If you make a joke about Chris Brown on social media, you can expect to get harassed by his deranged fan club, #teambreezy. The exact same bizarre thing will happen if you fuck around with South African sprinter/alleged murderer Oscar Pistorius.
They call themselves Pistorians (really) and they come from England, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil. There might be male Pistorians, but I couldn’t find any. Their day jobs seem to be professional, but their main occupation these days is defending the "Blade Runner" from what they call the sensational media.
Pistorius allegedly shot Reeva Steenkamp three times with a 9mm handgun while she was locked in the bathroom of his Pretoria home.The Paralympian and his fan club claim that he thought Steenkamp was a robber and that he was acting in self-defence.
“There's so many stories. So many people who hate him at the moment,” says Marisca Fourie when I interview her. Marisca is an 18-year-old South African student and Pistorius fan.
“The only people who know what happened that morning is Oscar, Reeva and God. The truth will come out. I don't believe the papers anymore. Everyday a different story. Pathetic.”
I got involved because Henke Pistorius, Oscar’s dad, blames the ruling African National Congress for South Africa’s gun problem—which is kind of hilarious, since the Pistorius family is a small gun problem in itself, allegedly owning 55 guns among them, six of which were unregistered, according to the Beeld, the Afrikaans-language newspaper.
I tweeted that old Henke may as well blame Nelson Mandela for the country’s huge domestic-violence problem (according to one survey, 40 percent of men admit to having hit a woman), and the Pistorians shat a collective brick. When I brought up the fact that Pistorius had been arrested for assaulting a previous girlfriend (although the charges were later dropped,) I was accused of spreading a false story. I wasn’t.
Then things got even weirder. Apparently the number-one issue that feminists should be addressing isn’t violence against women, but women posing in bikinis. I mean, obviously Steenkamp deserved it because she was a men's-magazine model.
I’d be really upset if my daughter got shot by her boyfriend, but there you go.
“I didn't even know who Reeva was until she was dead. She was a pretty woman with a great career in front of her. I feel really sorry for her and her family,” says Marisca, who couldn’t let an opportunity go by without putting the boot in.
“I think that everyone says nice things about her and bad things about Oscar. With this whole [South African rugby player and Steenkamp friend] Francois Hougaard story I heard, Reeva wasn't that innocent.”
Maybe I don’t know everything about women, but I would have thought that shooting your girlfriend while she's locked in the bathroom was a big red flag. Sadly I’m mistaken. Hybristophilia is the scientific term for an attraction to people who have committed outrageous or gruesome crimes. They’re the ones who write letters to murderers in prison and keep up creepy vigils in their closets, the ones who can’t orgasm if they’re not fucking, or fantasising about fucking, someone totally let’s-get-a-thousand-people-to-drink-poisoned-Kool-Aid insane.
Pistorians don’t seem that screwy, though, despite the pride in their man’s willingness to resort to violence. These ladies are something a little bit sadder: devoted fans who just can’t bring themselves to see the object of their affection’s problems.
And on that depressing note, I’ll give the final word to Marisca. “Everyone makes mistakes. I love him and respect him for being such an amazing runner. I am not going to judge him because of his personal life.”
Actually, I take it back. Pistorians are definitely a few blades short of a Paralympian.
Alex McClintock is a freelance writer from Sydney, follow him at @axmcc