Monday, June 13, 2005

Unrelated Once Again: A Word on MJV-Day

I'm just now admitting something to myself: I've been secretly rooting for Michael all along.

Of course, I wasn't rooting for this Michael or Dangerous-era Michael or scary-cat-eyed Michael or even "I'm bad, I'm bad, you know it" Michael. For me (at least deep down), I was rooting for the little Michael Jackson 45 record player I got when I was three. That little player - arguably one of my best memories of growing up - may have nothing to do with the real lives caught up in this fiasco, but in a very shallow sense for me, it was vindicated today.

The merits of the case aside, today's verdict was a victory for pop culture. Some might say that Michael's image has been forever marred regardless; I'm not disputing that. Had the jury gone the other way, however, all of those brilliant pop singles - Hell, even just his Thriller LP -- would have gone down in most of our memories with a big-ol' asterisk informing newcomers to his music that "Michael Jackson was later convicted of child molestation."

For example, we all know "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," but we remember Jerry Lee Lewis best for marrying his 13-year-old cousin. We still jam to "Rock and Roll Part 2" at nearly every major sports event ("Hey!"), but the name Gary Glitter is gone forever into the portal of former rock-star perverts.

I'm not trying to justify anything Michael Jackson the Weirdo has ever done, but I think it'll be nice for me to remember Michael at his fictional best, when he was just the King of Pop who sold me a record player and soundtracked my life.

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