Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Michael Jackson was Acquitted

I'm not going to bother to link to the story on some other web site, because, quite honestly, if you care about the details as anything but an acknowledged "guilty pleasure," you really probably shouldn't be reading this blog. Go back to your info-tainment while the grown-ups talk about some important things.

Things I DON'T Know:

  • Did Michael Jackson actually have illegal relations with a minor?

  • Did Orenthal James Simpson cause the deaths of Ronald Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson?
Things I DO Know:
  • Michael Jackson's behavior with boys comes off as really creepy.

  • Faint praise though it might seem to some, Macaulay Culkin was willing to testify that, despite having many opportunities, Michael Jackson never touched him inappropriately. That does in fact demonstrate that Jacko is not a compulsive child molester, and you don't hear much about people who just pencil in "molesting children" if they're not too busy with writing sermons dry cleaning and mortgage payments.

  • Seriously: what child molester could possibly resist having the Home Alone boy in pajamas on his lap? Macaulay Culkin wasn't just a cute kid, he was the closest thing to a kiddie-porn star in mainstream film. He was Dennis the Menace on steroids, Huckleberry Finn with an angel's face, (Leave It to) Beaver's evil twin Skippy, or Opie Taylor after he snuck out some of the weed from his Pa's evidence locker.

  • I mean no disrespect to Macaulay Culkin in saying that. How could he possibly know at age 10 how many dirty old men were drooling over him? At the same time, I have no doubt that some of the adults involved did work that angle. Still, I'm glad to see that Mac seems to have made it through a contorted childhood and emerged as a serious grown-up actor. Go see Saved. Seriously. Not only can he really act, he's way cuter now. (He's also not only old enough to have sex, join the Army, or vote — he's even old enough to drink beer!)

  • Michael Jackson should build a whole separate guest house at Neverland Ranch. That way, any young boys who come to stay at Neverland can stay in a separate building with their own private bathroom and with their parent or guardian right across the hall.

  • Michael Jackson should never be alone in a room with a boy. He should have multiple eyewitnesses, including the child's parent or guardian whenever possible.

  • Michael Jackson should designate a staff member to help avoid any situations that might cause suspicion or discomfort. This staff person should have explicit veto power on any sleepover arrangements.

  • Under our legal system, since Michael Jackson was in fact acquitted (not necessarily found innocent, but found not to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt), my suggestions above are simply common-sense advice, not legal requirements.

  • Both verdicts in the O.J. Simpson trials appear to me to be legally correct. From what I saw of the evidence, my personal opinion is that the preponderance of the evidence suggests that O.J. Simpson did unlawfully cause two deaths, but that the evidence of that fact as presented in the criminal trial did not remove all reasonable doubt.

  • I do not see a contradiction between saying that O.J. was "not guilty" but still "liable." The standards of evidence between a civil and a criminal trial are different, and for good reason.

  • We all (except for a handful of people with a reality-based connection to these cases) have more important things to think about!