INSTAGRAM COULDN'T HANDLE THE OJ TOUR- CAN U?
Today was @jackantonoff's 32nd bday. Considering his longtime fascination with the OJ Simpson case/the current resurgence in pop culture it seemed like the perfect time to tour sites relating to the crime. I posted a pic of my tour guide on Instagram and I got a lot of "r u fucking kidding me? Glorifying a woman killer? Thought u were a feminist!"
- •Let me start by saying...OJ Simpson committed violence against women and murdered two people. That's not okay and no one is promoting it here. But the OJ Simpson case was also a pivotal cultural moment that catapulted us into a dialogue on issues of systemic racism, the corrosive power of celebrity and male privilege. It also shone a light on how fucking bonkers Hollywood was/is/may always be. American Crime Story is KILLING it explaining all that but I wanted something more experiential for my boy Jack on his bday.
- •So when my Instagram peeps seemed horrified I would take an OJ tour I thought:Why? It wasn't an OJ freedom tour, didn't put money in his pockets or glorify his name. I'm a feminist AND an obsessive fan of Hollywood lore, gorier the better. Hollywood Babylon is my favorite book. The Black Dahlia inspired endless Google sinkholes. The Girls by Emma Cline (out this summer) is the Manson tale of my dreams. I moved into a building in 2010 purely because I heard Nicholas Cage threw a shark out the window there.
- •In London I took the Jack the Ripper tour but that's just common sense.
- •A part of me has always been, will always be, drawn to stories of violence, particularly violence against women, because they help me understand something deep and entrenched and they're also numbingly familiar.The prone female body is one of the ways we are taught we could end up. Just another archetype. Poetic, even. Maybe that's why Lorena Bobbitt scared me so much as a kid. She had fucking reversed it. What do you do with that? How do you process a new narrative? I'm still deeply shaken when I hear about a woman killing in a way I never am when a man kills. Haven't gotten to the bottom of that...
- •Anyway, our guide was a very thoughtful and engaging young man named Adam Papagan.Here he is. He grew up in West LA and this is not his full time job- he's a musician and writer. Much of the tour is peppered with his personal recollections of the hysteria that swept Brentwood (and America) after the murders. He does a great job of recognizing the tragedy but also using the most surreal and soapy details to illustrate his points. He also wears this vintage t-shirt which I can fully imagine Chloe Sevigny pairing with a fur skirt cuz she DGAF.
- •His friend Eric drove us around in a van as Adam pointed out sites specific to the case.There was something extra tragic about how quotidian it all was. The houses have been rebuilt or remodeled. The restaurant where Ron Goldman worked is now a Pete's Coffee. Terrible things happen and the world repaves itself. Good thing Adam is funny and super aware (sample quote: "OJ was guilty AND the cops were racist. It can be both at once.")
- •The fact that resonated the most was that the Akita dog in the story was also named Kato. Kato made out so well and got what he always wanted- his name everywhere and a part time job.
- •I still wish I knew more about Nicole Brown Simpson's internal life, the internal life of so many women lost to the annals of "celebrity wife-dom."
- •If you're interested in this kind of experience go to Adam Papagan's Instagram. He also has a podcast analyzing the show. I found him very magnetic in a young Nick Offerman sort of way!
- •Also, we needed to make these t-shirts so we didn't lose each other.Hopefully someday I'll be wearing it to bed and my daughter will be like "what does that mean?" And I'll explain that it refers to a celebrated man who did horrible things and I'll also explain its okay to be interested in learning more about the things that scare us and the worst aspects of human nature because there are no bad thoughts only bad actions. I will also let her read the Leni Riefenstahl biography and Helter Skelter when she's old enough.
- •Group shot, high on bottled green tea and the cocaine residue that still emanates from Rockingham Lane.The family I gained when I fell in love with Jack, plus Adam & Eric.
- •My friend Alissa Bennett is an amazing writer who created a zine called Dead is Better about her obsession with celebrity deaths.A picture of GG Allin's tattoo is on the cover & when I Instagram'd that people flipped too, asking how we could promote GG Allin's life and work (cuz he's gross.) Alissa answered perfectly: she writes about the fear she felt as a teenager seeing his work, that we all have a right to examine and analyze that which terrifies us. Being a feminist doesn't mean pretending you don't see, aren't effected or even intrigued by, the popular narratives of violence that surround us.
- •Maybe it just means looking deeper 🔮
- •I took LA's premiere (and only) OJ Simpson tour and yeah, I'm still a feminist.