While the world I live in celebrates the holiday with all its partying and eating and shopping and connecting with family and friends, a good friend of mine is sitting in a jail cell so small that he can’t do push-ups on the side of his bed. He was just told that the Time Allowance Committee at his Elmira Correctional Facility home that he won’t be home for Christmas or anytime soon. The committee that was supposed to define how much longer he is to remain inside will not even see him. It is unclear what this means, unclear as to how long he will remain in jail. Usually people given a 10 to 20 year sentence are released after 14 years.
Michael Alig killed a man a long time ago and has been incarcerated for his crime for over 16 years. I won’t defend his crime, his actions subsequent to that crime, and even most of the things he did leading up to the crime. Michael was a train wreck who wrecked many other lives including the family of his victim Angel Melendez who will miss Angel terribly this coming Christmas. There were many others that Michael influenced in a negative way. Young adults ran away from home, did drugs and got into all sorts of trouble because of Michael’s Club Kid movement. His bad behavior cannot be trivialized—yet, he did do some incredible things.
His Club Kid movement pushed the boundaries of music and fashion forward as pre-reality TV couldn’t get enough of those wild kids and their wild outfits. We were a nation of rubberneckers looking at the car crash that we thought the club kids were. Clubs paid big money to have them involved. There were club kid movements and super stars in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, and on and on. The runways of the last 16 years have been influenced by Michael’s following as well as Leigh Bowery’s and other bright lights who have now been turned off. If you go out these days you will see the spectacle again. It is a bit sanitized and it lacks the evil twist that a drug addled Michael brought to the game when his drugs of choice moved from Ex to Heroin.
I have used this analogy a zillion times before, but Michael went from being a Luke Skywalker to a Darth Vader. The drugs and his new bad attitude kept me away from my friend Michael for a long time. Over the years I reconnected while he was inside. He is back to being Luke and I adore him. I’ve never quite forgiven him and he has never forgiven himself. There have been movies and magazine articles and TV shows and documentaries and even a new musical which tell of the sensational club kid murderer and his just rewards. There are blogs where his friends and fans find out the latest news and Michaels latest endeavors.
He is painting and some say his work is worth something. He is writing and one day a book may come of it. He is corresponding and getting in shape. He has a boyfriend and tons of other developed relationships maintained via mail and occasional visits. He is clear-headed and no longer a danger to society. I believe Michael is remorseful and rehabilitated. In the past I have stated I didn’t feel that way, but now he is ready, in my opinion to join the living. Others disagree I guess and I must respect the process, and there is little I can do.
So, Merry Christmas. I hope I’m not banned because of this article, but I believe I have a right to my opinion. Oh, It’s my opinion and does not reflect the opinion necessarily of Blackbook Magazine. I always wanted to say that.