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Het Popcornproces

Uit de oude doos. In 2001 heb ik deelgenomen aan een taalkundig dramastukje "Moot Court" (een nagespeeld proces) rond het boek "Popcorn" van de geprezen Amerikaanse auteur Ben Elton. Het boek is in wezen een ludieke aanklacht van de Amerikaanse filmindustrie en de impact van het geweld in films op de toenemende gewelddadigheid in de échte wereld. Volgens het boek bestaat er tussen beide een correlatie. Een proces à la américaine kon dan ook niet uitblijven. Na het lezen van dit schitterend boek mocht ik dus in de huid kruipen van de advocaat van de aangeklaagde filmindustrie.

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
I am attorney Vincent De Roeck and together with my two assistant barristers, Olivier De Laet and Jens Moens, I am representing here the U.S. motion picture industry in general and Mr. Bruce Delamitri in particular, who are both standing trial today. Before starting this court-case I would like to reassure you on the one hand that I will not make this court a battlefield for some skirmishes about procedures in the background. But on the other hand I don’t think it would have been opportune to start this trial without bringing the following facts to your attention.

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
I invoke Chapter Five of the Constitution of the United States, 14th Amendment to support my demand of withdrawal all charges against my client, Mr. Bruce Delamitri. I quote literally ‘Moral responsibility must not be considered as a crime’. Besides this regulation I would also like to refer to two similar court-cases in the last decade. The first of the two precedents is a trial held in Memphis, Tennessee, 1992, where Judge P.W. Andrews’s verdict in a moral responsibility case against Warner Brothers Limited who were presumed to have given rise to the suicide attempt of several citizens, was the acquittal of the accused. In another court-case in Tampa, Florida, 1997, Judge Mary Delacroix convicted 20th Century Fox of having influenced two teenagers who had hijacked a plane. Fox addressed immediately to the Supreme Court in Washington, DC where they got their acquittal. Justice must be done! Therefor, according to the Constitution and the Common Law, I am convinced that my client can not be considered as the offender in this controversial case but as a victim of juridical arbitrariness and is allowed to stand up and to leave this room as a free rehabilitated and innocent man.

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
I would like to call someone to testify in this court-case to counter-argue all charges against my client, Mister Bruce Delamitri. [Filip De Rover is an ordinary American who watches violent movies on a regular basis, but never wanted to copycat these violent crimes in the real outer world. This testimony proves that ordinary Americans do not necessarily copy movie violence after watching.]

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
If you persist in your sickly impulse urge to think that you are standing beyond the law as a couple of ordinary outlaws, that you are allowed to ignore the Constitution, I will not hesitate to look further for justice. Infinite Justice is not only the name of a military operation in Afghanistan, but infinite justice is also a human right which remembers all U.S. citizens his or her dues towards each other fellow-American and towards our nation. Your decision to proclaim that serving a personal vendetta against my client is a lot more important than honesty, than fulfilling your duties as a judge, makes me feel ashamed today to be a part of this juridical system. My disillusion is huge, your Honor, and therefor our next step will be the Supreme Court in where I will obtain the acquittal, no matter what the costs may be.

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
In this free and democratic country the administration of justice is based on facts. So what do we have? Mister Hudson and Miss Scout were in possession of several fire weapons. Fact. Mister Hudson and Miss Scout used these weapons to kill several innocent people. Fact. By Mister Hudson's and Miss Scout's fault several innocent people were killed. Fact. Are they influenced by Bruce Delamitri? Speculation. As we have heard in the testimony of Mister De Roover, regular Americans don't kill people after watching a movie, even if it is an extremely violent one. A movie can not be an alibi for killing dozens of people. Nothing can be an alibi for justifying the death of an innocent human being. But maybe the offender was not normal? Maybe he was an insane freak? As we read the psychiatric findings and as we have seen the testimony of Mister Hudson last week, we are able to believe this. But why did they become insane? Not because they have seen a movie, not because they were abused in their childhood. It is the task of the parents to educate their children to normal American people who can serve their country like their forefathers already did for so long. And when they fail, it is the government and the department of Welfare who have to take over this task. It enters into the government’s responsibilities to protect his people against these insane people. Each year, hundred millions of dollar tax revenues go to the police department to protect the people against these killers. They failed twice.

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
Before finishing my pleading for justice, I would like to bring some details of the terrifying things that happened that morning in Mr. Bruce Delamitri’s apartment to your attention. First of all, I would like to add the fact that my client, who’s guiltiness has not yet been proved, has been threatened without any distinction to all other involved parties. Even on the contrary, my client was not authorized to have perusal in his own file, which is a human right in democratic countries. Once upon a time I thought that the United States were a democracy but obviously I was wrong. White trash like Wayne and Scout in this country has more rights than civilized film directors who entertain the American audience. Is this the way to say thanks to the U.S. motion picture industry for having made dozens of magnificent pictures? America is digging his own grave as the land of the free without even realizing it! But there is nothing wrong with America that can't be cured by what is right with America.

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
In an era when our entire focus should be on the peace abroad and the prosperity at home, I do not understand why certain individuals are trying to destroy our values and our traditions. But I do not understand either why the American people do not oppose against this destruction. Freedom of speech must be granted but it does not! I have also asked to go to my client’s file but all my requests were either ignored or rejected by various instances. The rights of the defense were heavily transgressed. Mr.Bruce Delamitri was already convicted by the press before this trial began. My client was also taken in custody for almost an entire fortnight without intervention of a solicitor. Is this fair? Is this were democracy stands for? Is this where millions of our fellow-citizens, our nation’s sons died for? In this juridical crisis, justice is not the solution to our problem. Justice is the problem!

Your Honor, Members of the Jury.
The man who is sitting there in the dock is tired and broken. Mr. Bruce Delamitri who can be considered as the victim is tired of life! Maybe the prosecutor and all other involved parties are right. Maybe Mr. Bruce Delamitri is guilty. He did make violent movies. Maybe he exceeded the border between reality and fiction. Maybe he created a violent society instead of reflecting it. Maybe my client deserves a serious punishment. But who were the victims of the slayings? His bodyguard died. His manager Karl Brezner did not survive. His ex-wife Farah, his little daughter Velvet and his maîtresse died in that horrifying massacre. Everyone who loved him or was loved by him got killed in his apartment. I think that my client, Mr. Bruce Delamitri, had already suffered enough. That man, sitting in the dock, your Honor, suffers because even without certainty about the outcome of the responsibility-question, he knows that his last Oscar winning picture caused the death of seven innocent human beings. And I do not think that you have already absorbed the full impact, the full impact Oscar night made on my client’s conscience. I am also convinced that no other sanction can hurt this man more than the one he is undergoing now. And therefor, your Honor, no other verdict than the acquittal can be justified.

Fragmenten hieruit verschenen ook in de periodiek Olvactueel.

Meer over "Popcorn" van Ben Elton op

2 Reacties:

At 20:54 Anoniem said...

Deze oude tekst staat vol met "politieke" citaten van Kennedy, over Reagan en Bush tot Clinton. Knap werk. Je etaleert hiermee je kennis van de Engelse taal, die eigenlijk fenomenaal is/was voor een 16 jarige!

At 14:34 Johan Terwilghen said...

Maar wat heeft deze tekst in godesnaam te maken met politiek of ideologie? Deze blog begint een beetje te verworden tot een persoonlijk archief van Dhr. Vincent De Roeck met meer persoonlijke irrelevante rommel erop dan terdege teksten over politiek en ideologie. Jammer.


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