It's true -- I can't relate to the media. Just can't, and as a diagnostic/therapeutic act let me explain why. This story about Michael Jackson (originally linked) at Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It! provides an apt occasion for me to show you what goes on in my mind whenever the "media hanky" is run back and forth between my ears. The story is in bold, and my simultaneous thoughts and comments are in brown italics.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Michael Jackson and his attorney will "choose their own time and their own place" to surrender to face child molestation allegations, a family attorney said Thursday. A friend said he was going to "fight this tooth and nail." (Didn't know Michael's attorneys were also accused. Let's hope good English never returns to the AP -- we'd be left with only halve the. story. )
Investigators waited for the singer at Santa Barbara's small airport on Wednesday (Why?), along with a throng of media (And why would they bring tons of art supplies with them?), but he did not appear. (OK. Probably didn't appear at the 7-11 on Rosemont, or Piggly Wiggly on 37th Avenue, either.) Jackson had left Las Vegas in his private jet Wednesday (Oh! That's why they were waiting for him at the airport!), but his whereabouts were unknown, according to published reports. (Maybe if they referred to something besides published reports, they could find out where he is. I see a vicious spiral here -- you can't know it unless it's in the published reports, therefore no one can put anything into the published reports. Break the chain, people!)
He was expected to surrender to authorities as soon as Thursday, and law enforcement officials said charges would be filed. (I didn't know it was illegal to surrender to authorities. Or is it only forbidden on Thursdays?)
Brian Oxman, who has been an attorney for the Jackson family for years but is not directly representing Michael Jackson in this case (Because he's already settled thirty child-molesting civil cases for Jackson and knows better than to touch this one with a barge pole), said Thursday that Jackson and attorney Mark Geragos were working on the timing of the surrender. (Work is needed on the timing -- Geragos is having problems learning the "Moonwalk.") Geragos is also the defense attorney in the Laci Peterson murder case (and is therefore familiar with conducting "the-dog-ate-my-exculpatory-evidence-your-Honor" defenses).
"They will choose their own time and their own place to do this," Oxman said on CBS'"The Early Show.""It will be designed to be as quick as possible from their own perspective." (The self-importance of these people amazes me. They sound like the Israelis after the ‘72 Munich Olympics -- "We will choose the time and place of our response." If I was the DA there'd be no "surrender" -- Jackson's a fugitive and should be apprehended per LAPD/LASD S.O.P. when and wherever -- "With your left hand, remove the keys from the jet and throw them out the window. Do it now! Step out of the Jet with both hands on your head. Do it now!" . . . )
A family friend, Steve Manning, told ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday that Jackson's family came to Las Vegas to support him. "He feels he's been wrongly accused and he's going to fight this tooth and nail," Manning said. "He's at war right now and he's going to use any weapon he has to fight these charges." (No . . . not that . . . not THE GLOVE!!! Maybe plastic surgery's answer to Peter Pan will sick Mr. Bubbles on ‘em -- now that would be a reason to tune into Court TV.)
His arrest warrant set bail at $3 million and Jackson was directed to give up his passport, authorities said. (Gee, I mean isn't that entrapment? If it's a crime to surrender to authorities, whether on Thursday or not, aren't they entrapping Jackson into committing the offense of Surrender By Passport? Besides, I bet Mike's already got a spare passport that reads "Liz Taylor," so what's the use?)
Get over here and get checked in," District Attorney Thomas W. Sneddon Jr. advised the King of Pop at a news conference broadcast worldwide. (Oh, great Scott! Checked in??? Only a justice system that features a prosecutor named "Sneddon" could so trivialize the matter. "Your room's almost ready, Guest #455678883, just let the maid turn down your bunk and place complimentary chocolates on the pillow." What do they call the gas chamber in California -- "checking out?" "aroma therapy"? Sheesh.)
The 45-year-old singer was in Las Vegas when dozens of law enforcement agents swarmed his Neverland Ranch compound Tuesday to serve a search warrant. (Huh? How did we get from the Santa Barbara airport to Michael "Blood and Guts" Jackson waging war on the criminal justice system, to Laci Peterson, through Sneddonesque blithering, to swarming law enforcement agents at Neverland? Let's hope the AP never regains coherence, otherwise we'd be able to chew only that part of the minivan which the government intends to replace with fiber-optics).
Jackson left Las Vegas in his private jet on Wednesday, (You said that already, when you were talking about the Laci Peterson case) according to reports in Thursday's Los Angeles Times and Santa Barbara News-Press (Those are published reports, by the way -- so you can know that what's in them is really true.). He was escorted by Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies (Now, on top of prosecutors who've graduated from the San Quentin School of Hotel Management, we've got helpful police escorting the suspect to his getaway jet. How, I ask, is a man going to commit the offense of Surrender to Authorities when the Authorities are bound and determined to keep him at large? This is gross inefficiency which I'm sure will get Governor Kindergarden Cop's full attention.) to his own jet and flew from a private terminal at the McCarran International Airport, according to an airport security guard the Times did not name. (Because his name wasn't already published somewhere, that's why.) The News-Press said Jackson's pilot had not filed a flight plan and neither newspaper reported where the jet was headed. (That's because it's a place where dreams are born, and time is never planned. It's not on any chart, you must find it with your heart. It might be miles beyond the moon, or right there where you stand. Just keep an open mind -- like the ECUSA -- and then suddenly you'll find . . . Never Never Land.)
Jackson is charged by the state with lewd or lascivious acts with a child under age 14, punishable by three to eight years in prison, law enforcement officials said. (No -- not the officials who politely ask Michael to "check in" to his jail, but who will also escort him in the opposite direction! They couldn't have been so primitive as to have "charged" him with "crimes." Surely they "formally suggested" that he engaged in "untoward activity.")
"Michael would never harm a child in any way," Jackson spokesman Stuart Backerman said in a statement (which he held by two fingers). "These scurrilous and totally unfounded allegations will be proven false in a courtroom." ( . . . but not anywhere else, not after Mike's already had his bite at the Bad Apple -- I bet Mike's publicists are hearing something, like a muffled clock, getting closer, closer . . . Tick Tock, Tick Tock . . . . )
Similar allegations surfaced against Jackson a decade ago, but they never led to the filing of criminal charges (Or the formal suggestion of untoward behavior, or reservations at the Los Angeles County Residence Inn -- but that was only because Tom "Concierge" Sneddon hadn't graduated from law school.) and in 1994 the probe became inactive (Not if current stories are to be believed.). Jackson had maintained his innocence but reportedly paid a multimillion-dollar civil settlement, and the child would not testify in any criminal proceeding. (In more primitive times they called it "Wereguild," but in Sneddonland it's probably called a "wildlife use fee" or some damn thing -- Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!)
Sneddon said this case was different because he had a cooperative victim and because of a change in state law "specifically because of the 1993-94 Michael Jackson investigation." (Sorry, Tom, but that "check in" business put you on the wrong page of my book for good. Surely prosecutors who think criminals should be able to "check into" their jails don't enforce "laws" -- ‘Ol Bellhop Boy must have meant that Mike "inappropriately deviated" from "state guidelines").
Sneddon told the news conference multiple counts would be filed against Jackson "in a very short period of time," and noted that no civil case has been filed and none is expected, unlike 1993. (When no one in the DA's office was bright enough to go to the boy's parents and explain how bad it would look for the criminal case if there was a concurrent civil suit, but how good it would look for a later civil suit if there was a criminal conviction. They were all too busy, you see, pretending that white LAPD detectives never used the "N" word, to think about "timing.")
Sneddon (OK, that's how you know the writer's punchy for lack of sleep -- he's just started three one-sentence paragraphs with the word "Sneddon") would not say when or where the alleged crimes (You can also tell the writer's not native to the Hilton State -- California isn't barbaric enough for crimes -- it has "incidents", "behavioral inconsistencies" . . oh heck . . . . ) took place or how old the child was. He said an affidavit outlining the details will be sealed for 45 days. (Of course, no reason to go back on the "police-escorted-getaway-and-room-service-incarceration" policy which has served California so well . . . .)
But Oxman (the moron) told CBS that the case involves the alleged molestation of a 12-year-old boy at Neverland Ranch, the storybook playground where the singer has been known to hold sleepover parties with children (whose parents, by allowing their children to be Tinkerbell's guests, also qualify for a comped stay at the LAPD Sheraton's Celebrity Suite)
In a documentary broadcast on ABC earlier this year, Jackson said he had slept in a bed with many children. "When you say bed you're thinking sexual," he said in the interview. "It's not sexual, we're going to sleep. I tuck them in. ... It's very charming, it's very sweet." (Since I'm talking to and about some Californians, may I suggest that they update a quaint old custom called "tarring and feathering"? Of course, we needn't be so gruesome as to use such an atavistic name. We could probably satisfy the Sneddonocracy by calling it a "bioethically-sensitive avian/petroleum intervention" -- how about it?)
Jackson, in a statement Tuesday, noted that the allegations surfaced the same day a new greatest hits CD, "Number Ones," was released, but the district attorney dismissed any connection. (Because he's strictly a Tori Amos man.)
"Like the sheriff and I are really into that kind of music," Sneddon said. (See? What did I tell you?)
On Wednesday, CBS pulled a Jackson music special planned for next Wednesday on his greatest hits and the impact on pop culture of the former child star who got his start with his brothers as a member of the singing-and-dancing Jackson 5. (And the AP announced a special series of training courses for journalists, who have been reporting the news in newspapers for hundreds of years with varying success from socially-useful pieces of investigative journalism like Woodward and Bernstein's reporting to sloppy and/or lying journalism like William Duranty's stories on the Soviet Union, and who suffer from diarrhea of the typewriter which causes them to produce giant run-on sentences that string nonsequiturs together in a pretence of elegant comprehensiveness.)
The singer had international hits with the albums "Thriller" (1982), "Bad" (1987), and "Dangerous" (1991), but saw his career begin to collapse after the 1993 allegations. (And the Great Blondin was the first man to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope (1859) but his career declined after he died. Hey -- why not end it by showing I can produce something as non-sequitur and inane as the AP?)