Saunders

It's over, trial groupies

Staff WriterNovember 8, 2011 

As someone whose life has been pretty much devoid of distinction, I have set modest goals.

One was to never spend money on a bottle of water - unless it had some vodka in it.

Another was to never do the Electric Slide in public.

The third was to never, ever write anything about the Conrad Murray trial.

I still have never spent a farthing on a bottle of H {-2}0 when there was a spigot within reach, and the only time I electrically slid was for charity last year when I lost a bet.

As for Murray, I was able to keep my self-imposed gag order - until I saw all of those moonwalk-lovin' morons ecstatically jumping up and down outside the courthouse when he was found "guilty" of involuntary manslaughter Monday for Michael Jackson's death.

Now, maybe those professional vigil-keepers who seemed to sprout outside the courthouse whenever the television cameras were on them can go home and get on with their lives.

Even if Murray is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison - he won't be, though: The maximum sentence he faces is four years behind bars - it won't bring Jackson back and will have minimal (make that "no") impact on their lives.

How many children do you think came home from school to an empty house or had to eat food that came from a plastic clown's mouth for dinner because their Michael-obsessed mamas were hanging outside a courthouse cheering the conviction of a man they never met because he was charged with killing another man they never met?

It was too sad to laugh over, and I didn't care enough to cry, when one woman said on the news that the guilty verdict vindicated her decision to attend every day of the trial.

What the heck did she do - put a mojo on the jury by sprinkling goober dust on their toes as they entered the courthouse?

This wailing unto the heavens and gnashing of teeth over Jackson's death would seem a lot more sincere if people had expressed their supposed love for Michael before he died. If they loved the dude so much, where were they when he was changing his whole physiognomy - a sure sign of trouble - and transforming himself before our eyes from a handsome black man to a person of indeterminate gender and ethnicity?

Where were all of these people who loved him so much when he was being accused of and admitted to sharing his bed with young children who weren't his own?

Since it has been reported that not even Tito, Jermaine and the other brothers could get regular access to the King of Pop, regular fans had no way of letting him know how troubling they found his behavior - except by doing what I did - leaving his CDs on the shelves and boycotting his concerts.

Me, I hadn't bought a Michael Jackson album since "Off the Wall," when he was still black.

Yet, when he died he was preparing for a worldwide concert tour that would have no doubt earned hundreds of millions of dollars, and he'd have kept on thinking that everything he did was cool with his loving fans. Which it was.

Tell Barry what you think at 919-836-2811 or at barry.saunders@newsobserver.com

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