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Everything posted by SinInTheCamp

  1. SinInTheCamp

    American Crime Story in the Media

    Well, it wouldn't be right now. Season 4 is at least a couple of years down the road. Yes, it could be considering the law-breaking (lying under oath) that led to impeachment, or the entire Ken Star investigation as a "crime" (a travesty), or both.
  2. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E07: The Other Side

    I give a shit too about the male perspective. It's important to view this dystopia from every possible angle. As a lifelong loud-and-proud feminist, I've known an awful lot of misogynists and sexist a-holes...but I also know many men who are true feminists and allies. Is Luke a perfect representation of this? No, but none of us are. We always strive to do better, to BE better, and I think the trajectory of this episode led Luke to that place as well. I was actually shocked at how hard this episode hit me. I must have been a refugee and/or dealt with a missing loved one in a past life. I was physically shaking throughout the episode, and I broke down crying in three scenes (and I'm so not a crier): when June and Luke could see the flashing police lights while in the car trunk, when Zoey takes Luke to see the bodies hanging in the church, and when Luke walks down the hallway papered in hundreds of missing person flyers. I end every episode with a shudder of revulsion (as I feel the very real possibility of the U.S. going down the Gilead road of horrors), but not since episode two has this all personally felt so real to me. It managed to be suspenseful despite us knowing what happens with the failed escape, and then there was that glimmer of hope on Luke's face at the end. I loved, loved, loved Zoey and her crew; their fate was devastating, but they were true heroes. Their brief presence emphasized the importance of retaining our humanity in such an inhuman situation. Also, I got such a Walter-White-hiding-out-in-New-Hampshire-in-"Granite State" vibe when I saw June, Luke, and Hannah's arrival at their snowy, isolated cabin. I was initially as frightened as they were by the appearance of the guy at the lake (burly white guy in camo? Not taking a single chance with that one) but was gratified when I saw that he had good advice for them. Sucks about their guide, though. Another life snuffed out for trying to help others obtain freedom. I really loved this one, and it will continue to haunt me. I didn't have any problems with Luke either. That said, I adored Tara's recap; I laughed aloud. #notallmen
  3. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E05: Faithful

    The Handmaid's-jive's Tale.
  4. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E05: The Love of Johnny Johnson

    No, the boy in "The Talking Machine" episode is Jason, the aspiring Thomas Edison science geek; Laura's crush on him prompts her to think about becoming a "lady" scientist. Ironically, Bart's crush in that episode of The Simpsons was voiced by Sara Gilbert, Melissa's (Laura's) real-life sister!
  5. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E03: Late

    I was actually thinking much closer to home: America, 2017. The timing of this show is impeccable.
  6. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E02: Birth Day

    The scene where Offred and Ofglen are talking about how professors were all sent away to "the colonies," and Ofglen escaped that fate because they overlooked her "sinful" past of being a college lecturer hit a little too close to home in our current national climate. I actually shivered. I've been close to tears at many points so far because of the realism in scenes that I wouldn't have been able to legitimately contemplate even a year ago. It's very moving, and everyone involved with this project has done a magnificent job.
  7. SinInTheCamp

    Hollywood History: The Real-Life "Feud" and More

    I've always regarded Mommie Dearest as the campiest of fun cult classics, but it irritates me to think of Christina being so thoroughly dismissed based on factors like her mother having defenders or her being on friendly terms with Joan just prior to her death. I was abused (for a relatively brief period of time) by my own mother when I was young. I mostly blamed myself for years, indicting myself for things Christina has been accused of (being abrasive, strong-willed, self-centered, and on and on), and it has been only recently that I've been vocal about the extreme emotional pain I've kept inside me. All this time, I've continued to love my mom and have attempted to cultivate a good relationship with her, so I can't see Joan and Christina's alleged good terms at the end of the former's life as evidence that Christina is a liar. Most of us seek our parents' acceptance and approval--especially those of us who have felt rejected and demeaned by them in the past. To my utter amazement, I found that none of my siblings believed my detailed memories of physical and emotional abuse. As with Christina/Christopher and the twins, there's an age difference between my siblings and me, and they have fond memories of my mother, who was in a much different place emotionally when she raised them--indeed, she's near sainthood in their eyes. Both age gaps and gender can really affect perceptions. Because I was too ashamed to speak up for all of those years and because I didn't want to rock the boat, they now accuse me of lying since I never spoke of these events earlier. Speaking about my experiences now that I'm no longer ashamed and afraid has strengthened me and improved my self-esteem, but it's also destroyed my reputation with my family. Like Joan, my mom's always been an attractive, vivacious woman with lots of friends ("fans!"), while I've always been rather reserved and "different." She denies that any abuse ever took place; whether she's too ashamed to admit it or has just erased it from her memory in her old age, I don't know. In any case, it's much easier for my family to believe that I'm a horrible person who's trying to make my mother look back (for what purpose or gain, I have no idea). What I'm trying to say is that families can be extremely complicated and full of secrets. It's disturbing how often society seeks to discount and berate victim accounts, especially if the victim is a woman; also if the woman is pitted against a more beautiful or famous or well-loved person. And if the victim is adopted, how dare she speak up! Another factor that magnifies this way of thinking, I believe, is the adulation and martyr factor that we automatically ascribe to parents, especially mothers, and especially white mothers. They usually get the benefit of the doubt and are further martyred by the eventual courage of "ungrateful" children who are really just seeking some kind of closure and maybe an apology that will likely never arrive.
  8. SinInTheCamp

    S03.E01: Mabel

    Mike drained the battery of the tracker the unknown person placed on the car parked outside his house so that he'd come and retrieve it, thinking it's no longer working. In the meantime, he's bought another identical tracker that he's switched out the original for in the gas cap. So after this guy takes it with him, thinking it's the one HE planted, Mike is now able to track him. And no, he probably wouldn't suspect anything.
  9. SinInTheCamp

    Big Love

  10. SinInTheCamp

    O.J.: Made In America - Part 5

    You do know that people can be racist or prejudiced without hating every single person from that race, right? When I was in law enforcement, I knew a number of racist cops. I used to study the way they acted toward POC in the department. They were totally cool with them--treated them like "brothers"--because, in their minds, they were completely different from "those people." They were exceptions. They played by the rules of the mostly-white department, so they were "good guys." A different type of example is the way my mom regards Mexicans. She thinks that, as a whole, we're lazy, dirty, unattractive, and "illegal"--even those of us who were born here (I'm half Latina myself). And yet she once loved my father. Furthermore, she has several Latinx friends who she's known for decades, and I know for a fact she loves them deeply. Again, those are exceptions to her overall prejudice against Latinxs. Doesn't mean she's not racist. You can be a racist and still defend a particular person from that group to the death. And if you're not seeing all the nuances present in such situations, I strongly suggest you bone up on some critical race theory.
  11. Oh geez, and I make that gesture all the time to colleagues after they've successfully presented a project. I didn't realize that instead of conveying, "Yes, you've made it through!" I was actually telling them that if they ever decide to kill two people, I will ensure that they get off scot-free despite being overwhelmingly convinced of their guilt. I feel terrible.
  12. Having working in law enforcement for nearly a decade, I know that prosecutors LURVE to say that trials are about justice, because it makes them feel like noble superhero crusaders, but it's simply not true. Criminal trials are all about determining the guilt of the defendant/s. And I'm always gobsmacked when Ito is accused of acting in the interest of public opinion, as if that's a bad thing. He should be deferring to the public. After all, it was the People of the State of California v. O.J. Simpson, not Fred Goldman & The Browns et al. v. Simpson or even the District Attorney's Office of Los Angeles v. Simpson. The prosecution was only our representatives (not the ones I would have personally chosen, but I digress...). I think it's an oft-forgotten fact that the justice system is supposed to be paying attention to public sentiment. This is often overlooked because law enforcement views themselves as an exclusive club and doesn't want the public involved. But it's our right to make our voices heard, and we should be doing so much more often--and not just in high-profile cases. Ito actually didn't have the ego that many think he did--because unlike judges with legitimately huge egos, he was willing to listen the public. That's the opposite of someone with an ego problem.
  13. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E08: A Jury In Jail

    Yes, all of this. Especially within a police department, where there's even more of an impetus to keep your mouths shut. There's lots of secrets inside PDs. I worked in law enforcement for near a decade, so I have a great deal of firsthand knowledge about this. People tend to be the best at keeping secrets when they know that leaked info could harm them or their careers (or the careers/reputations of their fellow officers, which ALWAYS reflects badly upon the entire department). One incident that particularly bothered me was a cop who brutalized an elderly man, causing him physical injury. It was kept hush-hush within the department until the citizen actually took it straight to the DAs office and made a complaint. Forced to acknowledge the incident, the DA "investigated" it and cleared the cop of any criminal wrongdoing. Even within our department, news of the incident didn't get around much. Only a handful of people knew, those who had been directly involved with the paperwork from the DA. But it burned me up inside whenever I saw that cop, who I would previously never have suspected of being capable of such violence. I think I quit shortly thereafter, acknowledging that I wanted no part of such a system that so blithely covered for its own. That wall of silence really does exist in police departments.
  14. SinInTheCamp

    Crime After Crime: Future Season Wishlist

    No, I totally agree about Farrah (she was terrific in that role, although I didn't think she resembled Diane at all--much like Cuba didn't resemble OJ), and Rule's book was a fascinating read. But I think a show like AHS that has proven storytelling abilities could draw out other aspects of her crime story, such as her relationship with the children prior to the shootings, her relationship with "Lew," her prison romance/correspondence with the I-5 Killer, and her initially successful prison break. All of these aspects of her life have long piqued my interest. I will say, though, that she's definitely got those dead eyes too, like Ramirez.EDITED TO ADD: Not to mention the killer '80s soundtrack that the music director could put together for a Downs season, with "Hungry Like the Wolf" kicking off the first episode, naturally.
  15. SinInTheCamp

    Crime After Crime: Future Season Wishlist

    I'd love a season on Diane Downs, the woman who shot her three kids because she thought it would entice her lover (who didn't want children) to commit to her. That woman is a fascinating psychological study. Farrah Fawcett played her in the TV film Small Sacrifices, but I can see ACS giving the story a much better treatment. I'd also be on board for Fatty Arbuckle, Richard Ramirez (I was a pre-teen in Los Angeles when he was on the loose, and it was a nightmarish time), and Casey Anthony.
  16. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E10: The Verdict

    I'm not sure where you got your information, but that's absolutely wrong about Manson. He gave a statement (NOT testimony) outside the presence of the jury, and the "cross-examination" consisted of Bugliosi asking him four philosophical questions pertaining to Charlie's ramblings about death and one question about whether he'd be willing to testify in front of the jury. Manson replied, "No, I've already relieved all the pressure that I had." So yes, he made an unopposed statement and no, the jury did not get to hear him answer questions. There's a reason I said I was a Manson scholar...I really wasn't making an idle boast. Information also got to the sequestered jury on the Manson case as well. One of the defense attorneys brought in a newspaper and Manson grabbed it off the table and flashed the headline, which read, "Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares" to the jury. So although there were no cameras in that courtroom, media was leaked to the jury anyway (albeit by the defendent), and likely through conjugal visits as well. Of course, with the advent of Court TV, cameras became a nearly ubiquitous presence in courtrooms anyway.
  17. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E10: The Verdict

    I'm a Manson case scholar, and Charles Manson was allowed to make a statement in court outside the presence of the jury, just as OJ did. His was a rambling statement that went on and on, unlike OJ's. So Ito's ruling was not unique. And I don't recall Judge Older (who presided over Manson's case) ever described as a famewhore who had lost control of his courtroom. One of the cases on which I served as juror was a criminal case, and deliberations went like this: We selected a foreperson, took a vote to see where everyone was at, and found that we were all unanimously in favor of a guilty verdict. The foreperson was ready to call for the jury forms; this had taken all of five minutes. There was nothing to deliberate. I was the one who earned the ire of other jurors for "wasting time" when I argued for reviewing the finer points of the case because, as I noted, I'd want my jury to do the same for me if I were in the defendent's chair. I think I convinced them to stay for a total of 30 minutes. So I can see a 4-hour verdict (as shocking as it may seem) if the two jurors leaning toward guilty were easily swayed in the other direction.
  18. Probably the fact that he could make much more money as a high-profile defense attorney than as a prosecutor working for the DA's office.As a teenager, I idolized Bugliosi and wanted to be a prosecutor just like him (I had no idea at the time that he had long since moved on). All of these years later, I've continued to admire what he stood for throughout his lifetime. I've heard that people tend to grow more conservatively close-minded as they age, but I've been the opposite--I grew up in a conservative family, went into law enforcement, and since then am as far left as one can be (I think). Bugliosi similarly became more open-minded as he aged. He went into the opposite end of the spectrum in his law practice by defending accused murderers, he wrote a book questioning the existence of God called Divinity of Doubt, and he advocated for a compassionate release for Susan Atkins prior to her death. I have his book on the OJ trial and still reread it every once in a while. With the exception of his sometimes militant tone, I agree with its contents wholeheartedly (he lays out the way he would have prosecuted the case). At the time of the trial, I personally thought OJ should have been convicted, but looking back now with the hindsight that comes from many years of emotional and physical distance, I realize that none of the branches of law enforcement were ever working for us, the citizens of L.A.'s most neglected districts. We were being terrorized by law enforcement (and then told it was for our own good), beaten, and then ignored when one of our own were murdered. OJ was a rich man, but he was also culturally abject as an African American (and he himself didn't even realize it!). The only ones who latched onto his racial abjection were those who experienced otherness on a daily basis. He became a symbol for them of the possibility of a POC taking on that longtime nemesis. None of us knew back then that OJ had divorced himself from his roots. And it's not like there were many choices; precious few POC had the power to represent a challenge to the establishment. This is all beyond the scope of Bugliosi's book, of course, but I would love to know what he would have thought of this series and would like to believe that his cultural philosophies would have continued to evolve, as mine have. I so appreciate that this show has consistently pointed out the nuances of this historical case.
  19. It's important to remember that the jury in the criminal case wasn't privy to much of the information that the rest of us had. And even if outside info was leaked to them, they wouldn't be allowed to consider it during deliberations if it wasn't introduced during the trial. The woman who alleged to have seen OJ speeding away from the direction of Nicole's? She sold her story to a tabloid, so the prosecution ousted her. The Bronco chase? They decided not to include that as evidence of guilt, even though OJ had a gun, a disguise, a passport, and nearly $10,000 on him. The ineffectual yet incriminating police interview? Nope. OJ denied being the murderer, and the prosecution didn't want the jury to know that (of course he was denying it! That was the whole reason for the trial!). I think my take on the case is different from most, because I was a young person living at the time in one of the worst areas in L.A. You know it's bad when other Angelinos try to distance themselves from it by pretending they're not even aware that it exists. In 1994 and 1995, people like me (and probably many of these jurors too) had no access to computers and no means to travel, ever. You think we'd have a clue that wet gloves shrink? I never even owned a pair of gloves until I moved away in my thirties! It generally never gets that cold here. Even if it did, we wouldn't be able to afford leather gloves. We knew nothing about them. Not only that, but we all grew up with zero faith in law enforcement. I was a Latina "passing" for white due to my mixed ethnicity, and even I was afraid. When a friend of mine was killed by a white man, he was blamed for his own death, because he was Latino and therefore must have been making trouble. In that case, which received some press in L.A., the murderer received a slap on the wrist. I don't recall any whites who were up in arms about that particular injustice. I'm also bemused about the assignation of significance the black power salute has received. It is nothing like a white supremacist salute. The salute (which is essentially just a fist held up in the air) can be--and is--symbolic of many different things. It was most famously used by 1968 black Olympians as a gesture to honor all of the black Americans whose voices had been drowned out over the centuries by the waters of the Middle Passage, the whip of the slaveowner, the rope of the lynch mobs, and the batons of unjust police. Gloria Steinem also famously used the salute alongside Angela Davis to symbolize solidarity in seeking justice during the civil rights movements. In my childhood L.A. neighborhood, it could mean anything from "best of luck" to "fight the power" to "justice has been served." There's no way to know conclusively what that juror was communicating, but as he was from my neck of the woods, I'm betting it was something along the lines of "Justice has been served," and not, "Booyah! We got your guilty ass off! Three cheers for black supremacy!" Utter nonsense. But perhaps this is something that only someone of a certain socio-economical class in that particular time and place can truly understand or believe. Although I was only 20 at the time of the trial, I was glued to my TV--my primary source of information about it at the time--and had no doubt that Simpson was guilty. I still don't have any doubts. But I had an African American coworker who was fully convinced of his innocence. This lady was so devoted to her beliefs that she took the bus to the courthouse any time she had a day off during the week. She became a staple outside the building, just standing there to show her support, and was often interviewed by the press. I've sort of been hoping I'd see some representation of her on the show. As wild as I thought her ideals seemed, I never demeaned her for them. And although I was initially frustrated by the jury, I've come to understand over the years the factors that went into their decision. Part of this is becoming more open-minded and compassionate as I age, and I really like that the show is telling the story from all angles. And that's important, because there is no "one"/right story. We all rely on our own unique worldview a to provide us with interpretations. This case no longer belongs to just the Goldmans and Browns...it's now a part of the history of Los Angeles itself. I've served on juries myself, and two cases really stood out to me. In one, a civil case, we had to rule against the plaintiff, who was a very sympathetic figure. We also really liked her attorney. But even though her story was reasonable and believable, she had no convincing evidence. Believe me, I would have loved to have walked in there and awarded her with everything she asked for. And many, many times while jurors may believe in their hearts that someone is guilty of a crime, they must acquit if they don't feel the prosecutor proved their case. That's why "not guilty" doesn't actually mean "innocent." That's why the justice system doesn't use the word "innocent." In another case, an all-white jury took about 5 minutes to decide a black man was guilty of a drug charge after a week-long trial. I was the one who insisted that we needed to sit down and go over all of the evidence, even though we were all in agreement. I don't think they liked me much for that, but I thought it was the right thing to do. Interestingly then, after this show has renewed so much interest in the case, I find myself increasingly supportive of the way it all turned out. Not because I'm a fan of murderers being set free on the golf course or because I necessarily support so-called jury nullification. But when I realize that phrases like "the race card" and sentiments like "this case had nothing to do with race" (which the show's writers so neatly disputed right at the beginning with the unforgettable Rodney King footage) and "I'm glad Cochran got brain cancer" (for doing his job? I wouldn't wish that on anyone) and "the jurors were lazy idiots"(translation: they were mostly black...which makes them automatic lawbreakers/jury nullifiers, DUH) are still being batted around, the cultural ignorance inherent in those statements is like a sickening punch in the gut. I suppose what this show has really underscored is that, as a society, our views and assumptions about those we consider abject sadly have not evolved much in twenty years.
  20. Just want to point out that Cochran's alleged words about the white juror would be properly defined as personal prejudice, not racism. Racism entails feelings of supremacy and/or hatred of an entire race that perpetuates and upholds systemic abuses, inequalities, and the historical power of whites in the Western world.
  21. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E04: 100% Not Guilty

    Finally, I have found my people...(person?)!!! Thank you for this; I've always hated admitting it, but I've always found something off-putting about Fred Goldman as well. I was in my early 20s when this all went down, so I well remember seeing him often on TV. I "absolutely, one hundred percent" sympathize with him and his outrage, but something about him always irked me. I remember just after the trial, a celeb (can't remember who now) remarked that, because of his mustache, he reminded her of a sort of cartoonish beer server at Oktoberfest, swinging steins from side to side with his elbows out like a marionette. The visual's stuck with me ever since. I mean, bless his heart--I can't even imagine how he's suffered, but...yeah. He's just always rubbed me the wrong way, and the actor is totally bringing that feeling back. Speaking of bringing it back, that nightclub scene really brought back the nineties, just like the Sabatoge car chase scene brought them back in the second episode. This show is doing a great job of capturing the era.
  22. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E03: The Dream Team

    Maybe it's the English major in me, but I saw the "An American Tragedy" headline as an allusion to Theodore Dreiser's 1925 novel, also titled An American Tragedy, about the story of a young man from an impoverished background, seemingly heading nowhere in life, who lucked into a prestigious career with a bright future. As he moves his way up the ladder, his life is derailed when his fiancee (who is pregnant with his child) is drowned. Although he claims he didn't kill her, he faces a murder trial and later admits that he had thought about killing her--had even imagined how he would carry it out. The story explores the blurred line between a deliberate act of homicide and having "murder in [one's] heart." The story's not exactly the same, but there are a number of parallels to OJ's own life, and it's sort of an epic American tale of wealth, fame, and domestic homicide. It was most famously made into a 1951 film called A Place in the Sun starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Well worth a watch, especially in conjunction with this series!
  23. For me, the closest comparison--but alas, if OJ is before your time, this will be wayyyyy before your time as well--is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Super popular (especially in L.A., where I'm from), star college athlete at UCLA; later one of the most beloved professional basketball players of all time. Had some bit film roles, but some of those ended up being cult classics, like Airplane! and Game of Death with Bruce Lee. Also appeared on numerous TV shows. Very intelligent, and even now has a career as a writer (he's excellent at that, too, by the way). All-around likable, charismatic, talented philanthropist and athlete-turned-actor. A long-time beloved public persona who worked hard and began with nothing, like OJ. But Kareem has never murdered anyone--just want to make that clear! And yes, everyone and their mother was engrossed in this. Mine certainly was! There was just so much to talk about in regards to this case, as we can see even now with just a taste of it from the first episode of this show.
  24. SinInTheCamp

    S01.E01: From The Ashes Of Tragedy

    I don't think this has already been mentioned here, but I couldn't help laughing when Johnnie Cochran told his wife that he couldn't wear the lime-green suit because he was going to meet "MJ" (Michael Jackson, one of his other famous clients) that day at Neverland (MJ's property up near Santa Barbara), and the color frightened Michael! Great reference. I actually loved the little nods to pop culture in this episode.
  25. Yes, I've made the drive myself between Bundy and Rockingham (after the new house had been rebuilt), and it took probably 3 minutes max. That was on a Saturday afternoon with fairly busy traffic. So it would have been a very brief trip for OJ to return home from Bundy, especially with the way he was speeding, as observed by that one witness he cut off. My own visits to the sites were about 3 years ago...now I'm thinking about taking another drive out there to actually time it.