Once again, you can't make this stuff up.
Pro wrestler Hulk Hogan said in the latest issue of Rolling Stone that he understood why O.J. Simpson (may have) killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
I say "may have," 'cause I'm not trying to get sued.
Anyway, Hogan, apparently ticked off that his ex-wife Linda, who's pushing 50, gets to live in their multi-million dollar mansion and that her boyfriend, who's 19 or 20, drives around town in luxury cars that Hogan paid for, said he understood how O.J. could develop enough rage to kill in similar circumstances.
Of course, Hogan was roundly condemned by pundits, and Linda's "team" pointed to Hogan's comments as evidence that she has reason to fear him.
My first thought was Hulk Hogan must be nuts. Even if he was thinking this, he shouldn't have said it aloud to another human.
My second thought was Hulk Hogan sounds serious, like he could really kill her!
My third thought was Wait a minute! I remember when Chris Rock said something similar during his 1996 HBO special Bring the Pain. And I laughed my behind off at Rock's joke.
Not only that, but I have since watched Bring the Pain a dozen times, and I admit I've laughed every time, all the way through. The first time I watched it, I watched with my then girlfriend. She laughed too...and then punched me in the arm for laughing so hard.
In Bring the Pain, Rock came right out and told his audience that he knew damned well O.J. did it. He then went on to talk about Simpson paying his ex $25,000 a month in support, about reports that Goldman was often spotted around town driving luxury cars that Simpson paid for but his ex possessed, and about rumors that Brown-Simpson and Goldman may have been dating. To raucus laughter, Rock concluded "I'm not sayin' he should've killed her...but I understand." (Here is the first four minutes of audio from that bit. CAUTION: salty language!)
Terrible, right? No one deserves to be murdered. Period.
So why was I repulsed by Hulk Hogan's words and amused by Rock's?
I'm not asking 'cause I think domestic violence or murder or any combination of those crimes is funny. Just the opposite. I know they're among the worst crimes, right up there with child abuse, rape, etc.
And I'm no shrink (though I like to play one in print), but I think the difference between the two is Hogan's tone in Rolling Stone came off as disturbed, whereas Chris Rock compelled folks to squirm uncomfortably as they laughed, 'cause they knew that what he was saying had crossed the minds of lots of "normal" non-violent people.
Don't get mad. You know I'm telling the truth. Tell me you don't have at least one friend who over drinks or on the golf course or in the gym didn't say something similary nutty like "I don't know, man. I think I'd be pretty ticked off too if I had to pay...and she shared it with another guy."
I've had friends and acquaintances do that. And I'll be honest, my reaction has ranged from a silent frown, to a finger-wagging condemnation, to an uncomfortable giggle.
Personally? I don't think money, houses, or cars are worth killing someone over. The way I see it, if I'm rich and half my wealth is the price for a smooth split from a former love, so be it. Of course, as Rock said in Bring the Pain, a 50% split may not mean much to you when you're splitting $20 million. But it might take on a whole new meaning when your "wealth" to begin with was say $30,000, and your departing spouse is entitled to $15,000 of that.
I know one guy who was so obsessed with worry over the sharing half scenario that he swore he'd never get married. Ironically, that moron wasn't rich and nothing about the way he lived suggested he'd ever be. So his fear of "losing half" was without merit.
And I know guys who swear if the roles were reversed and their wives earned more money, they - the guys - wouldn't seek half in a divorce. They'd just walk away and start their lives over. Baloney. They would too seek half.
So there is this lingering resentment mentality among lots of guys that makes them rebel against the notion of sharing material wealth with a former love - so much so sometimes that it can lead to scenarios like what most of us are convinced happened with O.J. and Nicole.
Hulk Hogan clearly has this mentality. Hope he gets help and doesn't snap. But if he does snap, we know it won't be the first or last time that kind of tragedy happens.
Final food for thought: Assuming I"m right in speculating that I'm not the only anti-kill-your-wife man who laughed at Chris Rock's O.J. bit back in the day, should we really have been shocked a few weeks ago when nearly 50% of teenage girls surveyed about the Chris Brown/Rihanna domestic violence case speculated that Rihanna brought that beating on herself?
BTW, follow me at http://twitter.com/jamesburnett.