Streaming AC360 on CNN, waiting for the Pistorius trial to resume in about an hour, and wondering what the muse will hit me across the face with this evening. The latest Cadillac Escalade commercial comes on. The background music is pretty compelling: David Bowie’s “Fame.” Now, I’m not a particular fan of David Bowie – I don’t like his politics – but this particular tune is pretty slick. Great lyrics, some very fitting in this case. So, I click off this window and over to the CNN window, and there’s this shiny white Escalade pulling up in front of a shiny white house that looks spookily similar to Oscar Pistorius’ house. Huh? (Shakes head to ensure he’s not dreaming.)
It happens more often than we think; that we’re doing something, and our attention is distracted by a completely different thing, and then something within that distraction turns out to be somewhere between borderline related to or incredibly poignant given the unrelated thing we were involved in before we were first distracted. The subconscious mind works in strange ways….
Yesterday’s testimony was incredibly boring. I believe the only thing that came out of the entire day was the fact that the front door to Oscar’s house was left almost imperceptibly open. I don’t believe I’d heard anyone testify to that before.
Both daddy and daughter witnesses spun wildly detailed versions of a very simple story, hers slightly different than his. They were very difficult to listen to, and there was no surprise Mr. Nel let them both off pretty easily. All he really needed to do was ask one question to each of the defense witnesses on cross: “And your testimony means…. what…?” Upon receiving a shrug as a reply, I would cut the witnesses free in disgust and called whomever today’s leadoff batter is. Hopefully, he’ll be able to keep me awake past tea….”
— 00:10h PDT 6 May 2014 —
The live television stream from the courtroom doesn’t come on until the witness is already taking questions. The questions are all softballs. Naturally,the husband on the other side of the Pistorius house never did hear a shot, just “crying,” which the witness described very adeptly as “crying.”
There’s weeping, sobbing, bawling, wailing, howling, all kinds of descriptive words one could use to describe a form of crying, and each has a different facet. This guy never heard of either term, in English or Afrikaans..
The woman describes something she heard as “a bang sound. There’s no other way to describe the bang than as a bang.”
Not in EITHER language you speak??? Kitchen pots falling on tile make a “bang” sound. A garage door closing on a car makes a “bang” sound too. So does a firecracker. And so does an M-80, and a grenade. But to her, it’s all the same. She describes a bang about as well as her husband describes “crying.”
Are these people totally deficient, or are they lying? Both of them have watched the entire trial, because the whole world is, and they’re his (the defendant’s) neighbors, so of course they’re interested. They were useless; time-fillers.
The next friendly neighbor stated that she woke up to hear someone crying very loud, so loud he could been in her house (questionable analogy), and after waking her husband to see if he heard the screams, which he said he did but thought they happened in a dream, she said she told him (55:30 mark) “…I thought that maybe a security guard had been shot.”
Curious, since she’d never mentioned hearing a shot, and I can’t imagine one single voice producing more decibels than a 9mm pistol. [Note to self: record witness’ impression of Oscar’s scream for use as ringtone.] For some reason, Nel didn’t catch that; maybe he was as bored as I was, listening to this tedious repetition of stuff we’ve heard so often before.
In the first place, I cannot understand how the people in the two houses next to Pistorius’ failed to hear the gunshots. Four gunshots in a bathroom, with a window open, at 0300 in the morning. Not a one of them. How can anyone take them seriously? They’ve all watched the trial, and they’re all testifying against anyone who said earlier that they’d heard the shots. So, what does that mean? That there was no gun? That Reeva Steenkamp wasn’t all shot up? That Oscar didn’t do it? How is Gerrie Nell letting them get away with this, and why, my lady, is the judge herself not getting involved in silencing these witnesses whose stories are to a great part made up specifically to dispel the prosecution’s case?
I suppose we’ll all get to see what goes down Thursday morning at Zero Dark Thirty Pacific Time, after a round of presumably peaceful elections in South Africa.