Thursday, November 30, 2006

Culture Shock 11.30.06: O.J. book, interview could become karmic payback

Last week, the New York tabloids and cable news pundits were buzzing about O.J. Simpson's canceled book, "If I Did It," which was going for thousands of dollars on eBay.

I have no problem with people making a buck off the few copies of O.J.'s book that slipped through the cracks after the publisher, HarperCollins, recalled copies that already had been shipped to stores. The only person I don't want making money from "If I Did It" is O.J. Simpson.

A quick search of eBay on Sunday afternoon, however, turned up no copies of "If I Did It" for sale. According to an eBay spokesman, the online auction site is removing the book at HarperCollins' request. This is no surprise, as eBay routinely removes items at the request of big media companies.

But my search for "If I Did It" did turn up someone selling a poster of Simpson.

The poster depicted an intense — one might even say "mean" — Simpson from his football days. And beneath the photo of O.J. was the caption, "If I Did It?" Emphasis on the "if."

Next, I searched YouTube to see if O.J.'s canceled two-part Fox interview had been leaked to the Internet. I've got to hand it to Fox, they've managed to keep a lid on the interview so far. All I found was a nine-second video called "Bootleg OJ Simpson Interview." It's simply a still photo of O.J. followed by the caption, "Why would you sick (expletive deleted) support OJ by watching his interview???"

Now, as I see it, watching a bootleg of O.J.'s interview isn't supporting him. If anything, it's ripping him off, which makes it a good thing.

Unless Beelzebub has a devil put aside for him, O.J. has escaped justice. Incompetent prosecutors and delusional jurors saved Simpson from prison. And even though Simpson lost a civil lawsuit, he has yet to pay a penny to the families of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.

The only weapon we have left against O.J. is ridicule. Which is why I want his disgusting and absurd book and interview to leak out to the public. Only then can skilled comedians and amateur filmmakers pick apart every sentence and every frame and turn them back on Simpson.

Face it, the jokes about how O.J. won't rest until he finds the "real killers," who are hiding on some golf course or in some strip bar somewhere in America, are getting old. We need new material.

You may be thinking that it's a worse punishment for O.J. simply to ignore him rather than to pay him the attention necessary for ridiculing him. And you may be right. But there is more to this than O.J.

I'm thinking of all of the people who cheered when O.J. got off. I'm thinking of all the people who think O.J. is actually innocent.

There are people in this country who believe lots of downright stupid things. They believe extraterrestrial beings from planets hundreds of light years away come to the Earth just to dissect cattle and anally probe farmers.

But it's a rare occasion when people actually get punished for believing stupid things. A rare example occurred on Jan. 1, 2000, when a lot of people woke up to find that the world's computers had not failed, civilization had not collapsed, and the thousands of dollars of survival gear in the basement was not a good investment.

O.J.'s book and interview could have been a long-overdue case of karmic comeuppance for everyone who actually thought he was innocent. If they leak to the Internet, they still could be.

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