Burt Prelutsky

In case you were off on a different planet and hadn’t heard the news, Michael Jackson died. It was a tragedy. Not that this piece of human rubbish had died, but that the media, including Fox News, carried on as if it was a major loss to mankind.

This was, one, a man who had tried to turn himself, through weird chemicals and plastic surgery, into a white version of a black man and a male version of Diana Ross. Then, for good measure, he was a pedophile and a loon. But I guess if a person can moon walk, nothing else really matters. Frankly, though, his talent in dancing backwards didn’t seem like such a big deal. Unlike Ginger Rogers, who, as they used to say, could do everything Fred Astaire did, but do it backwards and in high heels, Jackson only managed to do it wearing a lady’s glove.

His death did strike home for me, though, the weekend after he died. I discovered that the $100,000-a-month mansion in which he died was just behind the home where I regularly play tennis. You would not believe the crowds that swarmed around the place, as if it was a sacred shrine. The scene would have warmed the hearts of pedophiles everywhere.

Jackson was sold to the world as Peter Pan, the little tyke who just never grew up. But, if Peter Pan had even faintly resembled this androgynous freak, Mr. and Mrs. Darling would have been brought up on charges for allowing their kids to accompany him to Never Never Land.

In a way, the entire sideshow was reminiscent of the grief displayed when Princess Di passed away in the distinguished company of an Arab playboy. But this was even worse because Lady Di was not a villainess, and these heartbroken shmoes were mainly Americans, not Brits, and could therefore vote in our elections.

Speaking of voting, there were only two surprises in the House vote for the insane Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade Bill. The first surprise was that, in spite of Obama’s arm-twisting, 44 Democrats had a sufficient amount of nerve and integrity to oppose its passage. The other surprise was that eight Republicans voted for it. If even just four of them hadn’t sold out America along with their principles, it would have been voted down. The eight, for those of you keeping a list until the next election, were John McHugh (New York), Dave Reichart (Washington), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Mike Castle (Delaware), Mary Bono Mack (California) and, from New Jersey, Frank LoBiondo, Chris Smith and Leonard Lance.

One can’t help wondering what Obama offered to get the three Jerseyites on board. Perhaps it was the promise not to let the Justice Department go after the Mafia. All that we know for certain is that for those eight turncoats, the “R” after their name stands for Rat.