When the Chorus sang its Olé Olé Olé concert back in March, our smaller ensemble OutLoud! performed what I think was one of the most depressing songs I have ever heard in my life. It was called “La Llarona” (“The Weeping Woman”) and it was based on an old Mexican legend about a woman who drowned her children in order to win the heart of a man she loved. Even then he still rejected her, and she was so distraught with grief that she killed herself. She got to heaven and was asked where her children were, and she just said she didn’t know. So they won’t let her into heaven until she finds her kids. One of the biggest takeaways from that concert was that Latin music and folklore can be so depressing.
Real life can be even worse. The ultimate Reality TV Show, the Casey Anthony trial, came to its dramatic conclusion, complete with a dramatic exit by the parents. I tried to ignore this story, but Jim started getting into it so I couldn’t help getting hooked too. Jim loves a good courtroom drama – he’s probably seen every episode of every Law & Order series. So we watched some of the testimony on Headline News (which should have renamed itself the Casey Anthony Channel for their gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial and every sideshow involved) and caught the final arguments on MSNBC. Once the jury had retired, Jim and I – and probably everyone else in America – set out to second guess the jury.
I was saying it was going to be “guilty” of Murder 2, Aggravated Child Abuse and all four counts of Lying To The Police. Jim was going for Manslaughter instead. So we watched, and we waited, and to our surprise the next day the news broke. The verdict was in. Not Guilty of Murder. Not Guilty of Child Abuse. Guilty of Lying To The Police. We, like the rest of America, were stunned. To the credit of those in the gallery, there were no outbursts – which really pisses this judge off – except that Casey’s parents while they quietly and stoically walked out of the courtroom. That’ll look great in the TV Movie of the Week on Lifetime. All it needs is a dramatic music score.
Casey probably won’t get off scott free: there’s still that nasty business about Lying To The Police, which is a penalty punishable for up to one year. So the most she can get is four years, three of which she has already served waiting for trial.
But even once they let her out of prison, she will never be free.
Thanks to the media circus her case has created, everybody knows who she is. The Court of Public Opinion has already found her guilty. This will eat her alive for the rest of her life. She will be shunned, eyed suspiciously, and never trusted by anyone. People in public will pull their children a little closer when they see her. (“Stay away from her… she’s the one who killed her child.”) She will always be a pariah. She will never know peace.
Just ask O.J. Simpson… She will be constantly hounded by the press and the paparazzi. She will always wear that scarlet M for as long as she lives.
According to the old legend, La Llarona walks the night kidnapping bad little children. But who needs fairy tales to scare children anymore? The evening news is scary enough.Share