I didn’t realise how hooked I am on the Oscar Pistorius trial till somebody asked me something concerning the expert witness called immediately after Oscar, forensic geologist Dr Roger Dixon who moonlights as a ballistics expert, a pathologist, a light/darkness expert, a materials compositions expert and a wound ballistics expert. A supposed Jack of all trades and yes, master of none.
Having watched the accused duck, bob and weave his way through cross-examination, I expected his defence team to come back really strongly with expert scientific evidence that would leave the less scientifically inclined in a spin. What we got though was this: Gerrie Nel(Prosecutor) asked: Dr Dixon, which instrument did you use to measure the light or darkness in the accused’s bedroom? Dr Dixon(defence expert witness): I used my eyes, M’lady. And he didn’t even laugh when he said that. I couldn’t help but laugh, this man is a scientist and all he used were his eyes!
Now, before you start judging, Dr Roger Dixon has a Doctorate in Geology(hence his title, Dr) and a whole host of other qualifications he gained whilst working in police forensics. What he doesn’t have is a mastery of all the other fields that he managed to convince himself and Oscar’s defence counsel that he has.
This got me thinking, which I do quite a bit these days trying to apply my mind to all the legal principles at play here, what do you call someone who is convinced that they know something, and are able to convince others that they actually do know that something whilst they actually don’t and don’t know that they don’t know? No, not a fraud. A fraud knows he/she doesn’t know what they are claiming to know.
And No, they are not delusional because then the other people would actually pick it up that they do not know their story. This person has all the appearances of a person who knows. They can explain the theory of bullets hitting an object and the what the angle of entry means but they simply do not possess enough knowledge to survive cross examination in a court of law. For lack of a good English word I will call such a person a Roger Dixon. You know, after Oscar Pistorius’ expert witness.
Suppose you are sitting on the beach with a friend and see a dolphin leap up into the air, do a somersault and land back in the water tail first and your friend says: “Do you know that Dolphins can travel at speeds of up to 100km per hour on their tails?” You are on the beach and cannot Google this, simply respond “Don’t be a Roger Dixon now” and carry on enjoying the sun.
Look, I have given this a lot of thought. We could have fun inventing all the other categories of people which could then be entered into the Oxford Dictionary: anybody who uses the phrases “I cannot remember/recall”, “I forgot”, “I have no independent recollection” and “I don’t know” in trying to answer the same question could be said to have Pistorian Tendencies.
This person would be totally different from the one who would be scolded by saying ” Don’t be an Oscar Pistorius now” because a Pistorian would not necessarily lie through their teeth or deny an obvious truth.
Being an Oscar Pistorius would refer to lying in the face of insurmountable truth. An example: It is a known fact that a Glock firearm cannot discharge a bullet without the trigger being pulled. A Glock firearm is accepted as having discharged a bullet whilst in Oscar’s hand, but, wait for this, he will not accept that he pulled the trigger! So if someone close to you denies an obvious truth or tells a glaring lie, you can easily dismiss them ” no man, don’t be Oscar Pistorius about this”. Quite different from Pistorian tendencies.
“Don’t Oscar the issue” would refer to someone who when asked a simple question like, “where were you born” they respond: “See, my mom and dad met in the US, and my mother went back to the UK when she was seven months pregnant. My dad tells me there is a chance she gave birth prematurely halfway between the US and the UK. I was raised in South Africa and started school….”, at which point you would interject, “please don’t Oscar the issue, where were you born?”, alternatively, “you are such an Os**r sometimes you know that”, when utterly pissed off by a very evasive person.
The scope for this is huge, humongous. I mean, imagine, there are people like Tony Blair who told lies on the international stage, accusing Iraq of hiding huge amounts of weapons of mass destruction. An official caught lying about the existence or non-existence of a document or such could be punished “because if you were not so Tony Blair about this we would allow you to keep your job”
But Tony was not alone in setting the stage for what was the most blatant plan to topple and then kill Saddam Hussein. He had George Dubya with him. Now, a more despicable leader of a very advanced nation is hard to come by. Besides his “Fool me once and fool me twice” buffoonery, here was a leader who if somebody shouted at you, you are such a “George Dubya” any court of law would acquit you if became violent in response to their clearly insulting provocation.
A person who lies, believes their own lie, convinces others that their own lie is the truth and does not know that they are lying whilst refusing to accept an obvious truth and being evasive in answering the most simple of questions could be accused of being a George W. Bush with Pistorian Tendencies and being a Roger Dixon of Tony Blair Proportions. If that person caused a war whilst at it we would not hesitate to call them a “piece of Os**r”! Excuse my language!