Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

I feel selfish about it but I kind of hope this Oscar Pistorius thing goes on for a while, just because it seems like an interesting window into life and culture in South Africa. What I know about the place pretty much drops off after Cry the Beloved Country. In a way it is a country that has always seemed to me to be sort of an alternate universe United States, like something that Philip K. Dick might have created, and nothing about the Pistorius story so far is convincing me otherwise. It really does seem like an Earth-2 OJ case. Of course, Pistorius' story was always a fascinating one, but now it seems strange that he had a dark side that nobody ever thought to report. I have no real sense of how he was regarded by the sports-following public in SA-- it is a sports-mad nation, I know that. But what kind of a place is it, that people are armed to the teeth, and terrified at the prospect of home invasion? What does it mean to live in a country that was, for generations, defined by institutionalized racism? Is South Africa really just Texas with a Dutch accent?

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