Have you ever regretted your choices? Wondered how life would have turned out if you’d taken the other path?
Now I’m not sure whether this podcast is a triumph, or a low-level genre piece akin to cable TV exposes of crime. But the difference is TV is lowbrow, all about the facts and drama, whereas this is nuanced and told from a reporter’s perspective and you get hooked, maybe because it’s a podcast, what do they say about radio, it’s “theatre of the mind”? Believe me, listening to “Dirty John” will spook you. Because the truth is no one’s immune, anyone can be dragged down, I know, it happened to me.
You see you grow up in a family, with a limited world view. And although your horizons are broadened in college, it’s when you leave the world of education and start figuring things out for yourself that you get in trouble. Maybe you never really left home, maybe you’re still in the cocoon. And maybe that’s good. But if you go to the big city to make it you run into charlatans, people with different backgrounds and different moral values, and if you’re unlucky, you’re gonna make a wrong choice and then…
That’s why I believe in arranged marriage. You’re best off marrying someone from the same background, someone who’s known, because that good-looking person you found at the bar, the one you bumped into at the grocery store, even the one you met at the party…
You’ve got no idea who they really are.
So you’re listening to this podcast thinking this woman is an idiot. And that may be true. But you’ll also be envious of her financial success. Made from scratch in the design business. The truth is everyone is not good at everything. And some of the best business people are bad at relationships.
And she wants to believe, she wants to be optimistic. That’s another characteristic of entrepreneurs, because if you’re pessimistic it’s hard to get ahead.
And you’ll wince when you hear she’s been married four times previously.
But this is not uncommon with baby boomers. I know completely reasonable people who’ve been married three times. This is not today, with its huge divide between haves and have-nots, where the haves marry people from their same social stratum and stay together and the have-nots have children out of wedlock. And don’t shoot the messenger, these facts are based upon statistics, published seemingly everywhere.
So her family smells a rat, almost instantly. But when you’re in love, with the sex and attention, you believe it’s the two of you against the world, and love is hard to find, so you ignore them. And I can quote chapter and verse of families nixing relationships and the couple never getting over the breakup, happened in my family, so…
Liars are good at it. They’re convincing. And the legal system is no help. You think you’ve got the strong arm of the law on your side, but the truth is you’re on your own baby, especially when it comes to domestic disputes.
So you’ll be sucked in, I guarantee it.
This is not “Serial,’ with a unique premise, where you wonder about the facts.
This is cold-hearted crime. A bad actor on parade.
But there are bad actors everywhere.
The L.A. “Times’ is a joke. It’s gotten so thin there’s little news in it. Is this how they save the brand, with investigative journalism and attendant podcasts? That’s right, concomitant with the podcast the story has been printed in the newspaper, so you know what’s going to happen, but that’s not why you’re listening, you’re listening for the human condition. And last time I checked that’s what we are, all of us, humans, frail, imperfect, prone to mistakes…
Just don’t make the biggest mistake of your life.