child endangerment celebrity idiot of the day
Pop idol Michael Jackson has said he made a "terrible mistake," referring to an incident in which he shocked a crowd of German well-wishers by holding his six-month-old son over a fourth-floor hotel balcony to display him to the group. In latest developments, German prosecutors have said Jackson is unlikely to face charges in connection with the incident.
Of course, the child was never harmed, but Jackson's action (didja catch the movie title reference?) lacked any semblance of common sense. Recently my grandparents visited, staying at one of those hotels with a large central atrium. On the way to their room, my one-year-old wanted to look over the railing. To tell the truth, I was never comfortable with her being anywhere near the railing, but rather than risk her climbing it herself, I picked her up with both arms and held her high enough so that her face could peer over the top, down to the lobby below. She was in no danger at all--if by some chance she'd wriggled out of my arms, she couldn't have gone aywhere but the floor on which I stood--but I still felt an irrational fear on her behalf. I wouldn't have considered dangling her outside the safety of the railing, now matter how good a grip I had. And even if I had, my lovely wife would have (rightly) had something to say about it.
I haven't really listened to Jackson's music since Thriller, and although I occasionally feel sorry for the freak show his life has become, incidents like this and others lead me to conclude that Jackson's own questionable judgment is largely to blame.