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Osama Bin Laden may be onto something

Law Review, Jim Porter

There’s something wrong with a culture that worships a Michael Jackson. How can our country be turned upside down, our water coolers abuzz, by an obvious publicity stunt performed on a cheesy stage during an embarrassing halftime MTV performance during the year’s highest rated TV program, whose viewers are mostly interested in the commercials – that cost more than $4 million a minute?

I have never understood the obsession the world has with celebrities. Who cares what bizarre outfit Madonna uses to enhance her career and how she has changed as a doting mother? And why do we want to know how many nips and tucks Cher has had? What went wrong with J. Lo and Ben? Or Bennifer, if you prefer. What do you think is the key to Emimen’s music success? P. Diddy’s lyrics are better, right? Do you think Simon is sincere on American Idol? Will naked Richard win on Survivor again? Who will Donald Trump fire next on The Apprentice? What was Britney thinking?

Do you think Anna Nicole Smith was in any way influenced by the fact that J. Howard Marshall II was an oil tycoon billionaire when she began dating him and later inherited his fortune? Explain the success of her Web page.

It’s one thing to read People magazine at the dentist’s office, but do you subscribe? Does anyone admit to subscribing to People – other than “for the office?”

I’m OK with People. But not Michael Jackson. What is it with the fixation on such a freak? There are plenty of equally-talented performers. Gary Coleman comes to mind.

Does it mean anything that Michael Jackson admits he likes to sleep with little boys, that he paid $25 million in 1994 to settle the claims of a 13-year old who described his sexual encounters with the King of Pop? That he is in and out of drug rehab? What kind of a parent takes their young son to Neverland and let’s them spend the night in Michael’s bedroom? An answer that comes to mind is a parent soon to be rich.

In preparation for this insightful column, I purchased my first Vanity Fair magazine. Searching for the index brought to mind one of my pet peeves, magazines that put their index well into the magazine, for Vanity Fair it was on page 18. Of course, it caused me to flip through 18 pages of advertisements, all over-the-edge male models that look more like Pee Wee Herman on steroids than the Marlboro Man, and bronzed female models in seductive poses. My favorite was the skinny blonde stretched out on the desert clutching her Louis Vuitton bag (like a canteen), wearing only parts of a see-through dress and bejeweled high heels. Apparently waiting for Omar Sharif. Either that or her next heroin hit.

The Vanity Fair teaser read: “Maureen Orth uncovers disturbing new twists, from charges that the King of Pop plied kids with porn and soda cans filled with ‘Jesus juice’ (wine) to the falsetto that rings false.”

Please don’t rush out and buy this magazine. The story would bore a hole in a sidewalk. Every other word is “alleged” and “it is reported.” It is a “hit piece” masked in documentary format. If you have to read it, I will send you my copy, don’t buy the magazine.

I know I am jumping off the cliff here, but while I was trying not to watch the Super Bowl halftime show, I think just before the bare breast incident, about when the singer kept grabbing his crotch, I had this sick feeling that maybe, just maybe, Osama Bin Laden, the despicable cave-dweller, might just be onto something. Either that or I am really getting cranky.

Next week we will return to the law, something we can at least pretend to know a little about.

Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter–Simon, with offices in Truckee, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. He is a mediator and was the Governor’s appointee to the Bipartisan McPherson Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. He may be reached at porter@portersimon.com or at the firm’s Web site http://www.portersimon.com.


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