The week begins with an update in the century-defining saga of Michael Jackson, the endlessly troubled musical genius whose life of transformation--from lower-class kid singer to monumental superstar to criminally investigated freak--may prove to be the ultimate American success story. Today ABC News dissected a bevy of freshly unveiled police reports, rich with allegations against the deposed King of Pop, each more icky than the last. According to the reports, Jackson not only served his young male guests "intoxicating agents" (white wine in Coke cans, which Jacko allegedly presented as "Jesus Juice"), he allegedly liquored up at least one young man to the point of passing out. Even more troubling is the source of the allegations: a professed eyewitness--specifically, a 9-year-old boy, who told a Santa Monica psychologist he saw Jackson "inappropriately touch" his brother--a 12-year-old cancer patient who may have been featured prominently in Martin Bashir's documentary but whom the law requires we now protect as anonymous--after the tipsy 12-year-old had lost consciousness. The younger brother also alleges that Jackson played with a mannequin of an 8- or 9-year-old girl "in a sexually suggestive manner" in front of the boys, and provided the brothers with a laptop computer, on which Jacko allegedly helped the boys find pictures of naked ladies on the Internet. According to the police reports, when the psychologist asked the alleged victim if Jackson engaged in sexual activity in front of him, the boy started crying and wouldn't answer--leaving today's allegations on the shoulders of one alleged, underage eyewitness. However, should this alleged eyewitness' testimony be corroborated by items seized during the Neverland raid--unconsumed cans of Jesus Juice, the aforementioned girl mannequin--Jackson, who has pleaded innocent to all charges for all time, could very well be toast. (On Wednesday, a California grand jury will begin plugging in the toaster, ending 13 days of top-secret deliberation by ruling that prosecutors have sufficient evidence to move forward with their case and issuing an indictment against Michael Jackson.)
TUESDAY, APRIL 20
Today brought the arrival of a hot new star on the Northwest child abuse scene, as the Seattle Times told the story of Joshua B. J. Folk, the 18-year-old Enumclaw man charged with first-degree assault after severely injuring his girlfriend's 7-month-old daughter. According to the police report and charging papers, Josh Folk was feeling under the weather on the morning of April 12, when, irritated by the cries of his girlfriend's baby, he allegedly seized the infant by both arms, swung her around to gain momentum, and slammed her into the ground. Police allege that over the next 12 hours, Folk slammed the infant to the ground two more times and threw her from his shoulders twice, after which the mom/girlfriend noticed her daughter's arms and legs "looked funny" and called for help. The baby was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Seattle, where she spent three hours in surgery, receiving treatment for nearly a dozen broken bones and being placed in the state's care. Joshua Folk remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail; the mom has been charged with nothing.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21
Meanwhile in Basra: Five suicide attackers believed to be al Qaeda operatives detonated car bombs during morning rush hour, killing 68 people (including 16 children burned to death in passing school buses) and wounding nearly 200 others.
THURSDAY, APRIL 22
Speaking of bloody death: Today the tragedy of war was given a chiseled, excessively handsome face, as Pat Tillman--the 27-year-old NFL star who earned the awe and admiration of a nation by rejecting a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers and serve in Afghanistan--was killed by enemy fire on a road near Sperah, about 25 miles southwest of the U.S. base at Khost. "My great-grandfather was at Pearl Harbor," said Tillman to NBC News the day after the attacks on New York and Washington. "A lot of my family has... gone and fought in wars [but] I really haven't done a damn thing as far as laying myself on the line like that." Lay himself on the line he did, and tragically, Tillman's grade-A American beef--all $3.6 million worth of it--has been added to the 109 other U.S. soldiers who have died during the two-years-and-counting of ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom.
FRIDAY, APRIL 23
Meanwhile in New York's Central Park: A 32-year-old preoperative transsexual and her 17-year-old boyfriend stripped themselves naked and climbed a leafy larch tree, offering cops and gawkers what New York Daily News described as a "four-hour X-rated sex spectacle." Even better, the nude loonies had a message, shouting down complaints about the portrayal of transgender people in the media, and calling for an apology on national TV. (Apparently network television portrays far too few naked transsexuals having sex in trees.) While police rushed two cherry pickers and an airbag to the scene, the lovebirds made demands: "I want my mother and my psychologist," yelled the boy, while his transgender tree-mate requested only a vanilla Diet Pepsi; when police sent up a regular diet Pepsi, the lady-in-waiting heroically hurled the can to the ground, screamed, "Vanilla!" and declared, "What I say goes!" The Daily News reports the sexy standoff ended at 8:30 p.m., when the duo voluntarily descended and embraced as onlookers cheered, before being taken away for psychiatric observation.
SATURDAY, APRIL 24
As fans of brain-dead, boob-heavy periodicals know, the music-n-misogyny mag Blender recently published its definitive list of the worst songs of all time, topped by the eminently horrible Starship smash "We Built This City." Today Last Days received an expansive Hot Tip from reader Lorraine, who responded to Blender's list with a list of her own. And while we don't make a habit of reporting unsolicited opinion, Lorraine's list was so idiosyncratically passionate we'll make an exception. Topping Lorraine's shit list is Rod Stewart, whom Lorraine blames for three of the 10 worst songs of all time--specifically #9 ("Some Guys Have All the Luck"), #6 ("Do Ya Think I'm Sexy"), and #1 ("The Motown Song"). Elsewhere, Lorraine bemoaned the labors of Air Supply, Europe, and Janet Jackson before inquiring about Last Days' worst-song contenders. Dear Lorraine: Thanks for asking. First, we're in full commiseration with the folks at Blender regarding "We Built This City." Runners-up are split between crap work from crap artists (Styx's "Mr. Roboto," Murray Head's "One Night in Bangkok") and crap work from artists who know better (Nas' "Hate Me Now," Lou Reed's "Make Up," OutKast's "Toilet Tisha"). In closing, we must insist that Janet Jackson's "Nasty" is a beat-pop masterwork, and "Who's that eatin' that nasty food?" is the most important question posed by a pop song since "Where did our love go?" Thanks for writing.
SUNDAY, APRIL 25
The week ends where it began: with Michael Jackson, who tonight made breathless headlines by firing both his attorneys less than one week before his arraignment, handily guaranteeing that his forthcoming legal proceedings are going to be more entertaining than we ever dreamed. Needless to say, stay tuned.
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