Friday, June 26, 2009


I have never been a big fan of Michael Jackson. Even as a child, when my friends were all swooning over him, I thought he was weird and definitely *not* cute. I didn't like his music, or his dancing, and didn't' care who he was friends with. I much preferred the music he made as a child with the Jackson 5.

As I've gotten older, and become a parent, I now cannot listen to the 5 music without feeling some sadness, and wondering at the parenting that would allow such insanity to occur. I look at Patrick, who is the same age MJ was at the time, and can't imagine expecting him to repeatedly rehearse and perform in such a way. I know that children are different, but when I look at that, all I can think is, no wonder he's messed up as an adult. Of course, the allegations of childhood abuse and fear make me even sadder, as I wonder what he and the rest of the children, for that's what they were supposed to be, faced once they left the stage. It makes me think of Ike Turner.

I have never really taken any reports of his physical health seriously, because they always seemed to be so conveniently staged. Trial? Oops, back pain. Poor sales for a concert? Oops, dehydration. But I never really thought about him as an actual human being, because he seemed so all-around fake, from his appearance to his behavior to his performances. Even yesterday, when I saw on that he was taken in for cardiac arrest, I thought, yeah, sure. I knew there were problems stemming from an auction of his things that he was stopping, and figured it was something to do with that, more drama. After the initial allegations of child molestation when I was in high school, I never thought of him as an actual, worthy person again.

Apparently, underneath it all, there was a real physicality, an actual human that hid somewhere under the makeup and masks. A poor, twisted, mentally and physically misshapen homo sapien.

I'm not writing this in tribute, just in rumination. A human, regardless of the joke he became, has passed. As I listened this morning to the radio, my first knowledge of what had occured, I wondered at his strange life, and also thought again about the allegations. The children involved aside, I'm not sure which would be worse for a person - if he actually did do it, the guilt and repugnance at himself, or if he didn't, but had had his life and career demolished on false accusations. Either way, his life was ruined, and his decent into seeming near-insanity was the result. He obviously was working himself to death, physically and emotionally, to gain the love he so craved, and that he would probably never again get from the public who had adored him, and more importantly, from the father who should have, but did not.

Also, this creature had children himself, and I wonder what will become of them now, and whether they will be better off knowing their father as the wonder he was, rather than the snide wonderment that people felt about him in his later years.

I saw this morning that his autopsy is due tomorrow, a mere two days after his death. I wonder, myself, at this speed, when my friend Craig died from uncertain causes on an army base in TX months ago, one of several soldiers to do so, and yet his autopsy results were two months in coming. What does this say about us?

A human has died, yes. In the end, what does his life - and death- say about him, and about us?


creative kerfuffle said...

i'm on the same page as you. though i did like some of his music growing up (child of the 80s that i am) i was never a big mj fan. and, once all the craziness started coming out i never really thought of him as a "person" either. this is a good post.