Friday, May 27


On page A3 of the front section of today's print edition of the "Houston Chronicle," there is a bizarre, troubling juxtapostion of a heart-wrenching photograph, replete with poignant caption, and, regrettably, directly below it, of a story on the Michael Jackson trial.

The photograph by Luis Sanchez Saturno of the newspaper "The New Mexican" calls to mind the poignancy of the photograph still etched in so many of our minds of the toddler "John-John" Kennedy, saluting his father as the caisson bearing President John F. Kennedy's body passed before him, his sister Caroline, and the widowed Jacqueline Kennedy, as the solemn procession moved down Pennsylvannia Avenue. Can you still hear those mournful drums? I can.

In this photo by Mr. Saturno, you see a flag-draped coffin flanked on either side by solemn-looking uniformed soldiers. In the foreground, standing erectly at a right angle to his father's coffin, is 17-month old Evan Grant, his left arm tucked behind him and his right hand holding a baby bottle to his mouth, seemingly unaware of how his life has changed. His father, Marine Lance Corporal Jonathan Grant, was killed in action in an amphibious assault on Karabilah on May 11th, and his remains have been returned to his home state of New Mexico for burial. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes -- the adult understanding that the child is now fatherless and that his life has been changed irrevocably because of his father's patriotic service to his country. That little boy will never toss a baseball with his father or bring a girl home to meet dad.

Below this touching scene of military sacrifice and the youthful innocence of a little boy is a disgusting headline about a disgusting criminal trial going on in California. The headline reads: Judge rules photos of Jackson's genitals can't be seen by jury. You'd think the "Houston Chronicle" employee who did the page lay-out could have been more sensitive and not juxtaposed the photo of sublime bravery with an article about loathesome misconduct. But who ever said the mainstream media gets it when it comes to military sacrifice.

As we enter the Memorial Day weekend, page A3 of the "Houston Chronicle" depicts the best and the worst of American life: a Marine's valor and the despicable bedroom antics of an alleged pedophile. Even if Michael Jackson is acquitted, I hold him in utter contempt, for I'm convinced at the very least that he fed alcohol to young, underage boys, showed them pornography, and took them to his bed -- a bed hidden behind closed doors with more locks on them than found on many bank vaults. Jackson is no "King of Pop"; rather, he is among the lowest of life forms. I've grown weary of his lipstick; his heavy eyeliner; his plastic surgery-effected androgynous mien; his arrogance; his self-righteousness; his histrionics atop car roofs.

That little boy in the photograph stands before his father's coffin and not, thank God, at the entrance to Neverland. His father died bravely preserving our rights, among them the right to a trial by jury and even to parading around like a horse's ass in front of T.V. cameras and turning one's self into a freak of nature. Many have died so the likes of the Michael Jacksons of this world can strut.

Jackson is threatening to leave this country if he is acquitted. If it comes to that, don't let the door hit you in your skinny ass, Michael. Go somewhere where depravity is welcomed. It's not welcomed here in the United States no matter what Hollywood and its Blue State fanciers purvey. Not yet, anyway.

Were it not for the editors of the "Houston Chronicle," I guarantee you, Michael, you would never deserve to be on the same page with patriot Jonathan Grant or the little boy he left behind.