Michael Jackson verdict
Seven days the jury deliberated. And now we have a verdict. Not guilty, times 10. So, what do we make of this? I don’t know what to think. I have followed the Michael Jackson case closely, and I wonder if the jurors heard something that I missed. If this were any “regular” person being accused of these crimes, would the jury come to the same conclusion? Certainly celebrities are viewed, and treated, differently in this society. What is it that about fame that gives these people their teflon coating? There are bound to be comparisons to the OJ Simpson trial, and Robert Blake, and now Michael Jackson. Are these men criminals, who used their money and popularity to seduce the public into believing in their innocence? Have they been able to successfully manipulate the justice system in their favor? Or have they gotten the fair trial and just verdict that they deserve? There are no easy answers. I watched as the verdicts were read this afternoon, and fans cheered, threw confetti, and let doves fly free in celebration. Who are these devotees who have given up their lives to “be there” in support of their beloved Michael? Some have traveled from around the world. They create quite a stir, as if their enthusiasm alone is enough to pull Michael through. The adulation, the tears, it’s all very dramatic – and maybe it’s just all a part of the show. Word has it that some of these groupies are actually paid to show up everyday. Money, after all, can buy just about anything. What irks me about this particular case is that Michael Jackson has set him self apart from the rest of society. He has made his own rules, and by letting him off the hook on all counts, society has basically said that it’s okay. There may not be a law about adults sleeping in a bed with children of a certain age, particularly children who are not their own, but there is a standard that society has set that says “this is not okay.” There are boundaries. There is responsible behavior. There is respectful behavior. And sleeping in a bed with someone else’s child is crossing that boundary. It is not responsible, or respectful, behavior. And yet somehow it’s okay for Michael Jackson to do just that. Michael clearly believes that he is innocent. And he believes that there is nothing wrong with his behavior towards children. But just because he believes that doesn’t make it right. Even when, back in 1993, he paid $20 million to a family in a civil case, that wasn’t enough make him understand that there is simply something wrong with his behavior. You’d think that would have taught the guy a lesson! But, no. Not only did he continue doing whatever the heck he wanted to do, he flaunted it on national television, for all the world to see. Michael Jackson is not a smart man, but in this case he outsmarted the jury. I don’t believe that he is innocent, or naive. I think that he considers himself separate from the rest of us, and that he plays the part he created so perfectly that he believes it himself. Michael Jackson is a musical genius. It is likely that he was abused as a child, and his childhood certainly was exploited. Yet that is no excuse for his behavior. He has been caught in lies many times – from denying his plastic surgeries to inflating the size of his bank accounts. And if he took a lie detector test I’d bet he would pass, because he totally believes what he says. The man wouldn’t survive a day in jail. Not because he’s too fragile, or because the inmates would make meatloaf out of him, but because he couldn’t handle the reality of the situation. He couldn’t reconcile his interpretation of reality with what smacks him in the face. It would drive him over the edge. What’s sad is that all of these people are paid to protect him, to worship him, to cater to his every whim. And yet no one is getting him the help he so desperately needs. It’s “the Emperor’s clothes” story. Maybe it will take a little child to speak up, and make Michael Jackson realize that what he is doing is just plain wrong. Or maybe not. Maybe this was our chance and it’s gone.