So, I’ve been silent because I caught influenza type a from my granddaughter, not because I was being overly lazy. I had not had a bout of influenza since my junior year in high school, when five of our basketball team all dropped on the sidelines during practice. We were literally laying on the court, hacking our lungs out. Personally, I missed school Tuesday through Thursday that year, the first school days I had missed since I threw up in my chili during lunch in third grade. Of course, I somehow made a miraculous recovery in time for the Friday and Saturday basketball games. Only, I played sparingly on Friday, but hardly came out of the game on Saturday. Man, I wish my body recovered like that now.
So, how did I spend this downtime? Well, of course, watching trash, such as Leaving Neverland or the latest illegal escapades of R. Kelly with the great Gayle King. All of which led me to a major musical dilemma: Do I listen to these guys’ music anymore? First off, I am pretty pragmatic. I try to listen to all sides of a story before passing judgement, unless I witnessed something happening firsthand. Honestly, I wish I had NEVER watched Leaving Neverland. Not because I was a huge fan of Michael Jackson, but due to the fact that these allegations are sickening. As more and more victims begin telling their stories, I just don’t think you can deny that Michael wasn’t some sort of pervert. The stories of these men sound too close to what other victims of child sexual seduction have described. Plus, what kind of money are these victims seeking? Lord knows a documentary is not going to be source of income. Sure, there are civil suits, but those are difficult to win. How can these people not be sympathetic as long as you have compassion for other humans.
Then, there’s R. Kelly and his alleged preference for underage girls, in addition to his sex cult. That totally takes things in disturbing directions. And, when there are several women speaking out about similar things points me in the direction of a sexual predator. Now, R. Kelly is not part of my musical collection, though I remember my boys owning his CDs. So, my musical dilemma is not so much with him, though I do recognize his musical gift. But, he never held the same esteem in my collection as Michael Jackson.
And, I guess that’s why I have this debate going on in my head. Right now, I don’t think I could listen to Michael’s “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” “Beat It” or “Smooth Criminal” the same way again. I do know that I will not purge Michael from my collection, but I can honestly say that it will take a very long time to put his records back on my turntable.
Sorry! I just cannot defend either man in their situations. This is truly a couple of very sad situations all the way around. And, Lord knows that the music industry is full of past sexual peccadilloes that could end the whole industry, which is scary.