Wednesday, June 15, 2005


The Michael Jackson trial is over. We will no longer be subjected to the daily Jacko Fashion Report. Remember how they went..."Michael Jackson appeared for court this morning dressed in a blue suit with silver satin stripes, worn with a white shirt, and with a red and purple armband".

This armband always fascinated me, because it seems Michael has a whole drawer filled with them and I don't even own one. Nor do I know anyone else who owns one. Where do you suppose he gets them? Does his tailor whip them up for him? Or is there an Armband store somewhere that I have not heard about?

You can see that there are many weighty details in this world that occupy my thoughts. I try not to let a thing slip past my inquiring mind, else how can I learn?

Despite his sartorial splendor, Jackson looked as though he would fade away at any moment. The ordeal of this trial made this already frail star look as though a wisp of fresh air in the courtroom would blow him away, or the touch of a feather send him off to that Great Neverland in the sky. Would he have survived prison? Probably not. Any sentence would probably have been a death sentence. There is just something in Michael Jackson that could not survive the condemnation of the world!

Frankly, I was quite pleased that Michael Jackson was found Not Guilty. Why? Well, because while I am sure he is loonie, I am not positive he is a pedophile. If we are going to ship someone away for many, many years, we ought to be sure. And the people testifying against Jackson didn't seem all that reliable to me. Not that the defense witnesses were all that reliable, either. Early on, I decided the whole affair was a B movie, featuring Jacko as the lead and all those other folks as bit players. I've watched more than a few B movies in my time, more than I care to remember, and spending entire hours with the cast, as we were all forced to do because of the television coverage, is more than I really wanted.

To tell the truth, I wasn't at all taken with the prosecutor. I don't know how he could ever win a case. He looks past retirement age, with thick glasses, an intense, driven look and a pretence of innocence that irritated me. Did he set his sights on Jackson after the first settlement, when a trial was avoided. "Oh, no," he said. "A woman came in with a case. I treated this as I would any other case."

Who is he kidding? I understand many search warrants were issued for Neverland. Then, seventy deputies climbed aboard the train to search the place. I mean, it's big, but not that big! There was a certain elation in the air. We've got him! We've got him! Now he'll pay!

There were several counts against Jackson, when actually one would have sufficed. He was even accused of kidnapping an entire family. They went shopping. They went out to dinner. They lived normally, but they tried to tell the jury they were kidnapped! And, what's more, they claimed that Jackson wanted to ship them all to Brazil for an extended stay. To tell the truth, I would welcome an all-expenses-paid tour of Brazil, but that's another story.

The prosecution's witness, I understand, could not testify because he was in jail, arrested on a charge that had nothing to do with Jackson. Other witnesses were former employees involved in a lawsuit against Jackson. Now, I am no prosecutor, but I can tell you this case is getting weaker and weaker and everytime something was leaked from the prosecutor's office, the case faded even more.

Now, I want to say a few words about Nancy Grace and her fellow members of the Court TV Sisterhood. It's hard to tell one of them from the other, since they are so carefully made up, polished and primped and cosmetized to an elite finish. But, as a group, they are a female hatchet corps. They appeared frequently on the Larry King show, sometimes one or two of them, and they all decided Michael Jackson was guilty of the charges against him and would be found guilty by the jury.

In fact, Nancy Grace has unfailingly predicted this in every television appearance for every famous criminal case from Robert Blake to Scott Peterson. Guilty as charged, she says, her lips pressed firmly together, her eyes flashing fire.

Now, I understand Nancy Grace has had a great tragedy in her life, and lost her child to a murderer. I know nothing about the particulars, but I fear this tragic occurrence has colored her opinion of anyone charged with anything. Not one time that I can recall has Nancy Grace even hinted that someone charged with a crime might be innocent.

I know that Michael Jackson has some peculiar habits that seem strange to the majority of people. I mean, he hangs around with 12 year old boys, buys out department stores filled with toys, always speak of his "love" for children, and has had more plastic surgeries than Joan Rivers. I have read that his nose is sliding downward and that his face is melting and that he has a disease that is turning him white. And he veils his children when they are in public, which makes one wonder what they will do when they are eighteen or twenty, drape themselves for a date? Wear a sheet to the prom?

No doubt about it, Michael has had a life that is a bit different from yours or mine. He was a child star, standing out from his mediocre brothers to bring crowds of people into their concerts. He was never a child, never able to play baseball, or join a swim team. His entire life was performing. And his musical genius was apparent in his albums and videos. Who could forget Thriller? That was back before the surgeons destroyed what they had created and he was absolutely beautiful, so talented, on top of the world!

Bob Dylan, speaking of his musical talent, said that his songs were written "by magic", that they just appeared mysteriously in his mind, and that he wrote songs like "Blowing in the Wind" in ten minutes time. Now, moving forward from middle age, a bit crumpled, lined with the years, thoughtful, he shakes his head when he is asked if he could do it now, write these magical songs.

Michael Jackson had the same magical ability. To watch him dance was to watch this agile, tiny figure do musical contortions that captured the essence of the music. And the music reflected the intensity of the times, a mirror of youthful exuberance and passion.

Could he do it now? Creativity can be destroyed or muffled by stress. The magic is erased, if not destroyed. The harsh realities of life push their way into the imaginary processes that are necessary to create. It becomes, not a wonderful, challenging world, but an ugly place, bereft of magic.

But, if a tiny remnant of that talent remains, perhaps it will be resurrected by Michael Jackson. Perhaps he will push this ordeal from his mind to become the musical genius again! Although, to many people, he will always be the pedophile that got away, just as O.J. remains the murderer that got away, sort of like that mythical fish bragged about in song and story.

It remains to be seen whether Michael Jackson will ever be a top entertainment success again. But I have a feeling that, if he undertook a tour, there would be lines at the box offices demanding tickets. That's because the world has only one multi-talented, melting-faced, one-gloved, possibly-pedophilic super star.

And now I must go shopping for my armband.