March 29, 2005

Take One

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He’s bad, he’s bad; we know it.

Once you get past the “dangling baby from a balcony” incident (honestly, who dangles a baby?), the preposterous voice, the indescribable nose, the pet chimp named Bubbles, the fact that he wanted to look white but instead looks entirely outlandish, his insistence that “doo-doo head” is a term of endearment and his possibly false claim that he is allergic to the sun, it turns out that Michael Jackson is a pretty weird guy.

Remember the horrifying warped face in The Ring? Jackson’s may actually be more disturbing. But, as evidenced by the allegations against him, what’s happening behind that face in a severely warped mind, is even more disturbing. Specifically, a boy from Los Angeles is insisting that Jackson is indeed a smooth criminal, so to speak, committing lewd acts with him when he was 11 and conspiring to hold him and his family against their wills.

Recently, Kiki Fournier, who worked at the Neverland Ranch for 12 years, told the jury of Jackson’s much-publicized trial that she occasionally found the pop star in the company of up to ten intoxicated boys aged 10 to 13. “Sometimes they would get pretty rowdy,” she said. Honestly, who would have ever thought that Jackson, several years after singing lyrics like “Billie Jean is not my lover,” would be insisting, “I am not Billy’s lover?” The trial, approximately three weeks old by now, has apparently been stimulating this past week. I caught some of the ill-conceived reenactments on the E! network. To summarize, the testimony indicates that some pretty bizarre things were going down at the Ranch and that, to put it simply, Jackson wouldn’t stop ’til he got enough.

The reenactment is a joke, reflecting the trial itself and produced with what seems to be a camcorder along with what are certainly incompetent actors. Bob Wood, who plays Assistant District Attorney Ron Zonen is described as “an accomplished narrator and infomercial host.” I suppose it doesn’t really matter because the trial is becoming a bit of a circus itself. Just look at the list of witnesses. Those expected to testify include Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker, Corey Feldman, Jay Leno, Kobe Bryant and David Blaine. Leno hasn’t been allowed to make jokes about Jackson on The Tonight Show, Bryant can’t seem to stay out of a courtroom and Blaine is of course, the famous illusionist. Jackson may be hoping he can make someone in the courtroom (The boy? The judge?) disappear.

The accusations against Jackson are certainly substantial and the evidence (including the sexually explicit material obtained by authorities during last November’s now-infamous raid) is stacked high against the defense. Or was that Jackson’s porn collection that was stacked high? I forget. Anyway, to be fair, his situation isn’t so … black and white (not that Jackson knows the difference). In fact, it’s red, as in the red pajamas Jackson wore to court recently after showing up late. Is it really a good idea for a guy accused of sleeping with boys to show up in pajamas to court? What if the boy had recognized them?

As if the trial couldn’t get more absurd, Jackson has recently dealt with some medical issues as well, showing up late to court after apparently being taken to a hospital because of back spasms. I’m currently resisting the urge to make a guess about how the back spasms started. Those back spasms may keep him out of court, but they might not stop him from making a return to the stage. Donald Trump is interested in hiring Jackson to perform at his New Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. No word on whether he will make an appearance on The Apprentice.

So, in the end, the former king of pop has been reduced to an absolute, strange-looking mess. Instead of being remembered for the footprints he left on the music industry, he’ll be remembered for the fingerprints left on pornographic magazines that he allegedly shared with young children. He went from “Heal the World” to “Feel the World.” Nevertheless, the situation is complicated. The prosecution may have compromised evidence and the boy’s credibility has been called into question. The big moment of the trial will be when the boy himself is called to the stand.

And since there’s nothing great on television these days (and since Ken Jennings doesn’t return to Jeopardy! until May), there will be those reenactments for us to watch.

Archived article by Avash Kalra
Sun Staff Writer