Friday, June 26, 2009

Obligatory "RIP, Michael Jackson" Blog

So Michael Jackson died yesterday. He was only 50. Such a tragedy. We should all mourn the loss of such a brilliant artist (20 years ago, anyway). I guess all those times growing up that the people at my fundagelical church prayed for him to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior (i.e., embrace a fundagelical Christian worldview) were for naught. Some say Michael Jackson was a pedophile. Others (mostly fans lacking objectivity) deny these allegations. I've heard comments from both sides of the issue. Some have said that he was a great man, citing all the humanitarian efforts I'm sure he undertook (but that I haven't bothered to research at all), because remarkable artistry on its own is no indication of a person's "character" (Oscar Wilde, anyone?). And of course I've seen commentary with a more sensible, realistic perspective on the issue. As Sullivan duly noted, it is a complicated issue. Believe me, I completely understand that it's complicated. But let's not pretend that if he weren't famous and if the trial took place in a location other than California, he wouldn't be rotting away in a maximum-security prison right now. So ignoring for now the question of "did he or didn't he," as I am not one to judge in areas such as this, does it really matter? Would he have been any less of a great artist or humanitarian if he was, in fact, sexually attracted to boys? Should we, as a society, be condemning such people to a lifetime of suffering and subjugation simply for possessing a non-standard sexual orientation? Should we be treating teenagers as criminals for posting nude or semi-nude photos of themselves on the Internet? But I digress!

On a final note, this whole controversy reminds me of a quote from "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl," which I have included below in edited form:
The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. For instance, you can accept that [Michael Jackson] was [possibly sexually attracted to boys] and a [great artist/"beautiful soul"/whatever] or you can't. But [many factors in his life were consistent with the "profile" of a person who was sexually attracted to boys], so you'll have to square with that some day.

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