While personally I find the last option most appealing -- for what is Michael Jackson now, if not Andy Warhol with a whole lot of money and a severely impaired ability to discern the real from the fantastic? -- it’s most likely that the whole thing was a rather inept combination of self-delusion, a keen sense of how best to drive up sales when touring’s out of the question, and a misguided stab at “sending a message” to Sony.

BUT THE Future is a scary place, so the hell with it. I’m with MJ. This is clearly just another case of the racism that runs rampant throughout the music business. How else to explain the disappearance into history of Controversy, the album I pulled out of the cassette box this week? No, not Prince’s Controversy, which always gets the early-Prince holla from critic-types even though Dirty Mind is clearly the superior album. No, I mean Controversy, the 1989 album by Willie Dee, late of the Geto Boys.

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