Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New rules

Rule #122: Tonight's top HIStory
It is possible to both follow world events AND mourn the death of Michael Jackson. You're not better than everyone else for alleging that the story is merely a distraction from developments in Iran and Honduras. The real distraction is CNN Headline News! And their exclamation points! On stories about cute white women in peril! All day, every day!

MJ is the most famous entertainer who ever lived. He made a difference in the world. That merits press. Yes, international issues continue to exist, but you can find coverage of them with little effort. I suspect that a lot of this criticism comes from people who feel guilty about following it at the expense of much else. As if it's a waste of time not to spend every second of it fretting over events completely out of one's control. But there's a difference between that and staying informed and active in your passions, and that should be easy if you possess perspective, regardless of what the news deems important.

And spare me the accusations that MJ was a child molester. The only court that ever convicted him of that was the Court of Public Opinion, which thrives on circumstantial evidence and a need to tear down its heroes. Being weird and socially infantile can be indicative of the perils of lifetime fame, but that isn't a logical leap into abuse. Tell me why I should believe two sets of money-grubbing parents over everyone else who ever knew or worked with Michael, or studied his case. Until then, I will revere this genuine influence in my life and that of billions. And follow the rest of the news while I'm at it.

Rule #123: Clean Slate
Reading something doesn't automatically make you a fervent devotee of it. By that logic, Bill O'Reilly and Adolf Hitler are two of my favorite writers. They aren't by a long shot, but at least I have a window into what passes for their thought processes. Exposure to opposing viewpoints is not only not bad, but necessary for critical thinking. No one should ever be ashamed into avoiding a book, Web site or other work because of what superficial impression others might form from seeing them reading it. Those doing the shaming tend to be the most ignorant anyway.

Rule #124: Confidential to "Confused in S.C."
Never say aloud that you're trying to fall back in love with your wife; that's the worst thing you can do in your situation. Unless you refer to your mistress as your soul mate. Oh, I sure hope you get this before it's too late...

The rest of the rules


Jack said...

I'm usually right there with you on most issues, being very left of center myself.

But we don't agree on the accused boy-diddler. It is not merely weird or mildly infantile to have young boys sleep with you in your bed. His behavior is strongly characteristic with predatorial behavior. Feeding children alcohol, getting them to sleep in your bed, and splitting parents from kids are key indicators. There is an argument to be made that he merely paid those families off.

Predators, as you are probably aware, often chose children whose parents are less than exemplary. Those troubled children are the easiest targets. It's easy to demonize the parents (which they probably deserve) but it does not mean that your favorite son is not a beast just the same.

Not to mention the fact that he continued his behavior after the first accusation. That indicates compulsive behavior, which is common among child predators.

Did he or did he not? We will never really know for sure, but all rational indications point toward him as a predator of young boys.

Just because you are not convicted, does not mean you are not guilty. OJ is one perfect example. So I think the argument and criticism is fair of MJ.

Musical genius? No doubt. I find his tortured soul very tragic.

TJENKINS said...

In regards to MJ, you always seem to gloss over the fact that he settled out of court, for tens of millions of dollars, in a civil suit brought on by one of the kids he molested. Not exactly the actions of an innocent person.

Ian McGibboney said...

Yes, I agree he's weird and that he shouldn't have had boys sleep in his bed. But that's circumstantial. It seems to me that there'd be some smoking-gun evidence given all of that, but there wasn't. And if there had been, the Chandlers couldn't have fished it out fast enough. And I wouldn't blame them. People close to Michael say he was, in one former bodyguard's words, "a baby," and that he was very socially regressive. Which, again, is a serious issue, but not one that automatically makes him a diddler.

As for the civil suit, that I think is where Michael went wrong. By paying off that child and his parents in a futile attempt to avoid further publicity, he opened the floodgates. If justice is really what the parents wanted, they would have filed criminal, not civil charges. The settlement suggests that money was what they wanted. I'm no parent, but I think I'd rather have my kid's child molester in jail.

Jack said...

The prosecuting attorney files criminal charges, not the victim.

I had a discussion with the director of the child advocacy center. She said that something like 3% of the sexual abuse cases actually get prosecuted.

Predators chose their victims wisely, in many cases, making sure child and parents are not upstanding or believable. Hell, what kind of well-adjusted parent lets their kids run rampant for days on end with MJ? Just because the parents are worthless, money grubbers, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Hookers can be raped, too.

Anyway, I love your blog. It is one of the last fortresses of liberalism left in the Ozarks blogosphere. I'm thankful for it.