he might be an irrelevant, washed-up, creepy-looking weirdo to most of us, but if the past week teaches us anything, it's that no one creates news quite like Michael Jackson. From tabloids like the Sun (check the British rag of the same name at www.the-sun.co.uk for truly outrageous, incendiary headlines) and the cover of every daily newspaper to "respectable" media outlets like the BBC, Jacko's recent arrest for alleged sexual molestation has received blanket coverage. The World Wide Web is no different. If anything, it thrives on this kind of scandal.
Where once we would have had to turn to muckraking sites like The Smoking Gun ( www.thesmokinggun. com ) to see Jackson's unsettling mug shot, his face is now inescapable online and in the real world.
In fact, online (and Thailand, oddly) might be the only place where Jackson is seen as a legitimate celebrity. There are thousands of Save Michael Web sites, and undoubtedly more are being created every day. Even the gloved one himself has gotten into the mood, launching his own tawdry I'm Innocent site (see below).
Of course, much more interesting are the unofficial, considerably less honourable things done on the Web in Jackson's name. No one wants to contribute to the already overwhelming avalanche of Jackson-mania, but these should help keep you entertained until the big trial.
Extraordinarily, a site set up explicitly by Jacko to deal with the allegations. Rather than speak to anyone face to face (insert nose joke here), Jackson is issuing statements online. So far, aside from a curly signature, all the site offers is the explanation that the allegations are based "on a big lie." Excellent. www.mjworld.net
Whenever scandal arises, Jackson's loyal fans follow, promising vigils, swearing their support and quoting lyrics from classics like You Are Not Alone. Sites like this and www. emjweb. com/ are instructive for the fans' sheer ability to remove themselves from the real world. Check the 24 pages of fan support letters for a laugh.
What's so odd about this site is its sci-fi/New Age overtones. They call MJ "The Way To The Future." You can also book an MJ look-alike for your holiday party and bid on a pair of his shoes.
Michael Jackson's ranch. This is just plain creepy.
Proudly hosting the first allegations about Michael Jackson's extra-curricular activities.
The history of Michael Jackson's face. No matter how many times you see this, it's still funny.
Spot Michael Jackson's nose. Harder than you think.
The Michael Jackson baby-catching game. Hustle around with a basket and try to catch young children as Jacko dangles them off a balcony.
The snarky Brit gossip site recently ran a collection of classic Jackson jokes, all in extremely poor taste. Try not to laugh.
Home of Jackson's good friend (and accomplished spoon bender) Uri Geller. If anyone knows if Jacko did it, Uri does.