Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Not Really a Michael Jackson Post

I was sitting in the restaurant, a straggler of the lunch crowd. As she brought me my check, my waitress leaned over and confided, "Michael Jackson has just been found innocent on all counts."

Seeing the puzzled look on my face, she nodded her head to the TV set in the bar. CNN was running footage of crowds surging around the courthouse. I shrugged, "There's a mile of difference between 'innocent' and 'not proven guilty.' The people who should have been on trial are the parents who pimped their children for a chance to stand next to wealth and fame."

She nodded in an agreeable way and walked away with my Visa. The reason that I had looked puzzled was that I haven't given two minutes of thought to the Michael Jackson case since it started. At he only got those two minutes because that's the cumulative time I spent switching channels away from television shows that popped his mug on the screen.

So I don't have any opinion of the verdict in the case. Or, rather, my opinion of the verdict has nothing to do with the evidence (I don't know what the evidence is), or the personalities (please God, I'll never meet any of these creepy people) involved. No, my opinion is based on my certain knowledge and experience raising children.

What were these parents thinking? I am the father of two daughters and let me tell you, mister, you wouldn't have gotten within a mile of my girls if you were one-tenth as creepy as the Gloved One. I had a brother in law that would try to sit on the couch with them...very closely on the couch with them. Touching them close. That lasted about two minutes. We weren't insulting, but we made sure that when family came over we knew where everyone was at all times; and we made sure that he sat with his wife, or sat alone.

Now I'm not talking of the parents of the disadvantaged or handicapped kids that were invited to day excursions of Neverland. I'm talking about parents who, knowing the accusations made against Jackson in the early 1990s, allowed them to spend the night with Jackson and to sleep in the same bed as Jackson.

Now, having said all that, perhaps Michael Jackson is innocent of all that he is being accused of. If so, he has been acting in a manner guaranteed to raise eyebrows, if not fists.

Rich famous people are famously surrounded by enabling toadies. God save me from celebrity.

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