With my finger to the wind, I’d say this time around the public is leaning against innocent until proven guilty, which though it may be unfair regarding these particular charges, is a result of the last 15 years of serious peculiarity and his chipper admission on camera in the Bashir documentary that he sleeps with children who are not his own. The vast majority of the public finds this unacceptable, period, as do I.
An elementary school he briefly attended in Hollywood has covered up his name:
- Officials at the Los Angeles school, which christened the Michael Jackson auditorium in 1989, covered over the letters with plywood and painted over the wood, leaving only the word “auditorium,” school officials said.
Officials Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood that Jackson once attended briefly and the local school board took the dramatic measure after requests from angry parents.
“It’s coming from parents,” Olga Quinonis, spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District told AFP. “They said they felt more comfortable if it was covered.”
“The primary reason that the school covered it is for safety reasons, to preclude any possible incidents,” she said as local media seized on the symbolic hiding of the superstar’s name.
“Either way we would have got a lot of publicity,” Quinonis said, adding that the name had been covered, not removed and could be uncovered later. [AFP]
I’m not sure what “incidents” they were precluding, but the point is they have washed their hands and feet of MJ – this is not a good sign from his perspective.
I think the public is willing to put up with almost any level of eccentricity as long as it is perceived as benign. With these new charges, Jackson stepped – or was shoved as some may see it – over that line, and all past behavior is now seen in a new, harsh, ugly light.
In another symbol of public rejection, Bloomington (Indiana) High School North’s marching band is dumping their Michael Jackson song when they appear on national television for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
- Band director Thomas Wilson told the New York Times that “Thriller” would not be “appropriate for the morals and the ideals and the sense of pride that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade represents.”
….”We wanted the attention on these terrific teens who have worked hard to get here and are playing great music. Let’s not worry about what song they’re playing,” band booster President Legene White said.
The band will now play John Mellencamp’s song “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.”
“When Mr. Wilson was changing our show, we were like, ‘How are we going to do this?’ but it’s worked out fine,” band member Caitlin White said. “We just wanted it to be about the music, and about our show, and about us being there, and it’s so awesome that we didn’t want that distraction, and that’s kind of why we chose to do the other piece.” [WLWT]
Awesome for you, Caitlin, not so hot for MJ.
Now this final bit of weirdness from CNN:
- Mark Geragos, singer Michael Jackson’s lawyer, said Tuesday that a charter airline company secretly videotaped conversations between him and Jackson on board a plane and attempted to shop the tapes to media outlets.
Geragos said he and Jackson were recorded while flying between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Santa Barbara, California, where the singer surrendered to authorities on suspicion of child molestation Thursday.
Geragos said his legal team obtained a restraining order from a court in Los Angeles that prohibits XtraJet, the airline that he said placed the cameras aboard the plane, from disseminating tapes of the conversations.
“We’ve also filed suit … against the airline company, and we reserve the right to file suit against anyone and everyone who is remotely connected with what I think is one of the most outrageous acts that I’ve ever seen in my 20 years of practicing criminal law,” Geragos told reporters in Los Angeles
I wonder what made them think they could get away with something like this – it’s outrageous and obviously a violation of privacy.