- it is loaded with things like him "drugging" JonBenet when the one thing we know is that the corpse revealed no drugging. All of which makes me strongly suspect that a confession was a way of not spending two weeks in a Thai jail, while matters of extradiction were hammered out. We'll see. Something about this whole thing smells rotten.

Lawrence Shiller, however, must be in hog heaven right now.
Anonymous said…
To have the child's parents under suspicion, in a way, seemed to me to be quite rational. After all, they were already abusing the child. They turned her into a "thing," an extension of their egos. But, then I suppose it's a leap to believe that the next step was murder. We'll see. Got to go to look for definitive answers at the supermarket checkout.

Anonymous said…
Kato loves to stay in the media light. He goes to every talk show, and stunt he can think of even reenacting a Bill Clinton moment.