No Thriller

November 7, 2011

I hadn’t been following the trial, but happened to catch the announcement today of the verdict in the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor.  Once the judge denied bail, four bailiffs immediately handcuffed the defendant, who struggled uncomfortably while the judge and lawyers calmly discussed scheduling of the sentencing phase.  Then the judge adjourned the proceedings and the dazed convict was led out of the courtroom, which quickly emptied.  Having felt nothing but annoyance at the media coverage of Michael Jackson in general, and of this trial in particular, I was very much surprised to find myself suddenly flooded with feelings of profound sadness.  It all just seemed so small, so wasteful; such an insignificant coda to the life of a real flesh-and-blood person who died, and whose life once held such promise.  It took the neglect, lack of compassion and greed of so many people to produce the death of Michael Jackson.  That this doctor was the last one in line, and happened to get caught, doesn’t seem to matter much.  He’ll serve some portion of the maximum four-year sentence, write a book, give confessional interviews and conduct clamorous press conferences.  But for Michael Jackson who, whatever he might have become, was undeniably born with a prodigious musical gift, the rest is silence.

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