Friday, December 10, 2010

Rant #402: Give Him a Hand!

This entire week, I have written about things out of my past, such as my Little League days, the Altamont tragedy, the untimely death of John Lennon and the possible closure of my old public school.

It’s always nice to look back on things. Sometimes, time has a way of making things better, but with the stuff I wrote about regarding Altamont and Lennon’s death, time has only made these things look even more horrible.

Now we have another trip into nostalgia, to an incident that may or may not have happened.

Jim Morrison was posthumously pardoned yesterday for a 1969 indecent exposure conviction in Florida. Morrison, a Florida native, was appealing the conviction when he was found dead in a Paris bathtub in 1971 at age 27. The pardon came a day after he would have turned 67.

Outgoing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist asked for the pardon, which the Clemency Board granted unanimously. Crist said he doubts Morrison actually exposed himself during a rowdy March 1, 1969 concert at Miami's Dinner Key Auditorium. The surviving members of The Doors supported the pardon.

At a hearing on the matter, Crist called the conviction a "blot" on the record of an accomplished artist for "something he may or may not have done."

He said Morrison died before he was afforded the chance to present his appeal, so Crist was doing that for him. Board members pointed out several times that they couldn't retry the case but that the pardon forgave Morrison.

"In this case the guilt or innocence is in God's hands, not ours," Crist said.

Funny, I thought the offending body part was in Morrison’s hands.

It gets even more bizarre. Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for the legendary band, said the incident “never actually happened. It was mass hypnosis.”

Only in America …

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