OK, it looks like “Michael Jackson is going down”:http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/03/25/jackson.trial/. But it’s not his fault. It’s all of ours. Free Michael! He doesn’t know what he’s doing, we all made him coo-coo.
A basic concept in law is “not guilty by reason of insanity”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insanity+defense. To drastically oversimplify, if you don’t know the difference between right and wrong, you’ll be sentenced to mental health treatment, rather than being executed. Except in Texas.
So, did Michael molest those boys? Well, he sure acts like he did. I don’t mean that he looks guilty; I mean that he’s got sudden, unexplained flus and back pain. That’s typical of somebody who’s got a dissociative disorder and who has committed a crime when they (or, at least, their dominant personality) is not fully conscious. Somewhere, in the back of his head, Michael knows he did it, and that what he did makes him feel uncomfortable.
But did he know it was wrong? No, because we all spent the last 20 years telling him he should do just such a thing. As far back as I can remember — even in the _Thriller_ years — we all wondered, when will the Gloved One get some? Doesn’t he want to drink and do drugs, like everyone else?
Probably not! Michael probably drank as much, got high as much, and got as much action between the ages of 5 and 15 as any 3 of the people reading this entry have. By the time he told us that Billie Jean was not his lover, well, he probably meant that Billie Jean was not his lover because he was sick and tired of that shit and he wanted to spend his time on something important, like being the King of Pop.
So he distracted us by releasing rumors that said that he slept on a bed of pig fat, in a hyperbaric chamber. Well, that sure distracted us. We all concluded that Michael was weird, and, well, if he’d gotten caught drinking anything but Diet Coke the tabloids — and Tipper Gore — would’ve been all over him.
Then we forgot about the strange sleep rituals and started asking when there would be a Crown Prince of Pop. In what was probably a fit of hopelessness, or, perhaps, a breeding experiment, Michael mated with Elvis’s daughter. But we didn’t want Michael to simply have sex — and we didn’t really believe he was putting his wee-wee in her hoo-ha. So Michael had to go and get some woman pregnant.
But Michael didn’t want sex, or children; he’d done enough of that when he was 12. Instead, he wanted to have what he’d never had — a childhood that didn’t include touring and being beaten up by his father. So he created Neverland and had that! And he even did things with his kids that he wished people had done to him, like letting him hang out a hotel window and putting a towel over his head so he could be alone.
The problem was, now that Michael had withdrawn from the world, people around him saw an opportunity. So long as Michael was in the Neverland, both real and in his head, their gravy train would go on forever and ever. So Michael had to be robbed of grounding experiences. Neverland didn’t just host a few childrens’ parties anymore, it hosted children and their families for years at a time.
And how would Michael treat those children? Well, some amalgam of how he had been treated and how he dreamed a child should be treated. So there were the Neverland aspects, with the games and the fun and nothing you wouldn’t admit to your grandmother. But Michel had been raised in an environment with easy access to alcohol, sex and drugs. Why should these kids not have the same fun that Michael had? The fun nobody ever objected to when Michael was singing about his ABCs and his 123s?
There was nobody around to object now, either. Sure, there could be adult supervision of all of Michael’s play dates. Sure, there could be security video cameras. But both of these would, necessarally, ground Michael — and, if the erstwhile star became grounded, then he might realize he was broke and move to a condo in Hollywood and fire everyone but his publicist and a bodyguard.
So none of the people around Michael suggested he might behave otherwise with the children. And, after the first allegations of molestation, his entourage probably protected him even less — because now their free ride was really threatened. The sooner Michael forgot about the allegations, the better.
And we all loved it! We fought over whether or not he touched the boys. Half of us said he’d never do it, and sent kids to him to take advantage of his largesse. The other half said he’d do it for sure, and sent kids to him to set up the future lawsuits and payoffs.
Poor Michael. He doesn’t know how to behave as a five-year-old, a 15-year-old, a 30-year-old, or a 50-year-old. He shouldn’t be sent to jail for doing something nobody had ever told him was wrong or ever protected him from. Our society made him what he is today; we need to help him to be happy in himself for once. Free Michael!