It isn’t really unusual for lawyers to drag things into open court – whether to cast aspersions on the accused, or to perhaps offer justification for what was done, depending on which lawyer does the dragging.
This week one can only hope that no child was left home alone with access to the channels on which the blatant sex conversation was played, word for word, even though a few words were either bleeped out, inaudible, or had a few letters removed in the accompanying transcription to present those words “in disguise.”
Now I can understand that somehow the defense might want to show that the victim “forced” Jodi Arias into saying and/or doing many things she otherwise would not have said or done. So far, however, it seems that the operative word to use might better be “persuaded,” or “encouraged,” and even at that, maybe she was the one sending those vibes in his direction. But then, that’s for the jury to decide; and if that’s the defense, I suppose her lawyer has to do what he thinks best, no matter how embarrassing it might be for her or for anyone else, and even though he might not really be able to make such a case.
Yet that murder would not have happened in the first place if the woman who now stands accused, and who felt so abused, did not deliberately put herself in the presence of the man she claimed was so abusing her. Whether one is defending against a spouse or a lover, there is always a legal – and kinder, safer, more humane – alternative to murder. When you’re married, it’s called divorce. When you’re not married, it’s called breaking up and not going back. Nobody ever said either one of those alternatives is easy, or that the one left behind would never try for a reconciliation of some kind, even employing harassment bordering on abuse or worse; but chances are, neither one of those alternatives would lead to a murder trial such as the one in which Jodi currently finds herself.
I don’t know how her trial will play out and what may still come up, or what the jury will decide, but it sure does seem like a lot of unnecessary emphasis is being placed on that 40-minute telephone conversation in which both Jodi and Travis engaged in their triple X-rated sexual dialogue. I suppose this whole affair is going to be the next made-for-TV movie, just waiting for the outcome now so it can have an ending. But then, sad to say, such splashy and big-headline murders as this are getting to be rather commonplace in our world these days, just as another very unfortunate kind of murder – self-murder, more kindly known as suicide – is also getting to be far too common.
How very, very sad to learn of the suicide of Mindy McCready. To ask why she did it is to act as though it isn’t easy enough to figure out. Sure, she had a life filled with challenges, since even her “ordinary” life was far from ordinary. But regardless of her upbringing, and possibly even the less-than-stellar overcare of her mother, she managed to grow up beautiful and talented and headed for stardom, love, and happy motherhood – a life that many young women would die for. Yet always behind the scenes of any so-called wonderful or glamorous life, lie the secrets that start as insignificant cracks and work themselves up till they shatter the life they are reflecting, revealing to the world the shards of sorrow and pain.
It seems to almost be par for the course that entertainers across the board will have drug and alcohol challenges. Maybe it’s simply because of easy access, coupled with a need for quick relaxation after a hard day’s night. Maybe it’s to stir up the courage needed to keep getting out on that stage, or appear more confident than one really is. Maybe it’s to keep up with those who have already been doing it for years. And then maybe it’s to help them sleep after all that intense activity while awake.
Often, half of a couple will introduce the alcohol and/or the drugs to the other half. And often, whatever difficulties the couple were having will then grow larger and very possibly make the tabloids, the newspapers, and the 11 o’clock news, if not all the entertainment shows, and the celebrity will be analyzed by Dr. Drew or Dr. Phil. Unlike the case with Jodi, whose life was not really public until the murder of her so-called boyfriend, Mindy’s life had been made public over the years what with her rise to fame, use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, well known lovers, child custody battles, open disputes with her mother, and on and on. Yet somehow, as often happens, after the ugly episodes that lead to serious consequences, some kind of rehabilitation and public announcement of giving it another earnest try (hopefully the one that works) regains the public’s trust and helps rally them behind the broken and badly bruised entertainer who needs another chance (think Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan).
I believe that the feeling that one’s career may be over, coupled with losing the person you love (regardless of the hows and whys); coupled with losing custody of your children, regardless of the reasons; coupled with believing those children are being abused by the very person who is given custody; coupled with not having a good grasp on your former or present addictions; coupled with having access to a weapon that can kill; coupled with having the opportunity to do it, since no one was staying with her to see that such an eventuality would not take place; could well combine into a situational cocktail that gave Mindy the final thought that killing herself could end her misery and pain.
Jodi could have avoided being in the presence of Travis; Mindy could never have avoided being in her own presence. Jodi is currently embarrassed by what is coming out in the trial since what she said and did was intended to stay private, although she enjoyed it along the way. Mindy was embarrassed by what people would think of her being treated for mental illness, and the press made sure that nothing about that part of her life would remain private and secret, painful as it was. Jodi appears to be playing the role of “poor little me” – innocent by way of self-defense or such – while Mindy probably felt every bit like the poor put-upon person who was losing it all and had nothing left over which she had any control to help bring happiness into her own slowly fading and very painful world.
And for us, life goes on.
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.