Video: Michael Jackson Minus Mystique

The brief clip shows Jackson being questioned in 1996...


For a few brief moments, Michael Jackson is a man without mystique.

He is a man with a common name who is being questioned on his behavior and activities with children.

His face, so often the subject of much conversation and ridicule, is captivating for another reason: it seems filled with a humanity, good or ill, that any of us can identify with and understand.

Eyes looking side to side, mouth curled in disbelief; there are no graceful spins or sugestive thrusts. All of these movements seem to intimate in that they are so regular.

There is nothing performative in the footage; the camera's function is not intended to manipulate an image for the purpose of celebrity; it is present as a matter of course in the documenting of a legal procedure.

The audio is clear, but not of high quality; the recording equipment is of a functional nature, tools meant to aid law enforcement in assessing a man or woman's guilt or innocence.

For a few brief, moments the man on screen is simply a man; reacting as any person would who feels they have been wrongly accused.

The question left to echo in our minds: Should this man be believed?

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