Thursday, June 25, 2009
Michael Jackson (8/29/58 - 6/25/09)
Michael Jackson was a cute kid. Here he is at 11 years old performing with his siblings in the Jackson 5, on the Ed Sullivan Show.
When he got older he became a solo performer, and the world stood up and cheered.
He was baaaad. But not really. He was cool. He could sing, he could dance, he could write, he could perform. He was a presence, a star. They named him the King of Pop, and his album Thriller sold 50 million copies, more than any other album ever in the history of the world. And he wasn't just popular in the U.S. -- he was a star in every country in the world.
He had a lot of plastic surgery and other "cosmetic" procedures done to change his appearance. In the end, he was ambiguous, ambivalent, uncertain, part black or was he. Male, but really more female. He was growing up before the world's eyes, but, remarkably, like a predecessor to Benjamin Button, he seemed to keep getting younger, getting smaller, always rail-thin like a teenage girl and never growing into the body of a man. He was beautiful.
He could dance like Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly and a whole lot more than that.
In the end, time, life, money, fame, success, drugs, maybe people who wanted something from him, were dependent on him, or just made lots of money off of him, all combined to allow him to have everything he wanted, and he destroyed his own life in typical tragic style. He went too far, had too many procedures done and ended up looking like a monster, unable to go out in public without draping handkerchiefs across his face to hide the hideousness of the doctor's work.
And the stories came out about him spending too much time with young boys, having young boys sleep in his bed with him when he was a grown man. There was a story about him paying a large amount of money to the family of one such boy, and it was suggested the payment was to keep them from reporting him to the police. Then there finally was a criminal trial, allegations of him sexually molesting a young boy. He was acquitted. But only by the jury in the courtroom, not by the public. The fact that he slept with young boys was enough for most people.
I don't think people are born twisted. Something happened to him. I blame his parents who either did it to him, failed to protect him, or failed to pay enough attention to realize something was going on, and get him help.
Too many drugs, too many combinations of drugs, let him stay thin like a young girl but also become drunken and stumbling in appearance like an old man. His face was monstrous, and the doctors could no longer help him no matter how much money he had. Well, it doesn't matter what he looks like now. He's dead. He wanted a comeback. I guess he'll get one now, in a fashion.
But there was a time, long ago, before all these bad things came about, when he was quite simply F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!