Will Gary Glitter be pardoned by the Vietnamese today?
Today’s Lunar New Years Day for folks in China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, and pretty much all the cool Asian countries thereabouts.
It’s the Year of the Rat–but for Gary Glitter, it may still be the year of the Pig, as the Vietnamese traditionally give amnesty to a slew of criminals, even sex offenders, of which he is one.
Every year at major national holidays, the Vietnam President authorises amnesty for prisoners. In two weeks time, Vietnam will ring in the Lunar New Year, or Tet, the Southeast Asian country’s most important celebration.
“My client is on the list for Tet amnesty consideration and I expect to hear the final decision in a few days,” lawyer Le Thanh Kinh told Reuters in Ho Chi Minh City.
“If he is amnestied he will be released very soon, probably next week,” Kinh said.
I love love love Glitter’s rock and roll songs from the Seventies–a shameless opportunist in the best possible way, he gave glam rock a much-needed Neanderthal thud, some rockabilly swagger, and some camp and levity, just when it was threatening to become as pompous as before it had merely pretended to be. He caused a ricochet backlash in the glitter rock community that caused T. Rex to go funk, Bowie to get even darker, Sweet to go harder, and pretty much everybody else to jump the glam rock regatta entirely for the Next Big Thing. Plus he gave me the only song I really liked hearing when I had to work at Driller Stadium in my youth, “Rock and Roll Part II.”
But does that mean I think he should be pardoned, just because he’s a rocker? Of course the answer is no… but then again, it’s not like he hasn’t paid at least some of his dues, being locked up in jail for two years. It’s terrible to molest children, but have you seen how skinny he looks in his photos? He probably doesn’t get fed very well, nor treated with the kindest of courtesies by the same folks who tortured John McCain for five years.
If we’re looking solely at his crimes in Vietnam, of molesting some teenagers at his villa, then perhaps we might see why getting out a little early would make sense. His behavior isn’t that much different from Jerry Lee Lewis or Ted Nugent or Jimmy Page, who, though loathsome, never saw a jail cell, and even had their relationships with teens somewhat recognized and applauded by the public. I’m not saying it’s right, but I’m not saying it deserves life in prison (or the harsh sentencing that I would approve for someone molesting a prepubescent child).
Knowing Gary Glitter’s history, though, of evading trial in various countries, or being kicked out of Cambodia and Cuba for perversity (can you imagine how bad he must have been there?), we know that releasing him would be simply releasing a monster. He wouldn’t get out and do rock shows. He’d get out, move to Hong Kong, and pay low, dastardly people a lot of money to set him up with children and send him kiddie porn. I say let him stew in a Vietnamese jail cell a little longer.
Update: while researching Gary’s diarrhea in Vietnam, I learned that the defendants in his trial were actually only ELEVEN years old at the time of his raping/molesting them! This is far worse than any jailbait a member of KISS or even R. Kelly may have deflowered. This guy should rot in jail. Let’s not forget the 4000 images of child porn they found on his computer in the U.K. either! I don’t even have 4000 pictures of myself!