Undercurrents

Yo Bobby! Over here, give us a smile. Now put your hands out for the bracelets.
Last week bad-boy pop star Bobby Brown, stepping from a white convertible Rolls Royce outside the Broward County Jail, hammed it up before the cameras and tried to turn the nightmare of incarceration into a great big photo op. What better way to revive sagging record sales than a few days behind bars?

Ron Cacciatore, Brown's Fort Lauderdale private eye, thought Whitney Houston's coke-snorting husband, convicted last January of driving drunk along the beach in Hollywood and smashing up his wife's Porsche, would have preferred a little more discretion. Using his connections at the Broward Sheriff's Office, Cacciatore had arranged for Brown to slink unnoticed through a back entrance and into a private room to be processed quietly.

But Brown exercised his "prerogative," shrugged off those efforts, and arrived in high flamboyant style. Slapping a high-five as he passed through the gauntlet of adoring fans and media, Brown mumbled something unintelligibly. Perhaps he was reciting these telling lines from his hit song "My Prerogative": "They say I'm crazy, I really don't care. They say I'm nasty. But I don't give a damn... That's my prerogative."

Brown, a model inmate during his four days in jail, was released early last Friday morning with a suspended driver's license and orders to undergo rehab in New Jersey.

Two elderly women, pictures of serenity both, stood silently in the Northern Concourse of Palm Beach International Airport recently, distributing religious literature and Bible verses.

Praying that their turboprop doesn't plop down in the Gulfstream? Not really. Just a renewed effort by the Palm Beach County Jehovah's Witnesses to bring the word of the Lord to the world.

"We're doing it in Denver and Dallas too," explains Joseph McCall, the Witness who received a permit in May from the county airports department to distribute the literature. "We try to go wherever people are, and we recognize the urgency of the times in which we live, according to biblical prophecy." Yes, of course.

The last religious group to request a permit to distribute materials at PBIA was the Hare Krishnas. The airport granted them a permit as well, in 1986, although it was never used. Federal law requires airports to allow religious groups to use the public space unless the group causes a disturbance. One might assume that those damn bells would've been reason for denial.

For their part Witnesses say their airport presence won't eliminate the traditional method for sharing the Word -- going door to door. By heading to the airport, the effort will simply be broadened.

"I'm sure you'll agree," he says, "that you would like to see better conditions throughout the world and not just in West Palm Beach?"

Well, when you put it that way...

Undercurrents wants to know about any and all political deals, media screwups, and particularly dumb memos from bureaucrats. Let us know. Call 954-233-1581, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail undercurrents@newtimesbroward.com.

 
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