Blades of one sort or another have been featuring of late in the news. Almost coincidentally sentences are being handed down by judges in two trials in which the image of a blade has featured heavily .There is the Bladerunner Trial and then there is the Assault with an Orangeman’s Ceremonial Sword Trial. One is world -spanning, monied, glamorously exotic, blood-letting news and the other is a little more provincial ,paltry , grubby and plainly silly.
I would assume that when each one of the featured players in both trials woke up on the day prior to the awful deed they committed , that they had no real idea how the coming hours would alter the remainder of their lives.I shouldn’t think anyone would deliberately get out of their bed and say to themselves ..”I am really going to screw up my life forever, today; within the next twenty four hours, I am going to pull the plug on my life and watch everything I value drain away down that plughole”. That’s the way life works , though . There will be a momentary lapse of reason or a possible loss of concentration that will allow the ID within you to turn everything you know upside down. You might spend a lifetime of small incremental incidents getting to that prosaic moment and the signs may be there to be easily read as you reach your natural conclusion ,but the result may still shock and stun those close to you. Why does no-one see this stuff coming?
Strange unholy things happened to both Oscar Pistorious …the Bladerunner with blades for feet, who killed his girlfriend in a hail of gunfire and also to Mark Jason Blaney , the Orangeman who attacked the PSNI police officers with his ceremonial sword. No one was there to see Oscar Pistorious …actually committing the killing, so a case against him was based on the fact that with no-one else in the room, it had to be assumed that he alone was responsible..He admitted as much but said he had made a mistake. Most of us would ask how anyone could actually make that kind of mistake . Most of us would check that our partner was all right before pumping gunfire into a locked door. We’d expect that resulting gunfire to blow away whatever life was behind that door.
I know , for example , that if my wife heard the tiniest rustle of a mouse’s tail , in the night’s quiet darkness, she would be whispering agitatedly at me from under the covers to do something about it and I would have to do my assigned duty and tremulously face that demon ….but….anyway, we are asked to suspend our cynicism. Mr Blaney, on the other hand , was neatly busted in the eyes of CCTV video footage . There was nowhere to hide in his case. The camera may lie on occasion but the case looked …if you’ll pardon the pun …to be cut and dried.It’s on YouTube , isn’t it? He was plainly guilty of a misdemeanour.He had acted violently and it would take a very good lawyer to make any sense of it.The man really should not have left his home and family that morning. If he had any foresight he probably wouldn’t have bothered. Then again , there are plenty out there in the thrall of a “blood sacrifice”. Wars have no problem scooping them into their sanguine maw.
You might ask yourself ,what a father with responsibilities for four children was doing getting himself locked up for eighteen months of a three -year sentence, by attempting to kill or injure a policeman doing his day’s work ….. by striking him with his blade …but then again , it’s obvious that Mr Blaney has never bothered to ask himself that question or challenge himself on how his behaviour must appear to his children…or the world in general. He obviously went out thinking that this was the very thing to do on that particular day. It appears that the Orange Order has disowned him , washing their hands of his impulsive, intemperate behaviour ,so you can only imagine his conflict of loyalties as he sits at night in his prison cell.He’ll be wondering why he bothered , no doubt. He is not the first to wonder.
The Bladerunner , Oscar Pistorious, having been proven not guilty of an actual murder , through lack of any real legal evidence, is acquiring that strange underworld glamour that clung to that other sportsman ,O.J. Simpson, in very similar circumstances. The world would be divided between those who feel he is guilty of murder still, and those who’ll not be able to say for sure. Most will feel that money played no small part in the verdict anyway.
It has been proposed that Pistorius should be placed under house arrest or given community service rather than sent to prison, because he would be “a lot more vulnerable than the normal man” in jail. It sounds a bland proposed sentence, considering a person’s life has been vanquished .It will be interesting to see how the sentence finally pans out, but I’ve no doubt that both these “blade wielders” in their separate lives will not forget the morning they awoke to find their worlds breaking asunder. What episodes in each of their lives have led each of them to these similar conclusions.?