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Posted at 11:17 AM ET, 12/10/2010

DADT not repealed, but, hey, Jim Morrison's free to go now

By Alexandra Petri

Joel Brodsky's photo of morrison.jpg (photo by Joel Brodsky -- Govinda Gallery)

It's been years coming. People said it would never happen.

But how wrong the nay-sayers were! Finally, all the years of service to this country will be rewarded!

This has affirmed my belief in the power of the American people to do the right thing, given sufficient time and prodding by the pop music industry.

DADT has been repeal -- No? NO?

Oh. Well.

I wrote this before checking the news, but I guess I can just use that opening to address the fact that, uh, Doors frontman Jim Morrison has been pardoned for his indecent exposure charge in Florida.

It doesn't feel quite the same, though.

Jim Morrison was pardoned forty years later?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this was a largely useless gesture. Here's a hint to future clemency boards: if the person you're pardoning is deceased, maybe don't prioritize that pardon. Sure, it's Jim Morrison, and there's the celebrity value. I can't imagine that working on the Florida clemency board is generally a particularly star-studded occupation; maybe they thought that, this time, they'd get the chance to rub shoulders with rock royalty. But I hope they weren't expecting him to turn up to accept it.

My only explanation for this is that they received information that Jim Morrison's death is indeed some sort of hoax -- there is a fair amount of controversy around it, after all -- and he's going to pop out of hiding and say, "Okay, where were we?"

But somehow I feel this is unlikely. After all, he's buried at Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, and nothing says, "I'm actually deceased," like "My body is buried at Pere Lachaise."

It's unclear what happened at that fateful concert more than forty years ago. Indecent exposure? I hear the 1960s were a bizarre time, when I assume the definition of indecent exposure was "performing a Doors concert in a public area" or "not shrouding your entire face and body in a long coat of hair," or "not bringing enough mescaline to share with everyone." Apparently, a live sheep was present at the incident in question, which sounds about right. The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek says the whole incident was a "mass hallucination," which also sounds about right, given that this occurred in 1969, and I've heard the moon landing described in a similar way.

Still, remind me never to be convicted of indecent exposure in Florida. This whole process -- having a wildly successful rock career, dying under mysterious circumstances in Paris, allowing forty years to pass, then being pardoned by Governor Crist -- is a bit too involved for my taste.

By Alexandra Petri  | December 10, 2010; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Epic Failures, Petri, That's awkward  | Tags:  Jim Morrison, oops, the 60s  
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Certainly: if constitutional matters are of no concern to you, and/or you think the fact that the violations thereof pertained to a rock star makes them less serious then...of course, the victory that having obtained the pardon represents to those that sought is irrelevant to you. For some of us less "jaded" is delightful to see that the individual still has a measure of power in this society to see justice done, if there is enough determination and tenacity involved. When JM died w/ his appeal pending, after the travesty of his "trial," FL had a 2nd opportunity (for 40 yrs!) to do the right thing....throw the whole politically motivated case out. It failed to do so, ignoring its legal obligations. Kudos to Crist, whatever his motivations,for having finally given JM some measure of justice.

Posted by: gypsysoul50 | December 11, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

DADT was only passed in 1993, so by the Jim Morrison 40-year standard, we still have 23 more years to go. However, the law that requires homosexuals be discharged from the military dates back to 1950, so maybe we're 10 years late!

DADT is just another example of how hard it is to get rid of old laws. We're choking on useless laws, like DADT, that are almost impossible to get rid of because someone always has a vested interest in every dumb, old law.

This is a great article about the old law problem:

Posted by: divtune | December 12, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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