You can go back in time and stop Michael Jackson from dying. Do you do it?

A certain unnamed Doper who likes to screw with the timeline for the sake of mischief is offering you a brief, one-time-only opportunity. He’s lending you one of his Burroughs-Libby continua craft-- the scooter version, without any cargo space or Pym shrink rays, so there’s no question about taking any cool stuff. The time-space skipper is pre-programmed so that you can go back to June 24, 2009 – the day before Michael Jackson died. The only place you can go is his mansion.

You will be allowed two and only two pieces of magic tech on this mission. One is a device that makes it impossible for anyone to disbelieve you if you say utter the following sentence (or anything related to it):

Michael, you are in danger of dying. Do not take any medication or drugs of any sort offered you by Dr. Conrad Murray if you want to live.

The other piece of magic tech you are allowed is a phaser locked on stun. If you wish you may, while at the Jackson estate, track down Murray, stun him, and take him via the scooter to a location of your choosing, and dump him where he can do no harm. Other than that, no side trips are allowed.

Any takers? Why or why not?

I don’t care if some pedophile wants to off himself with drugs.

It would probably screw with the space/time continuum. And in the end, what would be the point? I mean, I’m sure his family/kids would be happy, but why risk screwing with the timeline for him? What makes him so special?

Nope. I never particularly liked Jacko (and I am just his target* age group, too), but I never really bore him any ill-will, either.

However. I think that he was a time bomb. Even if he avoided all meds and drugs from Murray, he’d have found another doctor to give him what he wanted. The guy was not living in the same reality as (most of) the rest of us. Maybe I could have saved his life that night, but I’m morally certain that he’d be dead sometime the next week or month.

*When I was a tween/teen, all the girls were crazy about Michael, or Donny Osmond, or Bobby Sherman.

Oh, for all you know, Jacko’s death was caused by the Evil Leaper, and Sam Beckett has already sacrificed his life in a vain attempt to save him.

Nobody was forcing those drugs on him. He was demanding them, and hellbent on getting them. As far as I’m concerned he killed himself, and I honestly don’t see how his death was any more tragic than anyone else who died that day or died yesterday.

I still don’t care.

Of course I’d try to stop him from dying, but I would try to stop ANYONE from dying, short of Hilter or Stalin or the like

What he said. I didn’t like Jackson, I wasn’t sad when he died, but saving him would be doing a mitzva.

Is this a one-time only offer? MUST I use the time travel device to save Michael Jackson? Or would I be allowed to use it for a different purpose?

If so… well, I can think of thousands of tragedies I’d rather prevent than the death of Michael Jackson!

Preventing the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand might save MILLIONS of people.

Even if I were restricted to saving one celebrity, I’d rather go to the Dakota and tell John Lennon to stay behind locked doors until Chapman was put away.

But even if I WANTED to save Michael Jackson, it’s not as if saving him required just a one-time intervention. He was headed down a long, dark road. Stopping him from taking one particular drug one particular time probably wouldn’t have done much good. Eventually, he was almost sure to kill himself in that manner.

This is my position. I don’t really care about Michael Jackson, but assuming this time machine brought me back to the present with no ill effects, and that this was the only thing I could do with it, then sure, why not, if it doesn’t cost me anything? I might have a different opinion if the time machine came with considerable risk: I’m not prepared to sacrifice my own life for Michael Jackson, particularly given his self destructive behavior!

This is the Dope, and you forget “Hell no, I had him in the Death Pool!”?

That’s my answer, anyway.

Rhymers do not participate in Death Pools and rarely even acknowledge that they exist. There is a sacred story that explains why.

I agree with this. Even if you manage to save him, there’s a better than even chance he’d still be dead when you return to the present anyway.

I think I read that one at the Exalted Restroom at the Truck-stop of Fate.

I wouldn’t save his life for fear of polluting the timeline. I’ve grown fond of the events of the last few months.

The thing is, it’s not just that maybe he’d live a lot longer if I warned him about the drugs and the doctor. He was in a death spiral, and he was going to die very soon anyway. I’d rather save someone who actually was in a one time risk of death, not someone who was basically committing suicide with a doctor’s help. He would either find another doctor, or he’d get some street drugs. It wasn’t/isn’t possible to save Jackson this way. He’d have to be locked up and detoxed over a period of time. He’d have to get his head shrunk (and while we’re at it, let’s talk about his obsession with kids) at the same time, so he didn’t want the drugs. And I’m not sure that he thought he was doing anything really wrong, so of course the treatment probably wouldn’t take.

Michael Jackson died of natural causes: natural to the life he lived, and natural to the weak-willed fruitcake that he was.

So your straight-jacket premise is pointless.

Nope. Now that he’s dead, all of the money that would have gone to him is now going to people who could actually do something productive with it, rather than going to buying more drugs or kiddy-diddling (if that was his actual alternate hobby).

I wrote that particular bit of grafitti, and you misunderstood it. The point of the grafitti was twofold. First, the continua scooter is certainly booby-trapped and if you try to reprogram it to give yourself lottery numbers you will certainly get sprayed in the face by acid; and, second, for a good time, call Jadzia Dax.

I took an oath. I am forbidden to mess with causality. Or cut for stone.