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Baron's Blitz: (If) I Did It

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:43 am
by Baron von Gosu
When I first started Dead Air I spent a long time debating on how I wanted to format the show. During my time on EC I was relegated more to a side act of funny voices and sarcastic commentary, more out of necessity for being totally lost in most of the subject matter (especially when doing the shout casts where I hadn't played any of the games). People enjoyed it and it was great, but I often found myself afraid to sit in on consecutive shows over worries of getting overplayed and burning out my welcome with the listeners. Thankfully that didn't happen (Hell I even heard a rumor I had a 'cult' back in the day), but I found the worries replaying themselves after it was suggested I take on a full time show of my own.

What exactly could I do that could carry a show? What are my interests? What could I do that would be more than just a few funny voices?

The answer was my fascination with horror. Granted I knew going in the show would cater to a small sampling of the overall Rival Cast crowd since Dead Air is a genre specific show. However I still felt there was enough there to go ahead and take on the project. As such we've had some pretty significant success, specifically episode 18. To this day that episode is still the most (by far) downloaded episode of Dead Air. I mention this because episode 18 also became a turning point for my vision of the show. The topics we discussed went out of the realm of the fantastic and brought our attention to 3 women in the Cleveland area who'd been rescued from a man who kept them captive for ten years. Thus the topic was born: real life horror stories.

After the episode aired I asked for some feedback on the show, and the results were very mixed. Half loved it and thought it drove conversation better than any episode previous, while others were flat out repulsed by the subject matter and were surprised to find the show had a more serious angle than what they'd expected. Thinking more on it I realized my concerns as being a one trick pony was probably what a lot of the people tuning into that particular episode were hoping to find. It turned a lot of people off, and I get that, but I also learned that I was willing to live with it. As a show host and co-host, we all play a character on the airwaves. Baron the character is not always Baron the man. At times I think this confuses listeners, usually to our detriment, but more often than not people understand the difference. Talking about real life horror stories I stopped being Baron the character and became Baron the person. I don't think people were ready for that.

Now, why is any of this important for you to know for this article? The answer is simple. I'm warning you up front that what you're going to read below isn't Baron the funny voice guy or Baron the cynical show host I play on the air. In this article you're going to read about a real life horror story should you decide to press onward, so I thought it prudent to give you a head's up and chance to bow out now. Love it or be repulsed by it, Dead Air is a show that is going to be deep as much as it is silly, dumb fun. I think the most successful programs find a way to have that delicate balance, which is why shows like The Simpsons, Futurama, and even South Park will long have more staying power than a show like Family Guy or American Dad. But alas, I think this introduction has gone on long enough. For those still reading sit back and get comfortable because for the next however long I go we're going to discuss a real life horror story: the murders of Ron Goldman and Nichole Brown Simpson.

During episode 29 I mentioned I was reading a book written by OJ Simpson called, (If) I Did it, a supposed 'hypothetical' account of the murders of OJ's ex wife and Ron Goldman. At the time the book was first set to be published it set off a firestorm of backlash, causing Harper Collins and Fox Corps to pull up stakes and declare the project dead shortly before it was scheduled to hit the shelves. The book, touted as 'the confession' was being built around a press core of publicity set to make OJ and his children a very significant payday.

Having already addressed more details about the book during the episode, I'm going to skip some of the legal ramblings and debate of censorship and get right into the crux of the book. After finishing the story I found myself truly impressed by it. At times OJ comes across as a romantic and even slightly poetic, stating from the very beginning that like every great story, his ultimately came down to being a love story. And like so many others, ended in horrific tragedy.

My first thought after finishing the book was how bad I felt for the guy. Replaying the significant moments in his life, it was hard not to fall into the mindset of sympathy. After all, how would I act if my wife started swinging at me? How would I handle her drinking every night, or bringing different guys around our children? How would I handle my wife being the entire reason my marriage failed?

......what if she made me kill her?

Looking back now it amazes me to see how easily I fell into the trappings of a self deluding murderer. The thing is, there wasn't anything in the book itself that really caused me to a take a step back and consider the source of where my emotions were originating. Rather it was the realization that I was reading a non-fiction book. This wasn't something intended to bring about the willing suspension of disbelief, a phrase we often talk about on the show. It's intent was to be real, at least until the ONE chapter dedicated to the murders. In the whole book it was the only part considered as a 'hypothetical' situation. I realized I was essentially reading a true crime book disguised as a work of fiction disguised as a true confession. The implications of this took a while for me to fully consider.

In the last lines of the book, OJ puts in a love letter Nichole had written him years before the murders describing them as being unlike any other couple. He ends in careful, poetic agreement. Cue the lights, the sad music, and the frame fading to black as the sun disappears over the horizon. This, I'd say looking back on it now, was when I knew for sure the whole thing was bullshit.

Consider this: if this story, his story, was truly one of an epic, tragic romance, then why would he years later try to cash in on her murder by writing a supposed account of how he did it? Could you imagine Charles Manson writing and publishing an account of the murder of Sharon Tate, or a personalized memoir of Adolf Hitler flipping the switch to one of his gas chambers? Could you imagine a man who being truly in love would subject his children and the victims' families to how he 'hypothetically' killed them by stabbing and nearly decapitating each of them? What innocent, misunderstood man would dare use the woman he loved in such a way?

I like to think that answer is obvious.

The next couple days I watched interviews of the Goldman's on Oprah, Fox News, and other media outlets about the book. I read the articles and news stories about how OJ taunted the Goldman family during and after the trial, declaring how he would never work and pay one cent owed to the Goldman family after they won a wrongful death suit against him. I read about the ruling of court judges stating he created shell corporations to funnel money to himself under the guise of his children being the beneficiaries. I read about how he continuously taunted the Goldman family over the last ten years. I watched his interviews of OJ and the families. I reread the ghostwriter's introduction. Lastly I went through the entire book one more time looking at how hie views himself in the grand scheme of a real life horror story. Contrary to his opinion, he isn't the victim in this story. He never was, and the only one who believes otherwise will always be himself.

Is (If) I Did It a confession? I believe so. And why then, would he write it? Some have speculated his desperation for money, others that he misses being in the spotlight after his career went under over the murders. Others suggest he may have wanted to unburden his soul once and for all. That all may be true, but I think the answer is a little different than all of that. I think he wanted to do to the world that thinks he's guilty, the same thing he's been doing to the Goldman's since the time of his trial in the 1990's.

I think he wanted to taunt us all.

Until next time, dear reader....

Re: Baron's Blitz: (If) I Did It

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:05 am
by vible
Excellent article!

Re: Baron's Blitz: (If) I Did It

PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:46 pm
by Lyserg
Holy shit Baron. Awesome article.

Re: Baron's Blitz: (If) I Did It

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:13 pm
by Baron von Gosu
Thanks : ) Glad you guys liked it