Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Thriller Part Two


He beat it!
He beat it!
The mo-lest-ation rap...he beat it!
He won't go to prison
He won't pay no fine
Or even get in trouble for giving kids wine
He beat it!

Here it is, a day after the Michael Jackson verdict...not guilty on EVERY count...and the world is still in one piece. Of course we're all just a little worse off in the process, aren't we? Did justice prevail? Not in my opinion, but like everybody else's, it's moot. Life really tweaks up the irony sometimes. Here Michael takes away a child's innocence and he's found not guilty. Not innocent mind you, but not guilty. Oh well. Maybe he should retire from public life and perhaps..enter the priesthood.

I don't know if everyone hung onto the reading of this verdict as much as the O.J. trial-ahhh, remember those good old days? I myself listened to it on the radio and as always, found the experience that much more intense. There's something about to be said still about the Theater of the Mind. Waiting for the Gloved One to finally show his scrawny ass up in court (Judge Melville should have held him in contempt of court at least once. C'mon, your honor, throw us a frickin' bone!), I sat impatiently until the county clerk read the verdict. I merely shrugged my shoulders and went about my day, disappointed but reflective. I couldn't help but speculate:

What Would Bubbles Do?

Recently when the Al-Queida cell was uncovered in Lodi, California, right next door to my hometown of Stockton, I sent out an e-mail to my friends complaining that "The Al-Queida's in Lodi...Scott Peterson's in Modesto...How come nothing ever happens in Stockton?" Most of the replies I received reminded me that Michael Jackson visited Stockton, albeit in the eighties..you know last century.

It's true. Back in the late 1980s and about three blocks from where I grew up, some sick fuck armed with an AK-47 walked onto the campus of Grover Cleveland Elementary School and massacred a bunch of school children. Their bodies fell right in front of where I used to attend Mr. Padovan's sixth grade class. The killer then turned the weapon on himself, blowing his own worthless life away as well. Naturally,this was the lead story of the national news that night. The whole world had its eyes on Cleveland School, its victims and its survivors. The media circus had hit Stockton with a vengeance as everyone mourned the death of these children and tried to figure out how this could have happened. Michael Jackson learned of what occured in Stockton and at that time, he was the self-proclaimed champion of children everywhere. So he came to Cleveland School one afternoon not long after the massacre to offer his support and comfort a bunch of traumatized kids. He did not allow cameras to follow him inside the auditorium (or what we used to call the "multi-purpose room") where the children gathered to meet Michael, so only they and the the faculty knew what was said. That didn't stop the media circus from returning once they knew the King of Pop was in town. I couldn't help but wonder if those stressed out kids freaked out all over again once they heard the helicopters circling overhead just as they had before and the crowds began to scream for Michael upon his arrival.

Was Michael up to no good even back then? Who knows? Certainly not at that moment. This gesture wasn't just a publicity stunt either. I believed he actually wanted to do some good. I wonder what those kids, now all grown up, are saying today. After all, they lost their own innocence in an entirely different way-at the hands of a gun-toting maniac.

I thought about that a lot yesterday. What a pure definition of the word enigma this guy is. Here's a man...a very weird man, mind you....who is capable of doing good things. Now matter what the verdict stated, I think we'll probably always believe he was capable of doing very bad things as well...except nobody told him it was wrong until now. To all the people around Michael, protecting him, comforting him, giving him free rein to do what he pleases... you lowly barnacles that clung to the hull of the luxury liner you call my brother, my son, my friend..you are just as guilty in my eyes as well. You never told him "No". Karma's gonna kick your ass too, just as it will to Michael. And for everyone who clamored for a guilty verdict, be honest with yourselves. All you really wanted was to see Michael behind bars without makeup

But again. It's all moot. Michael has moonwalked away a free man. So ends another chapter in the saga of Wacko Jacko.

It ain't over yet, folks. Not by a long shot.

He is, after all ,the Thriller.
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