With seven days to go in my 30s, my thoughts go to 25 years ago, the last time I spent an extended period of time in Toronto. I was 15 years old, on an academic exchange with a junior high in Scarborough, and obsessed with Michael Jackson.
And obsessed with my hair, actually. I wore my hair curled in a specific way, always carried a comb and mirror, and constantly checked that the curl was "just so". So much, in fact, that my first night at my billet's house was spent sneaking into the bathroom, quietly curling my hair "just so", then laying stiffly in bed so as to not mess my hair -- all because I wasn't sure I'd have enough time in the morning to do my hair properly... but that's not the point of this post.
Within days of when I was supposed to move here, Michael Jackson died and became the hottest gossip item, just as he had been in 1984. (I didn't know if that was a good or a bad sign for my move.)
Much has changed since 1984. My hair can still make or break my mood for the day, but I would no longer lose sleep over it. And Michael Jackson gossip has taken a turn for the macabre. As, apparently, did MJ.
I do think MJ was involved with something untoward with minors a few years back. But I don't believe he understands it was untoward. And I don't mean how pedophiles think they actually love their victims and haven't done anything wrong. I think it's like how if you or I shake an Indonesian's hand with our left hand (or is it the right one?), we'd be shunned. I had no idea there would be anything wrong until my friend Denise explained it to me. See, in places without toilet paper, you wipe up after yourself with your left (or right?) hand. So if you then shook someone's hand with your left hand, you are some dirty nasty disgust-pot indeed. But I wouldn't have known that. I would have been a dirty nasty disgust-pot because I would have had no understanding of the issues at play in that country. I think MJ was messed up as a young child, and I don't think the issues at play have ever accurately been relayed to him. I don't think anything sexual was going on ... but I think lines - as defined by you or me - were crossed. Lines that don't mean the same thing to him.
All that being said ... let the man be dead already. Discover the cause, certainly. Bring to justice anyone who facilitated it, absolutely. But do you or I really need proof whether the kids are actually his? He's the only father they've ever known. They lost him so very young, don't take their connection to him away too. If they have doubts, and later want answers, they can find them out themselves. You have no standing to do it on their behalf -- and for what? Your entertainment? Ratings? Let him lay. Let them grieve. I used to think the fact he pasted masks on his kids' faces when they went out in public proved that he was not in possession of all his marbles. Now I think he was onto something. The media has proved itself to be opportunistic and cannibalistic when it comes to him. The man had problems, but maybe the lengths he would go to in order to protect his children was not one of them.
(And yes, that's if we ignore the baby dangling thing. I said the man had problems.)