Day 177 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

After reading the Sunday papers yesterday, I have been mulling on how people can be so opinionated … with so little information … and often based on how the accused party ‘looks’.

I had read about a man arrested for the murder of his wife  after she was found dead a few weeks ago (I’m sure all of Brisbane will know who I mean, but I will keep this general folks). Hardly anytime had passed and her husband was a suspect. Some people were saying “he sure looks guilty”. Tell me, how does someone ‘look‘ guilty?

You think this dog looks guilty?

So now the man has been arrested and is in custody and the media is doing what it loves doing: reporting supposed ‘facts’ about the case. We read it, and we think there is enough evidence in that newspaper article for us to be convinced that he’s ‘done it.’ Right? I know this because I have heard people around me saying so. They are so sure of it that it is a little scary folks.

My reply is: “I’m going to reserve my judgment about this case.  I am not going to believe one newspaper article!” And people actually look at me as if I simply should have an opinion about it. You know what, there was a time when I was an ‘innocent’ and I believed that if the police arrested someone, they must know what they were doing, so of course they must be guilty!

But I have seen far too many anomalies since those days and now I am no longer tempted to become opinionated. Okay yes I am tempted to become opinionated… but I try to shut it down pretty quickly!

When I think of that man in question, sitting in jail I wonder how he feels if he is actually innocent? Lindy Chamberlain probably knows how he feels. And if he is guilty? Well that is another matter altogether.

Which reminds me, I watched an interview last night on TV with Michael Chamberlain (Lindy’s ex-husband) and he was in tears when he talked about losing his daughter Azaria.  The raw emotion on his face was palpable when he stood in the spot at Uluru where their tent was erected when the dingo took Azaria. It brought tears to my eyes.

The interviewer said: But Michael, if you had shown this raw emotion at the time of losing Azaria, perhaps people wouldn’t have judged you so harshly! Poor Michael. He sat there dumbfounded that this question was still coming up.  Then he said – in obvious distress:  “you are talking about an event that happened 30 years ago!  Indicating that he was not the same person then that he is now.

He went on to explain that he was probably in denial and that it is only now since the finding was brought down by the coroner recently, that he has been able to let go and cry all the tears that were not shed for so long. Thus my point is proved once again! See how we all judge by ‘appearances’.

We the people are the experts! We the people are the best judges! Right? 

Wrong! I also heard Lindy being interviewed after the Coroner’s proclamation that the dingo was responsible. She too, was asked a similar question to the one Michael was asked: “Your demeanor at the time of the trial did not help your cause Lindy, in retrospect would you have acted differently?”

Lindy, never one to disappoint, retorted: “Tell me, and how would YOU have behaved if you were on trial for murdering your baby? What is the protocol for such an occasion as this?”  Touche Lindy!

Perhaps these interviewers were asking the Chamberlains such questions about ‘how they looked’ because they themselves judged the pair by how they ‘looked‘ and now that the Chamberlains have been totally exonerated, they – the interviewers – feel guilty and want to make themselves feel better? Worth a thought?

Now folks, I’m going to leave you with this bit of wisdom:

If ever you’re falsely accused of murdering someone,  just make sure you ‘look’ innocent.

Go out right now and take some lessons in ‘how not to look guilty‘ – just in case. And then, when the time comes, you will be quite practiced in it. The media will report how innocent you look. People will  feel sorry for you. The jury will be influenced by all this and you’ll be just fine!

Oh, I am kidding of course, but you do get the point, don’t you? And by the way, speaking of murder, it was certainly on my mind today on this cold miserable overcast day, when my dear husband went out leaving my doors wide open when I was trying to keep the place heated.

How many times – I ask you – does this happen?

Believe me, words were going through my head that I cannot even put down on paper. And did I have a look of innocence on my face? No, I looked as guilty as hell …