Monday, July 15, 2013

Helpless - Except For My Gun

The world's top-rated male tennis player, Serbia's Novak Djokevic, has a girlfriend. Her name is Jelena Ristic, also a Serb. She has been part of Djokevic's life now for quite awhile.
My opinion of both of them has gone up the past couple of years. He, of course, has climbed past some of the greatest players ever in gaining his current status. We can't know her as well as we do him, but there are two things about her that I think are appealing.
First, she's, ah, attractive. I can still use that word, can't I? But even though she works as a model, she doesn't seem (to me, anyway) to be overstuffed, overdone, underfed or a human hanger for whatever she's wearing. She has the appeal of a healthy young woman with great teeth. You could easily think of her as the girl next door from Serbia.
The other nice thing about her is that she really roots for her guy in his matches. You won't see her sitting back looking bored while blowing on her newly done nails or scoping out other models. Her brain is right where his is - on the match taking place right now!
She's on record this week as having been a little intimidated at Wimbledon, where the hometown crowd lined up strongly for Scot Andy Murray, who ended up winning the final. I don't think the Brits were a physical threat to Djokevic, who has played plenty of matches in front of hostile crowds and didn't complain about this one. The threat was more a mental thing, I think. Even her little misinterpretation should be seen in its proper context, which is that she was worried about him. I have no problem with that, and wish them both the best.

I'm now obliged to opine on the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial. I needn't rehash the physical evidence or the versions of what happened as put forth by the prosecution and the defense. Perhaps Treyvon Martin did go out that night into the rain with the intent of arming himself with Skittles and iced tea, then finding someone he could kill using just his bare hands and a concrete sidewalk. After all, he was a teenager, and they do some pretty crazy things. Perhaps, instead of Zimmerman, the volunteer neighborhood watch guy finding Martin, it was Martin finding him, then proceeding to wrestle Zimmerman to the sidewalk even though the latter outweighed Martin by fifty pounds. Perhaps Zimmerman took as much physical pounding as he could before concluding that either he or Martin would not live through this incident, then reached for what Martin (the aggressor, remember) didn't have - a handgun. Perhaps none of Martin's blood was found on Zimmerman because it was all soaked up by Martin's shirt and hoodie or diluted in the rain. I can't know. I wasn't there.
I do know that Zimmerman ignored instructions to not go looking for someone he called "the suspect", even though there was nothing to be suspicious about that night. I know he made some comments that could have easily been interpreted as racist in nature, and that he had undergone training to know what would or wouldn't pass in Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. I know it was decided by someone that Zimmerman, the lone living witness to the whole sad thing, would not testify on his own behalf.
I thought I knew some other things, as well. Most prominent of these was the knowledge that our society had turned a corner on the relationship, if there is one, between race and crime. I thought there would be few people who would have things so clearly figured out just by seeing pictures of the two principals in the case. And I thought that, since a person, who was not the gun owner, had been killed, that surely somebody was guilty of something. Unless it was the dead teenager, I guess I was wrong. As for Mr. Z., I think we'll be seeing him at NRA rallies, though not in a speaking role. And we'll see members of the Martin family, too, at protests, though less and less as time goes on.           


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