The "rock pornography" trial of Jello Biafra ended abruptly last week when Los Angeles Municipal Judge Susan Isacoff dismissed all charges after the jury divided along generation gap lines and deadlocked for acquittal, 7-5. The former Dead Kennedys lead singer and his record company's manager, Michael Bonnano, had been charged under an infrequently used misdemeanor statute with distributing harmful material to minors in the form of a sexually explicit poster included in the group's 1985 album, "Frankenchrist."

H.R. Giger's surrealistic painting of disembodied sex organs surrounded by stars and stripes was described by prosecutor Michael Guarino as "pornography," but while the older jurors apparently agreed, the younger jurors did not. After the trial, they lined up to get Biafra's autograph on the Giger posters.

"Forcing the issue is always worth it," Biafra said after the verdict was announced. He almost earned a contempt-of-court citation for shouting and running around the courtroom.

Guarino had argued that the Giger poster offended community standards of decency and should not have been available to minors. "If this isn't harmful matter, then nothing is harmful matter," he told the jury, comparing Giger with accused serial killer Richard Ramirez (the "Night Stalker"). "Giger sees people the way Ramirez sees people. They are objects to hurt. They are not human." The defense argued that the poster was of a piece with the "Frankenchrist" lyrics, music and album cover, part of an attempt to decry the mechanization of society and shock people out of their apathy.

Tammy Scharwath, the 14-year-old who bought the record for her younger brother and whose mother's complaints led to the filing of the charges, told reporters outside the courtroom that she found the poster "gross, not harmful," an opinion she was not allowed to convey to the jury.

Meanwhile, a 17-track album by the now-defunct Dead Kennedys, consisting of classic DK singles like "California Uber Alles" and "Holiday in Cambodia" and outtakes, has just been released on Alternative Tentacles. Titled "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death," it includes "I Fought the Law."

A 'Bad' Disappointment The 30-minute CBS spot Monday night for Michael Jackson's "Bad" album was distressing on a number of levels, including the frequent near-subliminal flashes of the cover of the new album during the "historical" introduction and the fact that CBS and Epic Records are part of the same corporate family. Obviously, CBS hopes "The Magic Returns": Epic has shipped 2.25 million records, the most in the label's history.

But Martin Scorsese's 16-minute video, from a "script" by Richard Price (seemingly also a 16-minute effort), in no way lived up to its hype. Jackson plays Daryl, a ghetto kid gone preppie who finds he can't go home-boy again. The prologue in which Daryl slowly makes his way back to his ghetto home by train is bleakly but beautifully shot in black and white, but the little acting required proves too much for Jackson, who seems stiff and looks grotesque, possibly the result of puffy layers of makeup that make him look as though he's on his way to Madame Tussaud's.

Things get worse when Daryl meets up with some of his old "home boys" who are less than impressed with his privileged life and his newly mannered speech. They taunt him and finally press him to join them in a subway robbery to prove he's "bad." At the last moment Jackson cuts the victim loose and shows his friends who's really "bad" by conjuring up a dance troupe that looks suspiciously like the old gang from "Beat It." The video also moves suddenly from black and white to color, a hackneyed device if ever there was one. While Jackson's own dancing is provocative and professional, all too much of the repetitive and predictable choreography is reminiscent of the earlier classic. And the neck-snaps, complete with "whooshing" sounds, have been done first and better (if less audibly) by sister Janet, whose choreography seems much more lively. In certain shots, the black-leather-clad Michael actually looks like Janet (has anybody ever seen the two together?).

While the dancing is at times overtly sexual, Jackson's occasional grabs at his crotch are uncomfortably asexual. Just as unbelievable is Jackson's posturing against his macho friends. When he squeaks "your butt is mine," it's hard not to laugh despite the fashionably "macho man" costume, a blaze of leather, buckles and zippers. Another disconcerting point: There are absolutely no women in talking, singing or dancing parts in "Bad," and there is a distressing misogynist spirit evident on two "Bad" cuts, "Dirty Diana" and "Smooth Criminal."

What's the video about? Good versus evil? Better living through choreography? Is it an autobiographical statement (the common-kid-turned-protected-man), and if so, when was Michael Jackson ever common, much less street? All in all, "Bad" is a bizarre effort -- though it is one of the first videos to have prominent credits.