Amanda Knox Returns, Occupies Mainstreet, Steve Jobs Moves On

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9th, 2011

It’s been a busy week, a notable week, a week in which the three main stories had pieces inthem that touched my old home town of Portland, Oregon . .  or nearby to it.

AMANDA

The four year ordeal ended for Amanda Knox, the 23 year old American girl, and Raffaele Sollecito, 27, an Italian student, who were convicted in 2009 by an Italian kangaroo court for the November 1, 2007 murder of Meredith Kerchner. Knox returned home this week to Seattle, Washington showing signs of post traumatic stress.

The murder conviction was finally overturned after it became obvious to the watching world on appeal that the medieval prosecution had presented no evidenza, no evidence, none, nichts, nothing against the Knox and Sollecito. It all pointed to Rudy Guede, a resident of Perugia, who had already been convicted of Kerchner’s sexual assault and murder and given 30 years.

Apparently the conviction of Guede, whose DNA was plastered all over the crime scene, wasn’t enough drama for prosecutors Giuliano Mignini and Manuela Comodi. They wanted to entertain us all Caligula style with four years of kidnap, cruelty and defamation.

Amongst theories du jour that stood as motives, the tabloidal charges leveled against Knox and Sollecito, were that the murders had been part of a Satanic ritual, the same accusations Migniini had tried to convict 20 others of unsuccessfully before in another case; that Knox was acting on rage induced by smoking marijuana, or hashish; she was jealous; she an Sollecito had been reading pornographic comic books, etc., etc.

Judge Massei hungrily ate it up, as if he had found the details in a magazine rack net to the check out line in Safeway.

I say put these prosecutors and this judge in jail for eight years each, so they can experience what they put their victims through. That’s four years each for Amanda and four years each for Raffaele. I’d suggest these dehumanizers be drug through the mud the same way they did Amanda and Raffaele, but that would just put us on a level with them, now wouldn’t it?

Except in this case the charges would be true.

Maybe we should consider the same treatment for US prosecutors and judges when they cross the line, too.

OCCUPY WALL STREET

This week saw the continuance of an unusual event, one that may be a paradigm shift, planned in August. It began on September 17th and grew into a series of demonstrations throughout the U.S. called Occupy Wall Street. The corwd alls itself the “General Assembly.”

Beginning with a September 17th march on Wall Street in New York by 1,000, with 100 to 200 staying overnight in cardboard boxes, it was a nebulous movement to address the debt ceiling crisis. By this week it had transformed sharpened into demands to separate money from politics by way of a Presidential Commission.

Inspired by other mass movements around the world, Occupy Wall Street was the brainchild of the social activist group Adbusters. It began in Zuccoti Park in New York City and quickly spread to other cities throughout the U.S. threatening to spread further, even beyond the borders of the U.S.

It even came to my town, and Portlan, living up to it’s reputation for weirneess, turned out in all its eclectic shine. Minstrels, hippies, pot heads, cops, nurses, firemen, the National Guard with flowers in their rifle barrels, nuists, skydivers, all pulling for the downall of . . what was it?

Oh yeah, the Bankof America is now harging five ucks a month for the privilege of lettingthem have your money. We, the nation, ail them out an they say thankyou by srrewing us. This country is run by Goldman Sachs until we cut them off at the knees by getting their money out of our politics, tax stock trades, put made back in the USA and get control of our currency, or something like that.

THE DEATH OF STEVE JOBS

The weekdays ended with the October 7th funeral of an iconical American figure, information age visionary Steve Jobs, 56, the founder of Apple Computer. He apparently die of pancreatic cancer, the homeoapthic remey for whih is calcarea arsenicosa 9be areful how you take it) often the end of alcohol abuse in both reformed and active alcoholics. Forbes estimated Jobs 2010 net wealth at $8.3 billion, making him the 42nd wealthiest American.

Some say Jobs had been a difficult man to get along with. But I think most of us who didn’t know him personally think of him warmly, as the greatest innovator of our generation.

He attended college in the same Portland, Oregon neighborhood where I lived for many years when we were both a lot younger. They say he slept on the floor of friends’ houses, which could have been next door or even upstairs in the old brown Queen Anne where I was living downstairs, as many of the tenants around me were Reed College students, where he went to school for a semester and later audited classes.

Was that the guy who used to borrow my vacuum cleaner?

Steve Jobs is a tribute to Amerian ingenuity and success, a rags to riches kind of story. That might have been him I saw collecting Coke bottles alongside the road for money to buy food with. That might have been him trying to get me to go to a Buddhist feast when I was at the airport.

That might have been him wanting to borrow my vacuum cleaner, and then not bringing it back.

Maybe he’s still got it.

Can someone check please?

I always wanted an Apple computer, and still do. Back in the late eighties that was the machine to have for most graphic uses, but at that time I was programming voice telephony functions, and the ancillary equipment, the hardware that went into the bus slots at the back of the machine, were all made for PCs.

The reality distortion field

Apple computer, and Steve Jobs, came to be associated with “the reality distortion field.” a term used to describe Jobs’ ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything, using a mix of superficial charm, charisma, bravado, hyperbole, marketing appeasement and persistence.

Apple was off in its own little world. Just like Steve was. It might have been smaller planet, but everything worked, or at least that was the illusion those of us who didn’t live there had.

I guess that was just the way it was, it was either his way or get back on the space shuttle, go back to PC World.

That’s how you define the American success story. You can look at that as a good thing or not.

Maybe he was lucky, in the right place at the right time, but I‘d prefer to think it as because he was a genius. Never having known him or ever used his equipment, I nevertheless think of him fondly, a distant god, the guy next door.