In My Opinion: Planet Jackson is No Place For Kids
Planet Jackson is a strange and alien world. What most of us consider the laws of reality apparently don't apply there.
And what goes on in the minds of its inhabitants -- and those trapped in its gravitational pull -- is an an even greater mystery.
So it's hard to know what to make of news that the late superstar's children will be raised by his mother. A judge honored Jackson's will Thursday by awarding custody of the three children to 79-year-old Katherine Jackson
However, she remains married to 80-year-old Joseph Jackson, the family patriarch who openly admitted in 2003 that he beat his children -- confirming a sobbing interview his son gave that same year.
Katherine Jackson may have custody of the children, but Joseph Jackson casts an ominous shadow. The couple no longer lives together, but any connection to the abusive father who might have been the major contributor to the weirdness that was Michael Jackson is still a chilling thought.
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The alternative, of course, was Debbie Rowe -- Michael's ex-wife and the biological mother of 12-year-old Prince Michael and 11-year-old Paris. Then again, she never formally challenged Katherine Jackson's custody of the children. We heard that she made a bit of noise about wanting custody, but all she legally sought was an agreement defining her post-Michael parental rights. She received visitation rights in the settlement announced Thursday, but the details were not released.
She eventually regained her parental rights. Then, in 2003, she unsuccessfully petitioned for custody of the children, even though she said, in what was apparently a banner year for Jackson-related interviews, "My kids don't call me Mom because I don't want them to. They're Michael's children."
Michael himself, for all his artistic accomplishments, cut a bone-chilling image as a father. Never mind all the allegations of child molestation.Never mind the whole 27-year freak-show that was his public life as an adult. Can anyone forget how he dangled his infant son Prince Michael II (a.k.a. Blanket, his son from an unknown surrogate mother) from a Berlin balcony in 2002?
From that world to their grandmother's home is probably the best alternative Planet Jackson has to offer. Still, it is Planet Jackson.
Even gazing at it from an admittedly hazy distance, you shake your head.