Determining the precise level of insanity present within each member of the Jackson family has long been a favorite pastime of the team of licensed psychiatrists that is the American public.
While the rankings first took shape way back in the 1970s, every so often a special event—the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show, or the premiere of the CBS reality show Armed & Famous, for example—necessitates a re-ordering.
In light of the Motown Meltdown currently unfolding all around us, here is a revised hierarchy of Jackson Family Craziness, ranked on a sliding scale from "seems like the normal one" to "that's what happens when you raise a kid in showbusiness."
12. Randy Jackson, Age: 56
Why He's Crazy: Jennifer Lopez has stated he has "crazy taste" in sunglasses.
Why He's Sane: Randy Jackson does not appear to be making moves to embed himself in the controversy, possibly because he is not related to these people at all.
11. Michael "Prince" Jackson, Age: 15
Why He's Crazy: His brother's name is Prince, but he's the one who goes by "Prince"? What?
Why He's Sane: A lot of people are assuming Paris is the oldest, because she has emerged as the most visible of the kids in the ongoing Jackson family shakedown. Prince is the oldest. He's just keeping to himself.
10. Prince "Blanket" Jackson, Age: 10
Why He's Crazy: He goes by "Blanket," even though "Snuggie" is much more of a Jackson name.
Why He's Sane: Has been largely staying out of the limelight, possibly because he is too young to have the flair for social media manipulation that Paris has learned.
9, Tito "TJ" Jackson, Age: 34
Why He's Crazy: He dated Kim Kardashian as a teenager. (Kim recently told Oprah she lost her virginity at age 14, and the Internet is speculating it was with TJ, who is two years older. Geddit, Teej. Also, everyone stop speculating about these little kids having sex with each other.) Either TJ or his brother Taryll dated Kourtney Kardashian, as well. Khloe remained The Undateable.
He conveyed public messages of support to Michael's kids by @-replying Paris on Twitter. This is sweet, but also makes him look like a 14-year-old Kim Kardashian picking sides in a Twitter fight. Also, Paris is 14 years old right now. 1+ 4 is 5, like Jackson 5. Illuminati?
That's it: He's in the Illuminati.
Why He's Sane: He's been married with kids of his own for a couple years now, which implies some sort of stability.
He has a job, though, admittedly, that job is performing in a band with his brothers called 3T. They're pretty successful. Second-most successful band in Europe in 1996 (after the Spice Girls), song on the Men In Black soundtrack, etc.
@-replying Paris on Twitter may have been a strategic move to get the public on his and the kids' sides, in which case: shrewd.
The kids all seem to like him.
A judge ruled Wednesday that he was competent enough to act as temporary guardian of the kids (bumping up in the line ahead of Miss Diana Ross), so how crazy could he really be?
8. Paris Jackson, Age: 14
She's a little prone to bull-dog tendencies, though, tweeting veiled, vague threats to her aunts and uncles like "so help me god i will make whoever did this pay" and "I will defend my beloved family member with all I have, even if it means from other family members." She also invited haters to "#comeatmebro."
She's the star of "a five book, five feature film" fantasy/vanity franchise called Lundon's Bridge. She plays a girl named Lundon O'Malley. Joey Fatone and Larry King are providing voices for a fire-breathing seahorse (it "transforms into both a fishing pole and a crocodile") and someone called "King Pom," respectively.
Here's an inscrutable summary of the first book, provided by Amazon:
"The war between the land and the sea. Ancient sea-magic turns a dolphin into a human, an evil spell changes a teenage boy into a dragonfly and a once good and loving jellyfish queen becomes an evil fairy godmother. This modern day adventure forces an unsuspecting family to become the weapon to fight the war which rages on the land and under the sea."
Why She's Sane: Sassy Twitter outbursts are pretty much the only option available to a 14-year-old girl having a disagreement with her family. And most 14-year-old girls' families aren't releasing sworn public statements contradicting their claims.
She comes across as well composed in interviews. Oprah described her as "forthright, articulate…and fun!"
Her cousin TJ, who ranks as more sane than she on the Revised Hierarchy of Jackson Family Craziness, has cast his lot in with her.
7. Katherine Jackson, Age: 82
Why She's Crazy: Several of her children definitely seem to think she is crazy. In June, they penned a letter to the executors of Michael's estate, claiming Katherine was being manipulated and lied to, and that she had suffered a mini-stroke as a result of the stresses surrounding the carrying-out of Michael Jackson's hotly contested will.
Why She's Sane: Following the release of the letter, Katherine's attorneys sent out a statement saying she was "extremely lucid and does a great job caring for Michael's children."
Paris also supports the claim that there's nothing wrong with Grandma.
6. La Toya Jackson, Age: 56
Why She's Crazy: She's La Toya, guys.
Why She's Sane: Oddly, La Toya has been completely removed from this self-imploding scandal. This kind of thing is totally her bag. Everyone's wondering where she is.
5. Toriano "Tito" Jackson, Age: 58
Why He's Crazy: Though he was one of the five siblings (along with Jermaine, Janet, Rebbie, and Randy) who signed the letter swearing vengeance against the executors of Michael's estate, on Tuesday Tito made a complete 180, publicly retracting his signature and stating he wants "nothing to do with" that letter. He's a flip-flopper.
Why He's Sane: He may have realized the tide of public opinion had turned against the elder Jackson siblings, and gotten out while the getting was good.
TJ, his son and, as of Wednesday, the kids' temporary guardian, was on the honor roll in high school. Good parenting.
4. Randy Jackson, Age: 50
Why He's Crazy: He's part of the clown brigade that allegedly tried to steal Michael's kids away to Arizona on Monday.
Paris called him out on Twitter for allegedly lying when he stated that his mother's health was poor. (That tweet has since been deleted.)
Why He's Sane: He was not an original member of the Jackson 5 (because, at three years old, he was not talented enough to join). For this fact, he may have well escaped some of the associated childhood scarring.
3. Rebbie Jackson, Age: 62
Why She's Crazy: Rebbie's home is the place in Arizona where Katherine Jackson is allegedly being held against her will. If this is true, she is facilitating the kidnapping of her own mother. To Arizona of all places.
This brings up another point: She lives in Arizona.
No one has thought of her in years, or possibly ever, and this is how she chooses to return to fame?
Why She's Sane: Immediately following Michael Jackson's death, the media speculated that Rebbie would be made the primary caregiver for the three kids. But that was probably because the media figured she wasn't famous and had nothing better to do. (She's working on an album, thankyouverymuch.)
2. Janet Jackson, Age: 46
Why She's Crazy: Many have been surprised to find Janet, the youngest and arguably most attractive of the Jacksons, embroiled in this ugly controversy. Most of the surprise stems from the fact that this whole kerfuffle seems to boil down to Money: The grubbing of, and Janet, a successful solo artist in her own right, should have plenty of that already.
She reportedly called Paris a "bitch" in the midst of Monday's confrontation. Paris confirmed via Instagram that no slaps were exchanged. (Just snaps. As in oh snaps.)
She tried to grab a teenager's cellphone during that same confrontation. You don't ever try to grab a teenager's cellphone. It's like trying to grab a tiger's cellphone. (Tigers be textin'.)
There was a persistent rumor among my seventh grade classmates that she'd had multiple ribs removed to make her waist smaller.
Why She's Sane: Seriously, why is Janet involved in this? We were rooting for you, Janet, we were all rooting for you. Maybe she's been convinced by her less financially stable siblings that this really is the best course of action. And maybe she, like Tito, will soon have a change of heart.
1. Jermaine Jackson, Age: 57
Why He's Crazy: He's one of the ring leaders of this tragic circus, having signed the infamous letter and shown up at Katherine's home on Monday on a cellphone/kid hunt.
His hair resembles that of an off-brand Ken doll.
He named one of his sons Jermajesty.
Why He's Sane: According to Wikipedia, "He was often considered to be the most stable minded in the [Celebrity Big Brother UK] house." We'll let that one speak for itself.
Please note: A few Jacksons (Michael, Marlon, Andrew, et al.) were excluded from this ranking either because they are deceased or not yet key players in the Motown Meltdown. Feel free to insert them in the list wherever you feel is right.