Friday, September 14, 2007

Does My Moral Compass Need a Tune-Up, Or Am I Okay?

I need your help. Please tell me what to do!

To set the stage, let's just say that I was completely obsessed with the O.J. Simpson trial. Obsessed. I just couldn't believe any of it - from start to finish. And it was the finish that almost did me in. To this day, I cannot believe he was acquitted of those murders.

These many years later, I almost choked on the vomit that rose in my throat when I heard last year that HarperCollins announced the publication of a book in which O.J. Simpson told how he hypothetically would have committed the murders. I just wanted to cry over the audacity of it all.

Then I felt uplifted when, in response to public outrage that Simpson stood to profit from these crimes, HarperCollins canceled the book. Then a Florida bankruptcy court awarded the rights to the Goldmans in August 2007 to partially satisfy the unpaid civil judgment, which has risen, with interest, to over $38 million.

But the only way the Goldman's would see any of these funds would be if they published and sold the book. Which they have done.

So with an appropriate name change - the book is now called I Did It: Confessions of the Killer - and the addition of 14,000+ words from the Goldmans, which explain their belief that O.J. Simpson is the killer walking free among us, the book is now available for purchase.

And therein lies the rub.

I just can't decide whether or not to buy and read the book.

I NEVER would have bought or read the book had it been published as originally planned with Simpson receiving the profits. There would have been no fear of that happening, because I wouldn't have been able to live with myself.

But now that I know the Goldman's are getting the money, much of which they say is going directly to their family foundation set up in Ron Goldman's name, and now that I know the family is positioning this book as a way to slap Simpson in the face and say to the rest of the world that he is a killer, I'm more open to idea of buying and reading it.

I feel fairly comfortable with the idea that the Goldman's are using this book to make their point that Simpson is a murderer. I really don't think they are trying to profit personally from its sale. They aren't going to pocket blood money. Are they? The funds will go to a foundation that will work to make good things happen. Won't they?

That side of me that was obsessed with the trial over 10 years ago would really like to read the book. But the more mature part of me that is so disgusted with the entire debauchery that has become celebrity privilege, fueled by an out-of-control unsatiated hunger for sleaze provided by a media machine that is out of control makes me wonder that if I buy the book, wouldn't I be condoning the ick?

Am I making way too big a deal out of this, or am I right to be concerned?

So I ask you friends, what do you think? Should I buy and read this book?

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  • At 9/17/2007 , Blogger Beth said...


    I've actually been thinking about your question over the weekend wishing I had something wise to say.

    On the one hand, when I first heard of the book, you were the first person I thought of - because I remember your obsession with the case. And still on that same hand, the money goes towards the settlement for the Goldman and Brown families. Although, I think Nicole's sister was rather appalled that the Goldman's pressed ahead (I may have the wrong, though - don't take that as gospel).

    On the other hand, it reminds me of buying paintings by John Wayne Gacy - well, maybe not the same thing, but you know where I'm going. It's extra repulsive because I do think he did it and this seems like he's gloating (without having read the book). Still, he won't see the proceeds from it.

    Personally, I think you should go with your gut - do what you want to do and rationalize it later - there's decent arguments for both sides. You can always say you're learning about criminal profiling - about the fall of an American "hero".

  • At 9/18/2007 , Blogger eonyc said...

    I heard them say on Oprah that the Goldman family will get seventeen CENTS for every book sold/bought. Seventeen cents? Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden both said they'd buy the book 'to help the Goldmans.' I remember thinking "Why not just make a donation to their foundation? Maybe even for more than seventeen cents????"

    Denise Brown is horrified that this man's ideas are being published, and I can see her point, too.

    If you want to read the book, I say read it! It won't change anything OJ has already done, and he's not getting any money out of it. But the prosecutors' argument (and I still believe they made crucial mistakes that cost them the guilty verdict so maybe I don't put the highest stock in their thoughts... oy) that buying the book helps the Goldmans seemed silly.

    Then again, I didn't go to law school! ;)


    Holly's friend Lori

    PS: And maybe tell us if you learn anything surprising from the book!

    PPS: Oooh! That's a thought! You could read it and fill the rest of us in so we don't have to! Ha!

  • At 9/20/2007 , Blogger Beth said...

    ... and as Jay said, that's the only way the Goldman's are going to get to see any of the settlement - so that's seventeen more cents!

    Plus, I do want you to read it so you can tell us about it. Think of all the fun blogging material you'd have!! You're doing it to help practice your creative writing! Journal what you think as you go along (and did I mention, fill us in).

    Oh, and the Goldman's are asking for to rights to all of the memorabilia that OJ tried to "reclaim". I heard that on NPR a couple of days ago.

  • At 9/21/2007 , Blogger Lori said...

    Thanks to everyone who has responded, sent me emails, or talked to me on the phone about this VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECT! So far, most of you are letting me know that if I do read this book I won't mean I dwell with the dregs of society...

    I still haven't decided. But if I read it, I'll report back!


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