Bladerunner’s Wrath—the Destruction of Innocence.

Via on Feb 21, 2013
Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius – A Fallen Hero.

Another Fallen Hero.

A Valentine’s Day tragedy of epic proportions.

I can’t get out of my head the image of an athlete exalted and hero-worshipped by many, breaking down shattered in tears—a frenzied fallen idol shattered by his own rage.

Why did this happen?

In the middle of the night, Oscar Pistorius (the athlete known as “Bladerunner”) got up from his bed, allegedly put on his prosthetic legs, grabbed his gun from under his bed, and walked seven meters to his bathroom door, where he fired several rounds through the locked door where his girlfriend sat on the toilet.

Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius’ career lies in tatters. Yet far more tragic is his late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, whose life was cut short just as it was starting to sprout with promise. Her good looks and bikini body has become a media favorite posthumously. All the more perverse.

Oscar, another fallen hero, following in the footsteps of cyclist Lance Armstrong; yet Oscar’s fall from grace is more like a collapse into an abyss deeper than is imaginable. It harks back to the notorious OJ Simpson who, under similar circumstances, escaped jail time somewhat fortuitously and amidst continuous scandal.

The first double-amputee track athlete to run at the Olympics, Oscar is alleged to have used an unlicensed firearm to fire the shots, before breaking through the door and then carrying his dying girlfriend downstairs.

The question remains. Perhaps one of the bravest Olympic athletes ever, how could “Bladerunner” do this? The myth of stardom blown to dust in a few short moments of infamy. We have certainly seen some spectacular falls from grace of late.

Celebrity idols celebrated by the media portray an image of infallibility, promoting unrealistic expectations. Often their success is sexy and addictive for them and the press. They become consumer icons selling success. Almost non-human entities.

Lance Armstrong No Longer A Hero?
Lance Armstrong No Longer A Hero?

Suddenly, we discover that they are very real, too real, in fact. Oscar Pistorius and Lance Armstrong are both fallen heroes with very human foibles, very serious character defects, and both have in common an all-consuming ambition which fueled their success.

We celebrate success, yet cruelly judge those who reach the pinnacle by nefarious means. However, it takes a drive and addiction to reach the top, and then to stay there, a “win at all costs” mentality. Lance Armstrong becomes the fall guy for the whole sport of cycling, when most people know that the whole sport is dirty.

We love success, yet we hate the means necessary to get there.

Blade Runner
Blade Runner

We want our athletes clean even when deep down, we know they’re not.

How many Olympic gold medals have been tinged by drugs, athletes celebrated as victors—modern-day gladiators conquering all before them—with a little help from performance-enhancing drugs?

Returning to the story of Reeva Steenkamp—for she is the only true victim—a 29-year-old model and reality TV show contestant culled by excessive violence all too soon. What now for her family—to accept such a waste of life, such a loss. Why did she choose Oscar? Why did she not run away when she had the chance? Unfortunately, we will never know all the answers.

Innocent until proven guilty?

For someone to shoot several times through their bathroom door and then claim to have made a mistake, is somewhat bizarre. Yet, if you were caught red-handed, would you admit to being a murderer?

Oscar’s claim is all the more preposterous considering in the time it took for him to wake up, get out of bed, grab his gun and then go to the bathroom door and shoot several rounds, did he not notice that the girlfriend he claimed to have loved was absent from their shared bed? The whole scene is too ghastly to imagine.

What sort of love is that?

If there is anything we can learn from this, is not to be taken in so easily by media messages.

Growing up in war-torn apartheid South Africa, I am not completely surprised by what happened. I remember hearing at age seven that my classmate and her mother had been murdered in cold blood by her father. I had attended her birthday party just a couple of weeks before. A shocking and unforgettable act of violence that must come from a diseased mind. It left an indelible impression on me as a seven-year old. I will never forget the sense of loss, confusion and sense of futility. A beautiful child stolen away by violence.

A violent society produces ugliness that is not understandable, nor can it be understood or fathomed. Nor should it be. We do not need to promote violence in any way. Associations like the NRA have an agenda that exploits fear.

Those who promote their right to have guns see their right to “defend themselves” at all costs, to be more important than the cost of innocent lives that result from using guns. If we take away guns from the equation, we are left with a much safer society.

Blade Runner (Oscar Pistorius)
Blade Runner (Oscar Pistorius)

Which would you like for your children—a society where violent arms proliferate, or one cleansed of deadly weapons?

Oscar Pistorius now stands accused of premeditated murder.

The TV and film industry stand accused of glorifying violence.

We all stand accused of allowing violence into our living-rooms.

 

 

 

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Ed: Brianna Bemel

About David G Arenson ND

David G Arenson ND is an international speaker, author, teacher and founder of METAMORPHOSIS RETREATS. David is widely featured as a wellness specialist (See: Asia Wellness Retreats 2014). A Naturopath and Soul-Coach, David integrates spiritual journeying into grounded wisdom for everyday living, presenting powerful concepts in personal change and living on purpose. To find out more, visit his website, findshambhala.com---Journey with David to Shambhala or email him at davidgarenson@gmail.com. You can also connect with him on facebook and twitter @davidarenson.

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14 Responses to “Bladerunner’s Wrath—the Destruction of Innocence.”

  1. [...] Bladerunner’s Wrath – the Destruction of Innocence. (elephantjournal.com) [...]

  2. kosokun says:

    I think our human heros have been letting us down for as long as we've given them the power to do so. However, I think your comment, "Innocent until proven guilty?" is one to keep in mind. In the age of the 24hr news cycle, we try and convict a case before the police report is even filed, which is sad I feel. Especially in light of the police corruption we've all seen in the last few years. Yes, it looks (really) bad for Pistorius, but shouldn't such a commentary be reserved for after ALL of the facts are presented? We seem as keen to destroy our heros as we are to exault them. Maybe we should look at ourselves first and consider why we seem to need them so badly in the first place…

    • Walter Crocket says:

      Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, Oscar Pistorius already admitted to shooting his girlfriend. His motives and emotions at the time will probably never be understood. Whatever you see in the court cannot take away this fact. Thus all we can discuss is the level of his guilt….He did kill his girlfriend….how guilty was he? If you are sleeping with someone in your bed, it's very hard to believe that you could forget to check where they are, or that you could believe that an intruder was in the toilet without first checking/ asking….Shooting first and asking later is not a great defense.

      • kosokun says:

        Being guilty of premeditated murder or accidental manslaughter are far different things Walter. The article assumed the former with only the information that the media provided. I think Dave's answer below captures a good point. Some people do live in scary circumstances and having a gun around makes sense to them. He was clearly not trained properly and made an terrible mistake, if in fact it was a mistake. But you don't know that… People accidently shoot their loved ones in this country nearly every year. It's awful, but it's not always some 'wrath of destruction…"

  3. dave says:

    Something smells ike speculation around here. Let justice (the courts) run its course, before you judge. As a South African, I have had first hand experience of the bumbling idiocy of our police force, and in country where for every 60 000 reported rapes only 7000 end in conviction, the stats speak for themselves. Before "our heroes let us down" let the bloody courts decide.

    You have no idea of the kind of fear that permeates our society where 60 000 cases of rape are reported A YEAR, and 20 000 murders take place A YEAR! Its not all lions and Mandela… I was 10 years old when I encountered my first armed robbery and have had two more since then.

    I wasn't there, you weren't there and NEITHER of us can testify to his guilt or innocence. And if you are going to believe the vultures… I mean, media… then you're a fool.

    • Hi Dave.

      The issue of guilt is perhaps God's alone. Humans are fallible and we have to do the best we can.
      In this case, he has already admitted to killing his girlfriend. So he is already guilty. To what degree is then the question the courts have to decide.

      As a South African, the competence of the police force or courts, is not in question. Whether they were competent or not, he has admitted to shooting at his bathroom door aimed at the toilet, after claiming to hear a sound coming from the toilet.

      If you woke up to the sound of a toilet flushing, would you grab your gun and fire 4 shots at the toilet?

      If you love your girlfriend, your first instinct would be to check on her….

  4. I make a variety of points here not all related to the relative guilt of Oscar Pistorius.

    Yet, I cannot condone innocent people being killed by weapons, wherever they are. That said, it is not me to play Judge and jury. My personal view is that we are all collectively guilty for allowing deadly weapons to proliferate in our societies, for glorifying guns and the military on television, video games and film (etc.)

    We all stand accused of allowing violence into our living-rooms.

  5. Queen Yanni says:

    "We all stand accused of allowing violence into our living-room" Thank you, David. Guns are made to kill and to destroy lives. Anyone who owns a gun knows the purpose and the power of its deadly nature. Anyone who owns a gun ready to shoot and to kill. No matter what the excuses of possessing a gun, the undeniable motive is ready to kill and to destroy another live.

    • Our gun-worshiping society and war industry is responsible, so we are all responsible for allowing fear and violence into the world. WWII should have been the end of wars…..why has it persisted? Mainly political machinations, fear-mongering and a military-industrial complex that profits from war.

      Thanks for your great input, Yanni. As you say, "Guns are made to kill, and to destroy lives. Anyone who owns a gun knows the purpose and the power of its deadly nature."

  6. BBolder says:

    Oscar murdered his woman – "innocent until proven guilty" is a good standard – but the facts we already know are completely convincing. And while the article above was repetitive and at times incoherent, I heartily congratulate the author for pointing out that the real tragedy here is NOT Oscar's fall from fame and fortune, but that an innocent person was murdered.

    I am a competitive runner and cyclist. Maybe that's why all the headlines blaring about a "disgraced Lance Armstrong" and the "Destruction of Innocence" are stupid and tedious. These athletes are really good at what they do – race a bike or run around a track – that's it. Why did you think they were anything other than that? Your yoga teacher is (presumably) really good at teaching yoga; that's all. So if you are devastated to discover they've been having sex with students on the side, well, shame on you for being a dupe.

    Many humans (or at least newspaper editors) have a psychological need to create hero's; that need probably exceeds the individuals need to be a hero. So if anyone is getting bent out of shape over the mis-deeds of Lance and Oscar and (countless dozens of spiritual teachers), the cure for that is easy and guaranteed, although a cliché: Look within.

    • Thanks BBolder. We already know there was not evidence of an intruder, and the accused admitted to killing her. So that is surely enough proof.

      I love your points about hero-worshiping, and the creation of false Gods. Great athletes are being demonized or used as "fall guys" to take the blame for the whole sport.

      Being a great tennis player, does not mean you're going to be a saint.

      Thank you!

  7. dick van dyke says:

    guilty as charged…. lock away the key , or better yet………… firing squad

    • Thanks Dick! I am not sure that's the most politically correct solution!!!! I believe we are all collectively responsible. Also, I think prisons are a waste of time, we should rather get people to do something productive with their lives.

  8. [...] one news site. However, as the week progressed, I found myself literally hooked to any news of the Oscar Pistorius story. Wherever I went, people were glued to their phones or television screens. Friday afternoon [...]

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