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Michael Jackson's Arabian Nights
Michael Jackson is now set to take up residence in Dubai according to the Tabloids. He's had his picture taken several times with a fan of his in that country, this fan happens to be part of the royal family - a prince, I believe - and has been encouraging Michael to move in. I couldn't say why the prince wants Michael to live there so badly. Jackson used to be an excellent musician and entertainer at one time many years ago, but he hasn't come out with any new music that anyone wanted to listen to for years.
My guess? The prince is, in fact, a big fan and dropped a line to Michael and told him that if Michael came over to Dubai he could sleep with as many young boys as he wanted to and nobody would arrest him or even bother him about it, because that's what all the grown men in that part of the world do. It wasn't for nothing that Sir Richard Burton labeled it the sotadatic (sodomy) zone. Sure, Sir Richard wrote more than a hundred and fifty years ago, but it probably still holds true.
I followed the Michael Jackson trial with re-enactments on the E channel and thought it was pretty riveting television. Our trial system, the adversarial system, automatically includes a lot of drama which is why there are so many lawyer shows on TV. We Americans like contests like this, which is what a trial is. Most trials, of course, aren't anywhere close to this one. The vast majority of defendents in criminal cases don't happen to be multi-millionaires so they don't get to put on these extravagant defenses with trials that last for months with witness lists in the hundreds.
They have lawyers appointed for them by the court and they go to prison.
However, they probably should go to prison. Seventy five percent of people serving time right now plea bargained their cases, which means that they not only admitted what they did, but they agreed to serve the time that they're serving. Perry Mason was probably the only defense attorney who had the luxury of only defending innocent clients. The rest have to wrestle with this moral quagmire of trying to prevent justice for bad people they know should be punished. They can take comfort, I suppose, in the fact that they are doing their constitutional part in providing everyone with the best defense but there have to be times that they regret being as good as they are at their job.
Michael Jackson - I believe - got away with his crimes. Despite his 'Not Guilty' verdict, he sure wasn't very innocent and some of the jury were clear that they thought this, too, but that they couldn't in good concience convict him of this particular crime. The same probably went with the juries for O.J. and Robert Blake. Both were found 'Not Guilty' but it wasn't a slam dunk in either case. I'll bet some jurists in those cases are having some sleepless nights still.
The hell of it is for Michael Jackson that if he were born in a different time and a different place his actions would have branded him as a solid citizen and not a pervert (I mean, alleged pervert). Three thousand years ago (or so) in Athens it was thought to be the absolute civilized ideal for an older man to take a younger man under his wing and educate him in the ways of the world, acting as a mentor to his protege. And then boofoo him.
I remember reading Plato's Republic and coming across that. In the book, Socrates and his gang of philosophers were out in the market square bantering about before they got down to some serious philosophizing. One of the sub-philosopher teases Socrates that he 'knows how Socrates gets around a young handsome lad'. Ho, ho! Wink. Wink.
It comes down to this thing called age of consent. When is a person considered a grown-up? In ancient times the answer was that it better be as soon as possible. In Jesus's time a man was expected to be married when he was fourteen; In America we won't let a fourteen year old cook a hamburger much less reproduce. But it was different then, because for most of human history a fourteen year old was a middle-aged person. So they better start breeding and keep breeding because otherwise there wouldn't be people.
It took six live births to guarantee that two people would live to replace their parents, meaning you'd better start early and keep going. We are all here right now because for most of human history fourteen year olds did it.
But, of course, this is the twenty first century and nobody under eighteen should be even thinking about that stuff. When they turn eighteen then they can think about marriage. Period. That's all. Although, I'm not exactly sure why exactly we've put the ages down for what's acceptable. In America you can drive at sixteen, vote and go to war at eighteen, drink at twenty one, and become president at thirty five. Doesn't this seem just a tad bit arbitrary? Why shouldn't it be President at sixteen, drink at eighteen, vote and go to war at twenty one and then drive at thirty-five? It sure would be a more interesting country if we did that.
In Europe people do drink at sixteen, then receive their drivers licenses when they're eighteen. It seems more sensible to me, somehow, that you learn the social responsibilities involved with alcohol before you're able to get behind the wheel of a car. People should be taught how to
drink with adult supervision first.
Okay. I got away from Michael Jackson and I promise I won't do that again. The most important thing about him that has not been getting the coverage that it deserves is that his music sucks. It didn't always. In his time he came up with some great tunes, but I haven't heard anything that I remotely liked at all since his Thriller album. And I just hate listening to his voice because it's so nasal since he chopped up most of his nose. I've heard that he never stopped writing songs and could have other artists release some of this unheard music, now that he's in the clear being associated with him might not quite be career suicide.
The key to this Michael Jackson business, I believe, is revealed in his video for the song Thriller. In the video, a young and relatively normal appearing African American Michael Jackson with only a modest nose job is leaving a movie with his date, an attractive African American woman. (A playboy centerfold in real life). Michael looks pretty hip - 80's hip - and is dressed in a red leather outfit. The two of them leave the movie theater, go to his house and are about to start snuggling when Michael shyly stops her and tells her that he is: 'Not like other guys'. Then he turns into a monster, chases her away, and goes out into the street and dances with other monsters.
The way to interpet this video is symbolically and I would have to believe that it was all sub-concious on Michael's part. He didn't want us to know this on purpose. This is my interpetation
only and is merely speculation, I don't have proof and he was found 'Not Guilty', blah, blah, blah ... please don't sue me, Mr. Jackson.
Here goes: The opening symbolically shows a conflicted Michael Jackson who is struggling with his sexuality and his un-natural desires, (ie) his 'monster-hood' while pretending to the world that he is in all ways a conventional hetero-sexual, even a ladies man. To his date - the world - he reveals that he is secretly a monster (attracted to boys) and he rejects the standards and conventions of society (chases his date away). The last part - dancing with the other monsters - needs no explanation, because we all know what dancing with monsters means, don't we?
About the Author: Steve Sommers is the author of Breakfast with the Antichrist. His new novel, Rexroi, along with the best of Australian Science Fiction - is available as an ebook at www.rspublishing.com.au, OR if you ABSOLUTELY need to turn pages when you read - at www.lulu.com/content/306670