I’d Rather be Pissed Off Than Pistorius   6 comments

When (you) ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal…
How does it feel to be on your own, with no direction home,
Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?

— Bob Dylan (1965)


Oscar Pistorius’ defense may have blown their client away as the former runner’s murder trial continued Monday. Dr. Meryl Vorster, a forensic psychiatrist who joined the team ten days ago, took the stand and presented her psychiatric evaluation of the defendant. Oscar’s head may now be found gathering no moss on a highway near Pretoria.

She expected the court to believe Oscar was traumatically assaulted when he had his legs amputated at 11 months and could not talk. At the time he had parents and other relatives to console him and soothe him; he was, after all, a baby, and even though his mother was an alcoholic (ask anyone who’s ever been to an AA meeting what an “intermittent drunk” is), she did retain the basic ability to hold and cuddle her child and do basic mom stuff. Except for the boozing it up part.

The mother had an anxiety disorder, and she instilled that into her children, keeping a loaded gun underneath her pillow. The kids grew up seeing the outside world as threatening. Even more so because mommy dearest called the police about imaginary intruders every time one of the kids closed a sock drawer.

It was stressed to young Oscar that he should never allow himself to be seen as disabled and apparently was teased occasionally when kids were aware he was different. (Was anyone out there NOT teased at one time or another?) The need to conceal his disability caused Oscar more anxiety.

He was 15 when his mother died, and he stayed alternately with one family member or another or one friend or another for short periods of time, but never landed anywhere, and never had another primary adult attachment figure, according to Dr. Vorster’s report.

Oscar grew up with few strong emotional ties, and broke off relations with his father when he was 21, although he maintains relations with his siblings. When at home in Pretoria, he felt quite alone, and would frequently invite guests to stay over, but they didn’t always take him up on it. He had kind of an odd demeanor to him, and if the witness list is any indication, they needed their space.

Hence, he had few long-term relationships and relies on social media to remain in touch with his friends and siblings. Vorster further stressed that as he gained notoriety, he would have to prepare more and more for his appearances so he wouldn’t embarrass himself, of which he was dreadfully fearful.  He needed to be in a controlled environment. He was caught in a loop.

So, today, given her diagnosis of the defendant with a psychological disorder / mental illness, and the fact that it was brought forth and entered into evidence by Oscar’s own team and accepted by the court, Dr. Vorster becomes star witness for the State in its application to give Oscar Pistorius, murderer, killer, public threat, a 30-day ticket to The PsycHotel, all expenses paid. (You do have insurance, don’t you?*) #ThingsTheyWouldSayOnlyInAmerica

This has turned into a very interesting game of chess. Roux better be on his game today. No one up there on the ceiling or beyond is going to help him today either.






6 responses to “I’d Rather be Pissed Off Than Pistorius

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  1. Another fine despatch from Up on Cripple Creek.


    • Oh, God, I haven’t stopped laughing. Ever been there? It’s a beautiful place. We used to go hiking up there when we lived in Colorado. Thank you for reminding me, it was a good visual.


      • Thanks for not disabling comments on account of me! Never been to CC, didn’t even know it was in Colorado. For all I know, it’s been renamed Reefer Rivlet. Anyway, you started it with the Bob Dylan lyrics: there are more worms in that can most.


      • Don’t know why I didn’t pick up on the borderline relatable with The Band, but that was Robbie Robertson, not Dylan. Revised my earlier reply since I thought you were someone who’d used the term cripple inappropriately.


  2. I know it’s a Band song, but it is on *Before the Flood* — had scoured Bob’s lyrics for “cripple”, to no avail. So why did you decide to add court reporter to your eclectic arsenal of expertise? Is this something you’ve done before, or did you just go straight for the Oscar?


    • Clever observation, as usual. =) I don’t think I had ever covered a court case until I picked up on the Jodi Arias case last year. I’ve watched a lot of high-profile cases: OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, a few Joran vanderSloot trials/convictions, Edwin Ferguson, Scott Peterson, but I never endeavored to dive this deeply into one before Arias (gratuitous pun), and this one was on my radar from the beginning and came when I’d hit a brick wall in another writing project. But, I already had the table set for Aaron Hernandez. If you back the calendar up to last year about this time, the Arias trial was at its peak and I was posting very often and to larger audiences than even this one. This is the first and only trial I’ve covered overseas, and it’s confusing. The terms mean different things, sometimes very contrary to their meanings here, and if I have to “translate” terms, I don’t even want to think about procedures. Thanks for the question, and thanks for reading. 😉


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