Saturday, March 6, 2010

OJ at the Smithsonian

I haven't heard back from the Smithsonian yet.  I sent them a clarifying question:  How do you determine which artifacts to acquire and display?

'Cause I was wondering about O.J. Simpson's suit.  What in blue blazes makes my beloved Smithsonian Institution want that?

There's a clear reason, I'm sure.  My beloved, my esteemed Smithsonian doesn't go around like a drunken lotto winner buying up stuff because "wouldn't it be cool?"  (My brother bought a hearse once.  It was pretty cool.  We had fun driving around thumbing our noses for a while.)  But the Smithsonian has a good reason...just, what is it?

I was thinking of the "Trial of the Century" angle.  So while I'm waiting for them to clear this up, I did some research on famous trials. 

OJ's not the only murdering SOB who generated a media dominating courtroom escapade.  Charles Manson, Scott Peterson...but don't they all belong in Madam Toussaud's Wax Museum exhibit of the macabre?  Surely not the Smithsonian.

There's a difference between dictionaries, in case you didn't know.  Some are dictionaries of Standard American English.  Others are dictionaries of common American usage.  The former shows us the best, what we should strive for.  The latter simply shows us what is. 

I thought the Smithsonian would display the Standard, the highest achievements, the proudest moments.  Yes, American history and culture aren't totally comprised of nobility and glory.  We have to know who we've been and where we've failed.

But OJ Simpson?

All right, I watched the trial.  I watched.  I might watch it again someday like I might watch the "mystery" of Marilyn Monroe's death, or Helter Skelter.  On MSNBC Investigates.  On E! Most Shocking Celebrity Crimes.  I'm not above it. 

But the Smithsonian is.