Updated 07 August 2014

If the Oscar trial were a movie ...

CyberShrink asks what was Oscar doing in a nightclub, cringes at his Tweets, and proposes a cast for Oscar: The Movie.

OK, it does seem that, however the trial ends, Mr Pistorius’ athletic career might be over.

But who thought he’d turn to performing in night-clubs?

What’s next, Cabaret?

Seriously, nightclubs, even in the best of times are not nourishing settings for the lonely and alienated, or for someone “grappling with an extreme level of emotional pain” as a family PR statement put it.

If anything in the reports are accurate, the incident reflects more self-pity, grandiosity, volatility, and aggressiveness.

And of course, as usual, absolutely nothing was Oscar’s responsibility.

If only his world was free of Other People, he’d do just fine. Statements from his family seem to compromise, referring to self-damaging behaviour (which one can only do to oneself) but still excusing this as though due to external forces.

By the way, has anyone else noticed the resemblance of Oscar’s uncle, often seen in the background smiling sardonically, to the character originally seen in the Flash Gordon comic strip, Ming the Merciless?

Ming the Merciless

Click image for larger version Name: Ming-the-Merciless.jpeg Views: 4668 Size: 153.6 KB ID: 24264

Arnold Pistorius, Oscar's uncle, image from Eye Witness News

Elements in this case remind me at times of the musical Chicago, which was based on real cases in the 1920’s, when in Chicago a string of notorious women literally got away with murder (freed by susceptible male juries) when the Courts were flooded with sob-stories about how they were young, pretty and hard done by. Oscar had a bad night

Recent news reports as athletes gather in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games have suggested that none feel sorry for Pistorius, having found him hot-headed, temperamental, wholly focussed on himself, and protected by a carefully nurtured public image.

I found fascinating comments about how he would often refer to himself in the Third Person, such as saying: “Oscar had a bad night”. This confirms the pattern we noticed during the trial, of distancing himself from his actions.

Oscar doesn’t shoot people: the gun he holds goes off, and someone gets shot. He’s like a sort of lightening rod. The rod doesn’t cause lightning, but attracts it, and endangers anyone standing too close.

Read: Why boys play with guns

Speaking Frankly

There was more of that self-pitying propaganda as he returned to Twitter recently. Pictures of him cuddling crippled kids (with a cocky comment on how you can make a difference in someone else’s life - oh you did, Oscar, you did that!).

A self-serving biblical quote about the Lord being close to the broken hearted. And (this one really annoyed me) a quote from the great psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, about enduring terrible circumstances through focus on one’s beloved.

Here's Oscar's infamous tweet, quoting Viktor Frankl

Frankl was a friend of mine. In my office, I have a portrait of me which he drew on a napkin while we were enjoying dinner together in Montreal.

He was an excellent companion, and despite receiving honours from around the world, was actually most proud of his modest achievements climbing in the Alps, and a compliment he had received from one of the most experienced Alpine guides.

I think Frankl would have been disturbed to find himself quoted in this way, for here Oscar is cheekily or ignorantly comparing himself to Frankl and other victims of the Holocaust.

Let me spell it out for Mr Pistorius, who, so far as we know, was never in Auschwitz.

Frankl’s work was based on entirely innocent victims of the aggression of others, suffering unendurably through absolutely no fault of their own.

One of his central points was about dealing with the pain of meaningless suffering, and the central importance of having Meaning in life.

He was not thinking of finding meaning in the glorification of oneself, or in a lack of genuine empathy with others. He was not thinking of people who had shot dead someone else, and felt lonely or who dreaded the natural consequences of their own bad actions.

After Oscar: The Movie.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, one can hardly expect the media to just drop the subject.

Surely Oscar: The Movie is inevitable. I’ve been thinking over potential casting. The easiest option, of course, would be to have Meryl Streep play all the roles.

She’s surely capable of pulling that off. So many Defence witnesses were not shown, they could be played by voice-over artists.

Otherwise: what about Clint Eastwood for Gerry Nel? Somehow similar in looks and manner, though rather too tall. Oscar could be played by Hilary Swank, IF it can be shown that she screams like a woman.

Mr Oldwedge puzzled me for a while, but I think we might get a fair likeness if he were played by Russell Crowe under heavy sedation.

Mr Roux still puzzles me, as I can’t readily think of any actor with the right combination of whine and wheedle. Any suggestions?

Maybe Richard Gere, who aptly played the ingratiating lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago.

I await the arrival of: “Oscar : The Musical”. Stranger things have happened. There’s been a musical version of Silence of the Lambs, called, of course, Silence: The Musical, and one based on the Rocky films is about to close on Broadway.

Next time you’re stuck in traffic, try planning suitable songs.

Oscar Get Your Gun Brush Up Your Frankl?

Who would you cast in Oscar: The Movie? Or what would 

Read more:

Back to school at the Oscar trial
Why was Oscar vomiting in court?
Has Oscar Pistorius lost the plot?
Do you hope Oscar is innocent, or do you need him to be innocent?
We've been punked - the Oscar trial gets truly ridiculous

Note: This article is from an independent contributor and as such views expressed within it may not reflect those of

Professor MA Simpson is Health24's CyberShrink. A South African psychiatrist, he qualified in medicine and in psychiatry in Britain. He has been a senior academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries. Read more of his columns.




Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.