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Doors singer Jim Morrison's pardon is Charlie Crist's rock star moment

This is the end, beautiful friend

This is the end, my only friend

The end of our elaborate plans

The end of everything that stands

The end.

— As sung by since-deceased rocker Jim Morrison, who probably was not talking about the political defeat of Gov. Charlie Crist decades later, though it sure sounds like it.

Isn't it vintage Charlie Crist, to go out as Florida's rock 'n' roll governor?

Republicans recently gave the One Who Dared Stray a solid stomping at the polls, rendering their once Golden Boy the lamest of lame ducks. The Legislature followed up with a few swift kicks of its own while overriding eight Crist vetoes.

When it comes to once-Teflon Charlie, the New Good Ole Boys are fist-bumping themselves silly.

But as always, Charlie is Charlie, whether he's swooping in to win the hearts of Florida teachers or now, by making final (and notably international) headlines by pushing for a posthumous pardon for rock legend Jim Morrison of the Doors.

It's just so … Charlie.

Certainly, the clemency board that meets Dec. 9 will deal with more pressing and critical matters of justice than what an allegedly inebriated rock star allegedly exposed to a Miami audience in 1969.

What Morrison was accused of doing was, let's just say, beyond a prankish bit of schoolboy mooning. It inspired an Orange Bowl decency rally attended by Miami's own mistress of morality, Anita Bryant.

(Though for the record, Morrison was not accused of, say, biting the head off a bat or a dove, depending on which Ozzy Osbourne fan you ask, and that guy got his own reality show.)

Witnesses testified, but no one's Kodak Instamatic caught any actual exposing. YouTube hadn't been dreamed up yet, and in those days concert fans held up cigarette lighters, not cell phone cameras. (Kids, Mom and Dad will explain that one to you later.)

Morrison was convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure and "open profanity." (How quaint, a charge for public cussing. We'd have to build a new jail just for coaches disputing bad calls.)

Morrison fans wondered darkly if his rock 'n' roll ways — not to mention his anti-Nixon sentiments — figured in. Sentenced to six months hard labor — really? — the rock legend died in France while his case was on appeal.

Crist, all of 13 back then, says he was asked about it by a reporter, looked into it and decided "it's the right thing to do," particularly for Morrison's family.

"It strikes me that everyone deserves a second chance," he said. "You have to have the capacity for forgiveness."

You think he might also he be talking about someone a little closer to home?

"Anything," Crist said in another interview on the pardon, "is possible."

Despite the deep tan and the rich-guy hair, Crist is kind of a fallen rock star himself. He fought authority (or Republicans) but authority always wins. He gets knocked down, but he gets up again. He's call-me-the-breeze 'til he's tamed by a babe (with sincerest apologies and no disrespect intended toward the first lady.)

It's a finale we should have expected: Charlie Crist, the lame duck who refuses to limp. How very rock 'n' roll.

Doors singer Jim Morrison's pardon is Charlie Crist's rock star moment 11/26/10 [Last modified: Saturday, November 27, 2010 12:47am]
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