Still working on paper; looks like it's going to be a long night. But as I always like to point out, there is a point when it's just over. By tomorrow, for better or worse, it's either done or it's not, and either way, it's over. This too shall pass, etc.
Haven't read my friends list in about two months now due to crazy workload, so I don't know what the Michael Jackson reaction at large is, but mine's... complicated. From what I'm reading, it seems like the prosecution screwed up in huge, huge ways (they didn't even prep Debbie Rowe? They just put her up there with no idea what she might say?) The prosecution also seems to have let several shining examples of bias slip onto the jury ("A family member of his worked for Jackson’s doctor; and he’s met Michael Jackson"; "Juror no. 7 is a single college student, who is wheelchair-bound because of cerebral palsy. He visited Neverland Ranch when he was 6-years-old as part of a cerebral palsy group. He said Jackson has been mistreated by the media"). Seriously, I can't believe Tom Sneddon chased this guy for ten years like Ahab, to the point where Jackson actually wrote a song bagging on him, and he gets his chance and he and the prosecution blow it like this.
The jurors, from what I'm reading, also seem to be fixated on the mother and some instance of her snapping her fingers at the jury box (the context of this is unclear, but she seems to have been gesturing towards a Hispanic juror and saying, "This is how it is in our culture," and this massively offended the whole jury for some reason). The problem is that the mother is pretty clearly a huckster on her own, what with the attempt at shaking down J.C. Penney a while before, but the fact that she may have offered her kid up willingly doesn't change the fact that something might have actually happened to him.
I don't know. I have to say that I think the system worked, as we were discussing over at another board, because a defendant was not convicted on shoddy evidence. But even one of the jurors has very openly said, "I don't think he's necessarily an innocent man." I think something was going on at that ranch, even if it wasn't that particular time with that particular boy. But because the case has been so spectacularly botched, I don't think that Michael Jackson will ever be held accountable for any of it, or that we'll even know for sure what he did.
Meanwhile, I don't know if y'all are reading about the Natalee Holloway case, but when I was at Yahoo, her name was right under Jackson's on the Full Coverage links, so I guess it's safe to say that she's hit the mainstream American media as well. For those of you not keeping up with American news, Natalee is a girl from the Ham (actually, she's from Mountain Brook, the suburb next door to mine. Vaguely pretentious, but has good shopping) who went missing in Aruba. My mom and I are true crime buffs, so we've been doing the armchair detective thing for a week now--which is dangerous when you're not, you know, an actual detective with access to actual evidence; theories in the neighborhood have run anywhere from "sold into sex slavery" to "killed by the Dutch kid in his car." But now they've actually found some... clothing of hers, and they're draining a "sinkhole," according to the local news, in the middle of a dense mango grove. Things are not looking good. I have to say, though, that I heart her mother for the way she's handled the whole thing. She's been very diplomatic as Aruba moved from "doing everything we can for the family" to "doing everything we can, as long as that does not actually involve telling them the truth, because did we mention this kid's father is a prominent judge?," but she said, "I am not leaving this island without my daughter. I want her and I want her now." Rather than point fingers or accuse anyone of holding out, she simply put her foot down and demanded the one thing that lies could not deliver. If they want Beth Holloway Twitty to leave that island, they're gonna have to find Natalee, and if they want to find her, this Dutch kid and his two friends are gonna have to start fessing up.
And apparently they have--one of the security guards who was initially arrested said that he spoke to the oldest kid, and the kid basically said, "Sorry about all this, man--we know you had nothing to do with it. The story we told about dropping her off at her hotel and handing her over to a guard was a lie." The problem with this is that, under Dutch/Aruban law, apparently you're guilty until proven innocent, as it were, not the other way around (if I'm understanding this correctly), and you can't be arrested unless you've got some seriously compelling evidence against you. So when these two guards were arrested, we all thought, "Oh, man, they must have found some clothing or some blood or something." Well, guess what? My guess is that they were arrested on the basis of... this judge's son's story. In fact, the guards are saying that they're now going to sue for false imprisonment. I don't want to get all wild with the conspiracy theories, but I would not be surprised if it came out that this boy's father put some pressure on the locals to get the (white) boy and his Surinamese friends off and pin the whole thing on the two (black) Aruban guards. As the latest article itself says, "Holloway Twitty said if she did not see results soon, she might start to believe authorities were trying to protect the young men, who told police they took Holloway to a beach after an evening of dancing and drinking, hours before she disappeared." Or maybe the locals didn't need to be pressured; they were terrified that their one main industry, tourism, would be shot all to hell if they didn't come up with something quickly. But of course the problem with that is that lies don't find a body. So here we are.
The reason I really do think Aruba wasn't being honest about the whole thing is because I happened to see the first couple of minutes of a Geraldo thing on CNN where he was live! in Aruba! I couldn't watch the rest because of the smarm, but my mother did, and she said that Geraldo asked the parents what their reaction to the discovery of blood in the boy's car was, and the poor Twittys were like, "The who in the what now?" Seriously, the police had not told them about it. They had to hear it from Geraldo.
(I hate to sound flippant about the whole thing, but I do love the fact that Geraldo starts out his whole special with the declaration that "we are going to find out what really happened. TONIGHT." You know, like the accused are going to turn to each other and go, "OH SHIT, MAN, IT'S GERALDO! Well, damn, we've got to tell the truth now! Shit.")
In book related news--"OH SHIT!" made me think of the point I'm about to roll around to--all the edits and the acknowledgements and miscellaneous bits are in. I think page proofs are the next step. Things seem to be going well. My grandmother, by the way, approves of my pseudonym, which surprises me, but she thinks that "Cleolinda Jones" is "sassy." Of course, she's also my maternal grandmother, so it's not like she's particularly attached to my surname. However, my mother is starting to fret about the whole What Will Your Grandmother Say? issue that every single writer on God's green earth has to face at some point. "Did you say fuck a lot?" she asks. "Because that's really going to upset a lot of people. I mean, that's the one word that really gets a lot of people."
Well, not people who watch a lot of R-rated movies, including but not limited to the oeuvre of Quentin Tarantino, Serious Independent Drama, and just about every "hard" action movie on the block these days, but... "Well, I mean... I don't remember exactly, but... well, I mean, less than I did in, say, some of the online stuff. I mean--some of these movies actually have actual cusswords! It's part of the material to be parodied!"
"But what if parents catch their kids reading--"
"IF THEIR KIDS ARE TOO YOUNG TO READ THE WORD 'FUCK,' THEY ARE TOO YOUNG TO HAVE SEEN THE MOVIES ANYWAY, SO IT DOESN'T MATTER."
"Well... yeah. Okay. But you didn't say anything bad in movies where the movies weren't rated R, did you?"
"Well... uh... I am sure that Gandalf would have said 'fuck' if it were commonly used in Middle-earth..."
Yeah, I got nothin'. I really did try to tone it down, if only because cusswords are kind of the easy way out when you're looking for a punchline and I wanted to bring my A game and all that, but... you know, sometimes it's just there. And I know that what y'all would say--and have said, the last time I wrote about this--is that I have to be true to myself and my writing and write the funniest parody possible, et cetera, et cetera, but--"It's easy for them to say," says my mother, "because their grandmother isn't the pope of the Baptist church." So there it is. Shit.
ETA: As far as the book release itself goes, I can't get into many details, mostly because I don't want to jinx anything. Suffice it to say that it will be available outside the U.S.--Orion is a British publisher, after all--and that I will make it as easy as possible for anyone who wants it to find it, trust me. Can't say more than that until I know more, however.