by Glenn Fairman 2/12/14
“The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” — MLK • Rarely do I take “two bites of the apple” on a news story (see “Beautiful Sociopath” in American Thinker), but the murder trial of Jodi Arias has been going on for so long that it has a good chance for syndicated re-run status on TBN: nestled between Seinfeld and The Big Bang Theory. The trial, even now spilling into its fifth month, has had something for everyone: X-rated conversations and e-mails, a sociopathic femme fatale, a relentless tough-as-nails prosecutor, and a victim who has been maniacally slaughtered in the most gruesome manner. If you think this is hyperbole: just ask the giddy owners and staff at HLN (The Hysterical Ladies Network) — the station whose motto could have been: “All Jodi – All of the Time.” For them, this trial has been the stuff that fortunes are made of.
Whether we want to admit it or not, there is something in the human heart that craves justice. It is Justice, and not freedom or equality, that the City ultimately strives towards; and even a little child knows an injustice when he sees it. Before the verdict of “guilty” was announced in that Arizona courtroom, those present reported that time seemed to stand still and that silence itself was so conspicuous that it appeared itself to be a sound. In retrospect, one could not help but be moved to tears by the responses of friends and family members who had waited five excruciating years for their own measure of justice. Indeed, there is something about the very nature of justice that reassures us when people receive what they truly deserve.
A few wags have held that it is some species of Schadenfreude: a pleasure derived from watching the unfolding misfortunes of others, that has driven the public’s interest in the Arias’ case – but this ultimately is not a satisfying theory. Minutes after her verdict was read, the convicted murderess gave a cool account of herself to an Arizona Fox reporter while explaining to him that: “a psychologist once explained to me that society has this need to persecute people. They get some sort of gratification from it.” This, however, is the standard hackneyed boilerplate of the convicted felon-narcissist who sees herself as the Ptolemaic Center of the Cosmos. Jodi has taken Justice on a wild ride since she was first called in for questioning in 2008. And while her lies and slanders have indeed delayed and at times hobbled justice, the gavel swinging down upon her that morning was as inexorable as a sun-filled spring day in Tucson.
Perhaps what is most emblematic about those who manifest sociopathic or certain personality disorders (what used to be termed evil or moral defects before the Age of Therapeutic Apologia) are the layers of masks combined with the veneer of charm that they utilize – almost as a trap – to snare the unsuspecting. With Arias, I have little doubt that her obsession with Travis Alexander drove her to formulate a plan with two possible outcomes. Either she would use her body as a means to bore her way back into his heart or he would come to ruin. When “Plan A” failed and he would not relent to Jodi’s will by substituting her as his romantic consort on that Mexican cruise, the shriek that had been echoing in her soul gave permission to her second calculated option. Wet, naked and unaware of what would soon befall him in the shower, Arias readily proved Kipling’s lyric wisdom that so often “the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”
For a brief moment after the verdict was read, a wrinkle in Jodi’s mask appeared before she caught herself and the consummate actress once again took hold. With the words “guilty of murder in the first degree” slapping her mind, she could no longer hold back the reality that her life was now the equivalent of “a tower thrown down.” Any persistent dream she might have harbored in her reptile head of — vindication, a hung jury or an attenuated sentence — in fact punctured and bled out of her for that brief eternity of time. Scant minutes later during her interview, the Jodi of Olde was back: casting aspersions on her victim, his family, her adversaries, and the society which would dare hold her responsible for the act of extracting her own form of justice on a man she could not live without and who would not live without her. In death’s great finale they will always be joined – at least filtered through her calculating madness.
Whether she will remain imprisoned for life or eventually succumbs to the State’s needle is now only an abstraction to be wrangled amongst lawyers, since few tread the Green Mile anymore. In truth, a society that largely embraces selective abortion of the weak and voiceless has come to denature the absolute value of life itself and makes common cause with murder. Consequently, Western Civilization is losing its paradoxical understanding that those in authority, as opposed to those living in a violent state of nature, must terminate the barbarous in order to uphold the ultimate sanctity of innocent life. Arias, perhaps as a means to further manipulate public opinion, mental health experts or her captors, is currently espousing the conviction that she would rather choose oblivion than life in the cage – now that the bars of her cell are growing closer and restricting the perimeter of freedom she so desperately covets.
It is axiomatic that the gavel of justice must come down one way or another. If it alights upon us in the here and now, then possibly we can make amends and grow human once more. If not, we risk spinning out centrifugally into the outer darkness: both cursing ourselves and others with weeping and gnashing of teeth. For Ms. Arias, who will soon be a ratings memory huddled in an iron crypt welded together by her own blood-drenched hands, let us hope she avails herself of the mercy she denied to the object of her own star-cursed love.
Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. • (4210 views)