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Friday, March 10, 2006

Jackson ordered to close Neverland - Yahoo! News


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If Yahoo and Reuters report it, it got to be true.

Michael Jackson ordered to close Neverland


ABC M-o-n-ey

ABC, it's easy as 1,2,3 come up with the dough, re, mi
1, 2, 3, or your fantasy's history, closed you see, by Californi-e

They wanna do it, wanna do it, wanna do it, wanna do it

You got court costs, even though you were once the tops
Special glove, moonwalk and those thriller shots, on the rocks, off the pops.

They had to do it, had to do it had to do it,

You need to pay back wages and those worker's comp insurance comp
Like any other employer, gotta act like your the boss,

The state can't let you goof around, if a tiger eats your staff
Then they have to pay for everything, all on your be half

ABC, its easy as 123, Randy has some Dough Re Mi, now,
Janet so does she, sell a glove or two, Ebay see, the whole country, the world could be
all you need it to be.

Buy a lion or a tiger or a monkee or an album signed by you,
Maybe a Beatles song right, maybe one or two......

Parody copyright 2006 by the Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire and Commentary and the Writer, All Rights Reserved.
Music Rights to the Original Non-Parodied song, belong to others.

That's right, there is trouble in Neverland. Michael's continuing legal problems seem to have drained the till. As a long-time fan who has always hoped that he was innocent of the charges of sexual abuse levied against him, I have found the continued smoke darning if not damning.

That doesn't mean that I have given up thinking that his musical and dancing talent was one of the greatest of the last 40 years, with Thriller remaining the top selling album of all time. Thriller happens not to be my favorite piece of his work, though I like it very much. I happen to tend towards the early Jackson years when he was doing what I wanted to be doing at about the same age, traveling around the country as the little lead singer of a rock/soul band - my blond hair nonwithstanding.

Living in Chatham till I was 9 (1969) I grew up hearing and loving a different diet of music than most Chicago Irish kids. The Jackson 5 were my favorites, even though I think their cartoon did not hit until after we moved, but that did not stop me from loving many other songs that my new neighbors were completely unfamiliar with when we moved to a nearly all - Irish neighborhood.

My music knowledge was low on the Beatles, Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Mommas and The Poppas, or anything that smacked of acid rock. But nearly anything current in soul was familiar. Sometimes four to eight of us would gather in the school entrance way right outside our two-flat which echoed and have a little concert with hose-ends and hair brushes or afro-combs as microphones.

"Can you surrey, Can you Picnic? Come on Do-own to the Stone Soul Picnic. Surrrey Down..."

"My Girl" -
The Temptations. W sometimes, because we all wanted a little one, sang this as "My Dog", hoping that our parents would get the hint and get us a puppy. Sadly it never worked for any of our households, the fact that we all lived in apartments or 2-flats with 2-6 kids being a large factor in the equation.

It went something like this:

My Dog. All I want is My Dog. My Dog. Boooo Hoooo. All I want is my dog. Just a little puppy...My Dog.

Or words to that effect it went on and on and on. Unlike other songs in which we tried to do a decent job, we tended to wail this in the most pathetic way possible, it was either tearjerking or hysterically funny to the adults or both. Only later would I draw a connection between the gallons of allergy medicine we were putting down annually and our lack of a K-9 companion, which in my case would be, not look like, be Lassie. Or a St. Bernard Puppy. Have you ever seen a newborn St. Bernard puppy? They are so CUTE at that stage when you can't possibly imagine that the tiny puppy with the soulfull eyes might grow to be a 300 lb beamouth of sloppy love drool and danger to furniture anywhere (but very, very handy in a snowstorm or if you have a toboggan.) My grandma had 4, 3 at once. They were really my aunt's dogs, but you know how that story goes.

"If I Had a Hammer"
Church, Everybody, Someone must have released this. After all it was in all the marches.

"Stop! In the Name of Love, Before you break my heart"
Diana Ross & The Supremes

"Heat Wave"
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

"Be my, be my baby, be my pretty baaby" -
The Ronettes? (Stop acting, like a little baby, you know you are, driving me a little crazy, get your own drink you're John Phillip Swaze* your turn for diapers now don't be laaazy...) We could be cruel, especially if we wanted to get out of changing a #2 diaper. *He was in the Timex "It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin' quoted by certain area parents after sending their child after a "switch"and using it, supposedly a humorous commedy to soften the memory of the switchen'.
Fortunately, the phrase "Go out and get me a switch seemed to be completely absent from American Irish culture.

"Soul Man"
Sam& Dave Again Revised to Coal Man since we and several others still had coal deliveries. We just sang Coal Man do do do do do do do do do over and over again with no thought to other lyrics since we were not singing with a record player anyway.

"I Heard it Through the Grape Vine"
Marvin Gaye

"Amen" From "Lillies of the Valley" with Sidney Poitier

Of course we added a little white bread. "Windy", "Ding, Dong the WITCH is Dead", "Born Free" and the Mary Poppins/Cinderella canon which we had all seen.

The Jackson 5 came in on TV just at the very end of the era, capturing my attention just as I had felt that I had lost touch with the roots of my old neighborhood and so songs like ABC, I'll Be There, Going Back to Indiana, Never Can Say Goodbye, and Rockin' Robin were more than just highly danceable songs that were almost too much fun, even Ben, in a wierd way. They were a tie, a kind of tether, to the neighborhood, friends and music I had left behind; many of whom left themselves for safer black neighborhoods.

Album cover

(I have since wondered whether the Movie Ben was not the start down a long strange path for Michael and whether he had been better off giving that one a pass just as some women should never play Blanche DuBois in Tenesse Williams A Streetcar Named Desire for the scars it leaves them during and after the show - was Ann Margaret ever really the same after her stint as Blanche?)

Of course, if stories about iron-fisted Joe are true, that is enough to explain everything. Every little thing, as those abused at a young age often face severe personality problems as a result, forcing them to write blogs and things, er run for public office I meant.

To get a more complete bio on the J5, try here.

So, given all of that, you can see why I might be in the "Say it isn't so, Michael"camp. And he did, and was aquitted, and in this country that should be enough.

But somehow it isn't. We think nothing of Brad and Angela adopting a child out of wedlock, who does not speak English and is pretty much as unprotected as any child
is staying with unrelated actor adults. Yet we think nothing of it. Why? Well, we like them, even if Brad did dump JA for AJ, that is no sign of wierdness. Some might even, given the J's in question find that perfectly understandable. I find it typical actor selfish behavior and hope they treat the child like a treasure.

But MJ is different. He has spent a career being different. Gave up his childhood to be different, or perhaps one could say to some degree had it taken from him, and spent a good deal of the last 10 years trying to get it back. If he was not guilty, he was pretty darn naive not to get parental consent to tape those sleepovers.

But I think the point may be that he may now be that naive, and may have regressed to the point where he felt childlike to the point that he lost track of the reality of the differences in the ages between himself and his guests. I would not be surprised at all to learn that these sleepovers had nothing to do with sex and everything to do having the childhood now that he was never allowed then, pillow fights, comics, cookies and flashlights under the covers, even (the visitor's) mom down the hall playing both mother's mom's.

This also fits into him being one of the youngest children and not getting enough mom attention because of other younger children to take care of and the demands of older, more powerful brothers and his father.

So, is the closing of Neverland, even temporarily a horrible blow for Mr. Jackson, or is it the end of a phase now better left behind? Perhaps neither, Perhaps both. It is a shame however that the busloads of supervised children who used to come here will no longer be able to enjoy the Neverland that Jackson dreamed of, if he never quite attained it in the long run.

Here's an abstract of the story, click the headline to see the whole thing.

Jackson Ordered To Close Neverland

By Dan Whitcomb Thu Mar 9, 8:23 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -

Michael Jackson was ordered to shut down his Neverland Valley Ranch on Thursday by California authorities who have fined the pop star $169,000 for failing to pay his employees or maintain proper insurance.


Jackson's sprawling ranch in the central California foothills was closed, at least temporarily, by an agent of the State Labor Commissioner after the office discovered that his worker's compensation policy had lapsed in January.

Fryer said local animal welfare officials had been asked to care for the inhabitants of Neverland's zoo.


The order prohibits Jackson from employing anyone at the 2,800-acre (1,130-hectare) ranch until the insurance issues are resolved, Fryer said. 'So it looks like this would mean for Neverland Valley Ranch that they would be closed down.'

Jackson on Thursday was fined $69,000, or $1,000 per employee, for allowing his insurance to lapse. Earlier this week, authorities cited him for violating state labor law by failing to pay at least 30 employees since December of 2005. A letter for that citation imposes a $100,000 fine and demands that he make good on $306,000 in unpaid wages.

So this could be it for Neverland, but we should not forget the words of Sean Connery's James Bond "Never Say Never Again."

After, MJ could marry again, and the way Hollywood and Music relationships go, you never know who might be available...

MJ and Britney Spears at the Golden Globes

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