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Thursday, February 06, 2003


The Inevitable Piece on the Removal of All Doubt Regarding the Possibly Criminal Strangeness of One Michael Jackon Dept.

Tonight, American televisions were ablaze with British journalist Martin Bashir's documentary Living with Michael Jackson, his eight-month journey into the heart of darkness that is the Erstwhile King of Pop's daily existence. For his time spent at Neverland Ranch, Bashir will henceforth be known as the Dian Fossey of celebrity freaks.

In the next couple of days, the (understandable) media reaction will be as follows: outrage, bewilderment, a litany of the damning facts picked over in agonizing detail, a call to keep children away from his Xanadu of roller coasters, ferris wheels, and cheap Italian ices. But WFOoBH instead turns its attention towards the misunderstood Jackson, trying put ourselves in the epaulets and bespangled single glove to see Michael's side of things. Then we breathe a sigh of relief and explain how it could have been worse.

Problem: Jackson's three children are very light-skinned. On television, they all appear to be Caucasian.
Michael Jackson's Perspective (MJP): The huge-hearted popster would love the children even if they were plaid and entirely covered in fur like those wolf-children in Mexico, just as long as they were healthy.
It Could Have Been Worse (ICHBW): Jackson's children could have been covered in cactus needles, making them difficult to embrace and imperil on German balconies.

Problem: MJ drapes the children's heads with towels and veils when they appear in public, even when he's feeding infant son.
MJP: The children's privacy must be protected at all costs; tiny suits of armor submerged in rolling tanks of piranha are on back-order.
ICHBW: MJ could cover his brood entirely in tinfoil with tafetta accents and hit them with wiffle ball bats just to hear their "natural music."

Problem: His nickname for youngest son Prince Michael II is "Blanket."
MJP: MJ loves the blankets that he hid under while Tito and Marlon double-teamed a procession of eager groupies.
ICHBW: His youngest son could have been nicknamed for another item from MJ's childhood bedroom, and forever been known as "Ball-gag."

Problem: Arranged for surrogate mother to produce third child.
MJP: It was a mutually beneficial business arrangement that made both parties richer in their own way.
ICHBW: Did not sell third child on eBay black market to finance acquistion of skeleton of Billy Barty. Barty's skeleton was purchased long ago by Terence Trent D'arby.

Problem: Goes to casino shopping mall and offhandedly ignites million-dollar shopping spree.
MJP: It's really hard to spend a million dollars in an afternoon without overspending on enormously tacky Ming vases.
ICHBW: Could have purchased entire casino and filled it with hungry, red-assed baboons.

Problem: Multiple and unnecessary plastic surgeries have left MJ's face nearly unrecognizable from its 1978 state, while claiming only two surgeries on nose.
MJP: Actually had only two surgeries, each in fifty-eight discrete stages.
ICHBW: Could have had shameful Jackson Five face completely removed and replaced with that of friend and fellow high-singer Andy Gibb.

Problem: Favorite activity is climbing trees; asserts that bulk of songwriting takes place in branches of "Giving Tree."
MJP: Did not fling feces from safe perch at top of tree.
ICHBW: Could have attempted a normal, healthy, adult sexual relationship with female while whistling though nose-hole and hanging out with llamas.

Problem: Dangled baby from Munich balcony; children nearly trampled by fan-stampede at French zoo.
MJP: A born entertainer, MJ has to give the fans what they want, even if that entails the most important thing in his life being crushed underfoot.
ICHBW: Did not attempt to boil his children in giant cauldron and toss bones to adoring legion of fans.

About this site

This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
If You Like Bunsen, Then You'll Love Bunsen