Everyone’s so concerned with the minutiae of the Michael Jackson trial that I haven’t covered it at all here. But now it occurs to me that there’s a much more significant issue to be discussed. Who cares what trivial, earthly courts say about Jacko. I’m much more interested in what’s going to happen to him in the higher arena of celestial judgement.
Taking Dante as my inspiration, I wonder which circle of Hell Virgil would take a future visitor to if he wanted to find Michael Jackson. Running down the options of where he might be found, things just don’t look good for him.
Jackson is too well qualified to get stuck at Circle 1 which is reserved for the neutral and uncommitted, sort of like hell light for amateur sinners who spend eternity getting stung by insects, so he skips right on to the more entertaining circles.
Circle 2: The Lustful – If MJ is extremely lucky he might stop here in his plunging descent towards Abaddon. He’d be in good company, but it’s awfully crowded here and his strange stiff hair might not look good while being blown forever by stormy winds. But on the other hand, that’s about as bad as the torment here gets.
MJ gets to skip circles 3 and 4 which are reserved for Greed and Gluttony. While he may be guilty of both, they’re fairly trivial in his repertoire of transgressions, plus they’re already awfully crowded.
Circle 5: The Sullen – If his behavior in court and his frequent late arrivals and absences are the basis, then MJ might end up here. It’s probably a popular spot for the Hollywood crowd. And it’s not too bad, he just gets to be submerged to the neck in the black water of the River Styx with his forlorn sighs endlessly rippling the water. Actually, given the places he’s more likely to end up he should really pray he stops here.
Circle 6: The Heretics – This one is a longshot, but it only gets worse from here, so maybe MJ should make a case to the infernal powers that his beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness makes him a heretic so he should stop his plunge here. I mean, how bad can being trapped inside an eternally burning tomb be? Though I’m not sure he’d like the company given all the antipopes and witches hanging around weeping.
Circle 7: The Realm of Violence and Fraud – Well, here he might be right at home. There are several sub-circles with spots reserved for him. Assuming he gets convicted and subsequently commits suicide as his lawyers have speculated he would if he were in prison for long, he’d qualify for sub-circle 2, which isn’t so bad. Being enclosed inside a living tree in a black and tangled wood is arguably actually better than the burning tomb of circle 6. But I’m afraid he’s much more likely to find his way to sub-circle 3, the Realm of Burning Sand, which is reserved – among others – for sodomites. Here he gets his option of eternally running naked on burning sand, stretching out and resting naked on burning sand, or huddling and weeping naked on burning sand. He can pretty much do whatever he wants so long as he’s naked and in close personal contact with burning sand.
But wait, MJ is the King of Pop, after all. Maybe he should go for a more elite circle.
Circle 8: Malebolge – sub-circle 1 has a reserved position for MJ, strapped to an iron post and constantly whipped by devils, as is the fate for panderers and seducers. And he’ll be in good company there because sub-circle 2 is for Flatterers so his sycophantic hangers-on will be nearby, coated in their own filth, and it would just be a short trip to sub-circles 6 and 8 where he can find many of his supporters and his lawyers in the spots set aside for Hypocrites and Evil Counselors. Johnny Cochran is already there waiting with open arms enveloped in eternal flame. It’s also possible he might make it all the way to sub-circle 10 which is reserved for Impersonators, Counterfeiters and False Witnesses – all of which he seems qualified as. The irony of being on this level is that the main punishment is being with other people just like you and having to be verbally and physically abused by them.
Circle 9: Cocytus – Despite his sins, MJ is unlikely to make it here unless Lucifer calls him down for a command performance. The 9th circle is reserved mostly for politicians, whose eternal presence is presumably part of Lucifer’s punishment. Plus, being in the infernal presence might not be all that different from Jackson’s current life in the media spotlight, since those facing Lucifer are constantly bombarded by freezing blasts of impotence, hatred and ignorance. That sounds a bit like reading a typical issue of the National Enquirer.
Perhaps given all the possibilities, Jackson should just tour the various levels stopping in at all the places where he’d be welcome. That way he can see his friends and associates, mix with the elite of the ages, and enjoy a rotating buffet of punishments and suffering. I wonder if that would be better or worse than the tedium of the same burning sands or roasting tomb for all eternity.