Thursday, Feb 19, 2009
Following the bold portrayal of a former Hare Krishna devotee as Michael Jackson in a manipulated version of his 1987 album Bad, religious leaders the world over have condemned both the rancid illustration and the anonymous artist involved. Members of International Shiva Council based in Maui, Hawaii, have been rallying the island's popular beaches, handing out matchboxes and print-outs of the said illustration, modified to include the words "death to infidels".
Offending cover contrasted with other contemporary examples of alleged blasphemy.
Sources tell the artist has fled to Denmark and now lives in a burrow on the plains somewhere south of Copenhagen, now a participant in a high-level witness identity protection program of Danish Security Intelligence Service (DSIS). "It was like the Mohammed comic strip episode all over again, only ten times worse," said a representative for the Ministry of Interior, declining to comment on government involvement in the artist's protection.
A representative for International Shiva Council of Latter-day Michael Jacksons (SCLAMJA), a new religious organization who reveres Michael Jackson as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, compared this to the 1967 outrage caused by the cover of Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix, in which the musician's face was superimposed to an old Hindu painting depicting the universal form of God. Readers who are not old hippies may also be reminded of the cover of Aerosmith's 1997 album Nine Lives, depicting Krishna dancing atop the many-hooded Kaliya-snake with his head replaced with a cat's.
Michael Jackson, currently visiting the Never-Never Land, was unavailable for comment. A press release from the artist's public relations office notes in a jovial tone that if Mr. Jackson is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, despite the fact that he really wants to be Peter Pan, then surely he wishes for all his little friends to be Supreme Personalities of Godhead too. Or in the now God's own words, "Why can't you share your bed? That's the most loving thing to do, to share your bed with someone." (DP)