Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's Not That I Don't Care, But...

Frankly, I don't care all that much that Whacko Jacko is free to resume his bizarre life and lifestyle. The evidence against him simply didn't hold up. I would have been surprised had he been found guilty of the most serious charges against him.

I have no doubt that Michael Jackson flirts with convention and propriety and that he may well be guilty of some or all of the things that he has been accused of. I'm just not convinced that he was guilty of the charges involving the current complainants. And there's the rub.

What frightens me is that anyone, anywhere, can make accusations against anyone else. The charges don't have to be true. They don't have to be provable. They can be completely unfounded. They just have to be made. The accusations don't even have to be formal charges in court. They can be simple gossip. They can be accusations made in print. They can take the form of anonymous 'tips' to any number of law enforcement groups or even to the IRS in the United States or Revenue Canada here at home. The very fact that a charge or an accusation has been made is often enough to wreck a career, cause divorce and family disruption and even destroy a life, sometimes literally.

What to do? The problem is that there are miscreants everywhere who want to hurt and tear down anyone who has anything that they themselves find unattainable. Sometimes, they simply want to make money by selling books or by looking for monetary judgments in lawsuits and don't care who they hurt in the process.

In every life, in yours and mine, there are moments which can turn around and bite us in the derriere. Everyone we do business with, everyone we sleep with, everyone we marry, everyone we interact with in any way, can harm us. The vast majority of people we interact with are wonderful people and wish nothing but the best for us. It's that tiny minority we need to be concerned about.

Why should we worry? Most of us will never be falsely accused. Most of us will never have to defend ourselves in a court of law. Most of us will never know what it is like to suffer through the upset and trauma that arises from legal action or scrutiny by any number of government agencies, each of which can cause us irrevocable harm. How many people lose everything through divorce, because one spouse, in order to inflict one last indignity, charges the other with child abuse? How many people utter false charges against someone in order to exact revenge against former partners or spouses or even just some guy down the block. The media is full of such stories.

Is the only solution to trust no-one, interact with no-one, live like a hermit? I don't want to live like that. Do you?

Is there an answer to the problem? As long as parents and schools teach children to 'be themselves,' and to generally go through life feeling they can say and do anything with impunity, the problem isn't going to go away. What has to happen instead?

Every child has to learn these basic truths:
  • Every action has a consequence, sometimes inconsequential, sometimes life-altering.
  • It feels much worse when the same hurt you did to someone else, is done back to you.
  • A vengeful action affects not just your immediate target but potentially family, friends and others as well.
I don't want criminals, especially child molesters, on the streets. I also don't want a society where people act with hate and malice and deliberately hurt others with spurious charges and accusations.

Yeah, I know. Fat chance.


  1. Now that Wacko Jacko is back, isn't it strange how American justice in the land of the free, seems to favour high profile miscreants. Among these are OJ, Toby Bryant,Errol Flynn, (Shorty) Arbuckle, Charlie Chaplin, and that little squirt who played the hard as nails cop with a pet parrot. You get my point. Makes you wonder if Martha Stewart got a raw deal.

  2. It is true that icons (whether via fame or infamy) appear to get special treatment under the law. It is also true that they make bigger targets and attract attention from loonies of every description. Comes with the territory, I guess.

    Martha Stewart definitely got a bum deal.

  3. I just had an argument with six people around my work lunchroom table who were lamenting that 'the freak got off'. yeah.. cause they know so much better than twelve jurors and a wack-load of 'evidence'.

    "Well, he's been a freak for years."
    "You are gonna send a man to jail for eighteen years because he's different? You better straighten up that earring wearing son of yours."

    Whether or not I think he did it or didn't, the American people have to trust their justice system and believe that those jurors took great effort in looking over what they were given to come to the conclusion that there was reasonable doubt.

    The prosecution obviously believed they had a case, or wanted to believe, which makes me more apt to believe him innocent. When testing a hypothesis, one must be prepared to have to throw out what one believed and hoped for in the presence of truth. If American justice says that Jackson is innocent, then so be it, because from here on in, it is.

    On a side note.. you know what was truly evident, in my personal opinion? That Jackson was being tried in the media by a very angry, vindictive lynch mob. And CNN presented this like tabloid trash.. CNN!

    He didn't 'beat the rap'. He was tried by his peers, in accordance with American law and found innocent of all charges. God help American justice if ignorant bandwagoneers like those in my lunchroom ever make it to a jury. Thank God there is a selection process.