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44. bladerunnercrashcollateral

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L.A. is the excuse. Mean and violent, it abets the unexpected blow to the face. The foot swung against the side the head in a perfect footballer's arc. The woman in the passenger seat screaming hysterically while the car is driven over the chest, the ribs buckling, the liver squeezed unnaturally, rupturing. L.A. is the reason for the meanness of that. That moment in a carjack video game, that moment in some movie, the few seconds it takes to grind a body into the red asphalt.

L.A. is the scene of the crime and the perpetrator of the crime. We're just along the ride, even when we're behind the wheel.

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Swedish musician David Jassy (he has other names as a hip-hop verse writer and performer) punched the face of, then kicked the head of, and then drove over the body of John Osnes who was dying already from the kick to the head, from the blow that lifted him off his feet, off the asphalt, or from the loose swing of his unconscious head reverberating once or twice on the asphalt again. Osnes, who may have had one or two drinks too many, who may have been a foolish, blustering pedestrian, who may have mouthed a startled obscenity when Jassy's SUV nearly struck him while Osnes crossed at the four-way stop where Selma Avenue crosses Schrader Boulevard in Hollywood. Who may have thought he had that curious gift of the California Motor Vehicle Code "? the right of way.

Right.

The preliminary hearing is underway now to determine if Jassy will stand trial and under what charge. The DA is saying murder. The defense is saying manslaughter. Manslaughter. Ancient, relict word. Fits with sudden blow to the head. Fits with shrieking woman in the set next to Jassy as the car is driven over Osnes. As the ribs bend and then part, as the offal inside Osnes is pressed, kneaded, churned, burst.

"(R)andom interactions of diverse people in a city as frenetic as Los Angeles can lead to disastrous consequences," Jassy's lawyer told the court. And L.A. had an accomplice in Osnes' death. A chance encounter, a face across a crowded room; a body beneath the wheels of a rented car. Hitchcock or just some B picture.

A plea bargain is in the works already. The city will take the fall. Rap sheet as long as your arm. bladerunnercrashlaconfidentialcollateralchinatown. The unreal city. Light too bright. The nights never dark enough. The music too loud. The girl sullen. The girl always sullen, bored, jealous. The girl always screaming. Someone always DOA.

The image on this page was taken by Flickr user joezero5. It was used under a Creative Commons license.

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