This is not one of those celebrity worship blogs, before we get started…
I also reserve the “life story retrospectives” for those who have profoundly affected me on a professional level.
I missed writing about George Carlin, but people who know me can draw those obvious conclusions….
Anyway Michael Jackson gave us everything. Every hour, every minute, of every day of his life from the time he reached the age of 5, belonged to the PUBLIC.. As the worlds most famous megastar, it seems he was always ill prepared for the ravenous appetite of the intrusive public. Considering todays world of full-access reality television, such intrusion is now the norm, but back then who could know?
It is obvious Michael Jackson never had a real childhood, so he spent his entire life chasing it. He reacted to the intense media scrutiny by withdrawing. The media responded by filling in the blanks on their own. Every move he made was scrutinized down to the minute detail, and further, open to interpretation by anyone. This means not only did the public experience information overload regarding Michael Jackson; he was such a massive cult figure that even the MIS-information was headline worthy in the eyes of the press.
Even before the child molestation charges, his life had become a full fledged media circus. According to the press, Michael Jackson had married aliens, fathered illegitimate children (Billie Jean), and left everything to his pet monkey in his will. Yes Michael Jackson was wierd. Yes the situation with the boys makes me extremely uncomfortable, but this is how I will always remember him.
OK… Another Big Issue At Hand:
If you ever get FAMOUS don’t allow yourself to be separated from the people who keep you grounded.
Joe Jackson made stars of his children,… Then Hollywood stepped in. Hollywood already decided who the real STAR would be. They needed to separate the STAR from his family tree, and cast the rest aside. The only thing standing in the way was JOE JACKSON…. Nothing a negative PR campaign can’t handle.
A strict disciplinarian by all accounts, and likely a stage parent in every extreme sense, Joe was portrayed as a monster.. first to the children (“you’re a star, you don’t have to listen to him”).., then to the public (“he’s not letting Michael shine, and he brutalized the kids).
The BLAME for the resulting WIERDNESS, which arose from Michael being delivered from the evil of Joe Jackson, (into the hands of people such as Clifton Davis (industry talk) and Diana Ross) was placed back squarely on the shoulders of…. Joe Jackson.
Who knows for real? The above is nothing but a 2 dimensional THEORY.. but if Joe was so bad why wasn’t he hauled into court for abuse of the children? What explains his presence at all the press conferences with Michael and his other children?
Michael only went solo after he grew up, not before.. which indicates again, the hand of a a strict stage father insisting his kids stay together and make music… but not a Monster.
No doubt Michael Jackson was every bit the star he was cut out to be, from day one. His mega-star turn with Thriller changed my life forever (neighbors laughing at the idiot in the window practicing Michael Jackson moves) but I got pretty good at them.lol
Looking back now on his life, it seems like a case of “too much of a good thing”.. unchecked.. He stopped being a child at 5 and instead became a commodity. His adult life was filled with YES MEN, who would never dare question his decisions, for fear of loss of a job. More surgery? YES, Pet llama? YES, Pajama parties with children? YES, Renewed prescriptions? YES.
Michael Jackson lived until the age of 50, and died amidst rumors of hoaxes, substance abuse, and foul play among other things. His passing has left a void in the entertainment universe that can never be filled. His brilliance made me, and countless others so happy… but the QUESTION is: Was HE ever truly happy?
If you have it all, with nobody there to tell you NO.. what do you have left to work for?
Keeping things in perspective, the day Michael Jackson died it was reported that a 9 year old girl (Chastity Turner) was shot down on her grandmother’s porch in Chicago. It is an equally great tragedy, and it goes back to what I see as a casual disregard for the sanctity of childhood.