Monday, 29 June 2009

He's Still Wacko Jacko to Me

I'm going to say this once and for all: Michael Jackson was not a god. He did nothing for world peace. He was a very weird, mixed-up grown-up, probably a pedophile, who happened to sell a lot of records. Though not to me.

When I opened my paper on Saturday and found an entire section dedicated to him, I knew the world had finally gone mad. Let's get this in perspective. He was a drug addict. He was addicted to other things as well, mostly spending money. Anyone who watched the Martin Bashir interview could never respect the boy/man again. What kind of a man in his 40s has young boys for sleepovers at his house and shares his bed with them? I'll tell you what kind of a man. A pedophile. At my primary school we had a choirmaster who used to have the members of the boys' choir stay the night at his house on Fridays. His wife, who performed in an orchestra, was usually out on Fridays. Yes, he was married. They had no children and she went to church every day and prayed fervently. Years later, it came out what really went on in his house on those Friday nights. And I have no doubt what went on in Jackson's house.

Contrast Jackson's career with Bruce Springsteen's. Here is a man who can write a song. Here is a performer who cares about his fans. And what a performer! I saw him in 1984 in Tallahassee, Fla. He performed nonstop energetically for two hours. I watched him at Glastonbury over the weekend (on TV, I'm not daft enough to actually go there). And he hasn't changed in all these years. And not one word has ever been written about Springsteen and 13-year-old boys.

What is wrong with the world that we elevate people like Michael Jackson to god-like status? OK, he could dance, but so can a lot of people. Could he write a song like "The River"? Nope, don't think so.

He died young-ish, which promotes him to a category peopled by Elvis, Marilyn, Princess Diana, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin. People who were flawed human beings in life, but icons in death. Could you imagine Jackson living to ripe old age? He wouldn't have a face left, for one thing, as all the plastic surgery would finally take its toll. No, he's better off dying when he did. All the O2 concerts would have killed him anyway.

I think we should let Jackson rest in peace. And let ourselves have a rest from him.

16 comments:

Aoj and The Hounds said...

My thoughts exactly.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I just can't bear the outpouring of grief. People's lives are so empty so as to idolise a pop singer. I think his greatest legacy was to transcend racial barriers and he did some okay music - I never bought a MJ album but many of his songs are intertwined in the music hall of fame and people's lives. I am very uncomfortable with the accusations he faced and my gut instinct is that he was guilty. He was a deeply flawed individual and people who take drugs/drink alcohol to escape usually do so because they are running away from a horrible truth that they cannot face. His life was a travesty and very screwed up. Perhaps his children have a shot at a normal life but if Joe Jackson gets them, God help them.

Your post is a great refreshing point of view from all the sycophantish tributes I have read. But I am still uncomfortable saying in print that he was a kiddy fiddler as he was found not guilty. I admire you taking a stance and saying it!

Flowerpot said...

He was certainly a very tortured soul and evidently couldnt cope with life in Hollywood (though who could). I hope his poor kids get to have a better life now though that seems unlikely.

Kaycie said...

Well...my high school soundtrack would be incomplete without "Off the Wall" and "Thriller". Michael Jackson was deeply flawed. He was incredibly talented; he could sing, dance, write spectacularly complicated, nuanced music (from a musical, rather than pop, perspective), his videos were absolutely groundbreaking. His lyrics could be ephemeral and otherworldly (think "She's Out of My Life).

All that said, I think he was broken. He was ruthlessly used and abused by, of all people, his father, among many others. I read his psychology a bit different. I am unsure whether or not he was a pedophile. Obviously it's possible. His behavior, to me, though, appears positively stunted. His efforts to relive his childhood and erase anything of his father from his face seem that of a lost child searching for himself. His attorney in that last very public case called him a "twelve year old in a man's body".

I think he is to be pitied.

Expat mum said...

I loved his music but his death has hardly registered since he's been out of the limelight for the best part of a decade. I feel sorry for the kids as their mother is now saying that they're not his (they don't look anything like him I have to say) and she doesn't want them. Lovely.

Dave Pie-n-Mash said...

I liked his music, but like you say, he was a deeply flawed individual. However, I am lamenting the death of Farrah Fawcett. What a babe. And, you probably will not have heard this Wakup, Billy Mays has died. His US Airways flight landed roughly, something fell out of the overhead storage bin and knocked him on the head. It didn't knock him out or anything, but they attribute this to possible cause of death. Who's going to angrily shout at me on Saturday mornings, advising me to buy his super putty?

DogLover said...

I never really watched any of his musical appearances because they didn't interest me, but my newspaper had a special supplement about him - though I didn't read it!

So I'm well qualified to comment!

I felt sorry for the child trapped in a man's body and understood that he had never had anything approaching a normal life. Yet fabulous wealth descended on him - how could he be expected to handle it?

The allegations were never proved, though the outcomes were odd. I am surprised Liz Taylor hasn't yet been hauled out of retirement to say something because she had a high regard for him, as did the Rev Jesse Jackson; they knew him, we didn't.

So I think "De mortuis nil nisi bonum" applies.

What sickens me is the Princess Diana reaction. How can people get so silly over someone they've never met? It makes a mockery of bereavement.

Fred said...

Springteen, without a doubt, is one of the most gifted musicians of our time. I think MJ was, too. Unfortunately, the downfall of MJ started in his home at a young age, and he just never grew up. I'm sure there will be some vary sordid stories in the coming months.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Great music, flawed individual. Enough said.

lady macleod said...

HUZZAH!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

AOJ: Great minds etc.

MOB: Not only did he transcend racial barriers but he lived as two different races.

Flowerpot: If his parents have anything to do with raising those kids, you'll be seeing three more tortured souls.

Kaycie: Many pedophiles are stunted emotionally, which is sad for them, but dangerous for the children they prey on. But was Michael manipulated or the manipulator? Did he use his money to keep others in line or was he used by others for his money?

Expat mum: I wonder if the mother signed some document that kept her from going after the kids. I wonder if she'll try to get them now that she knows she's not in his will.

Dave: I had to Google Bill Mays to find out who he was. And he died in my hometown! And Farah. Well, she was tragic too, wasn't she?

DogLover: Ole Liz has been hauled out to talk about her special friend, whom she sort of dumped after the pedophile charges. As for Princess Diana, the press had her as a slut before she died, a saint the very next day.

Fred: Springsteen is a god and deserves every bit of adulation he receives. He played some concerts over here recently and his energy levels, particularly for a man of 60, were phenomenal!

Retiredandcrazy: I'm not sure I agree about the music. I wasn't that much of a fan. He was too fascinated with his crotch.

Lady M: Amen!

Kaycie said...

Pedophilia is a terrible thing. The thing is, we don't know what happened and he was never convicted in a court of law. There is some evidence that the parents of those children entrapped him for financial gain. Like I said, I don't know if he was a pedophile. Neither does anyone else save the children who may have been abused and Jackson himself. What is clear to me is that Michael Jackson was used for financial gain by his father from childhood, taken advantage of by people in the music business, abused by his father, and probably never had a true friend. He never had a chance to be normal, and he never had a choice. Did he make poor choices? Of course he did. So have I. No one crucifies me for them in public. Honestly, I'm a bit tired of hearing people deride him when the absolute last thing they have is personal knowledge of the situation.

Oddly enough, I am not even that big a Michael Jackson fan. I owned "Thriller" back in the day, but that was it. I always preferred Prince.

Not Waving but Drowning said...

He appears to have been elevated to God like status.

Madness indeed.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Kaycie: I suppose you didn't see the interview done with him in about 2003 by a British TV reporter. In it he admitted to sharing his bed with young boys. That doesn't mean he fiddled with them, true. However, it's highly inappropriate behaviour for a male adult, whether he's a child trapped in an adult's body or not. More than that, it leaves him extremely vulnerable to charges of pedophilia and to the vultures always circling looking for financial gain. He had a sad, unhappy, short life. And I wonder what will happen to those children of his and whether their lives will get better or worse.

Not Waving: People always do that to the stars who die young. Why?

Kaycie said...

Of course I saw that. Everyone saw that. You just kinda made my point for me.

Kaycie said...
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