Andrew O’Hagan in the London Review of Books:
Since being acquitted of child molestation charges last summer, Michael Jackson has been hanging out in Bahrain, enjoying the hospitality of the ruler’s poptastic son Sheikh Abdullah. Jackson is said to have become a Muslim (which is sure to please his critics on Good Morning America), but evidence would suggest he has yet to get the hang of Islamic custom. Not long after arriving in the famously tolerant state, he caused uproar when he entered the ladies’ loos at the Ibn Battutah Mall dressed in female headgear and positioned himself at the mirror to put on his make-up.
Jackson’s new friend has a bit of cash, and the pair have set up a record label called Two Seas Records. Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Khalifa is also the governor of Bahrain’s Southern Region, but that hasn’t prevented him finding time to write a song with Jackson’s brother Jermaine, ‘a passion-filled song that calls for world peace and global solidarity in the face of wars and disasters’. According to local correspondents, the record already has a title, ‘He Who Makes the Sky Grey’, but no release date is in sight. The king’s son has high hopes for the recording. He recently called a press conference in order to claim that the project ‘intends to bridge the gap between East and West’. Meanwhile, Jackson is in the habit of smiling widely beside his new friend. Things are going well in Bahrain. According to the Militant Islam Monitor, he is planning to build a new mosque in Manama.
More here. [Photo is a spoof from GQ.]