I’m ﬁrmly an ofﬁcious bystander in the whole “Michael Jackson thing”: I am sad people have lost a son, a brother and a father. But since the mid-1980s I have not been a big Michael Jackson fan. His death, while premature, is not going to make me suddenly say that I adored the man and his music. I’m not one of those people who made every single item on Amazon.com’s top 10 a Michael Jackson one. I’m not going to join his MySpace page and leave a tribute.
But I do not think he was a nonce. When the media go on about child molesters ad nauseam, I am not surprised that some accused Jackson of molestation. Paranoia alone could have seen to that. Some may have seen dollar signs and took the man for a ride. Psychologically, I don’t think the man was capable of forming the sick thoughts that pædophiles have.
He may have paid off some of his accusers, but think of it this way: if you are a lawyer and your client has the mentality, or tantrums, of a child, what do you do? A father might encourage his son to stand for the truth and go through even a difﬁcult experience to build his character. Someone less close, knowing the person had millions, might just advise paying up to spare a fellow human being more emotional pain than he seemed capable of handling. Michael Jackson seemed like one such person: the stresses we might choose to bear were anathema to him.
That is, perhaps, how one should think of Jackson: a man who preferred to live some form of childhood than recognize that he had reached adulthood. In his interviews, during the legal cases, Jackson came across in words and manner as a man deeply hurt, as a child might be. Visually, however, his damaged appearance through continual plastic surgeries swayed many of us into thinking he was a monster. It is easy to be fooled by what one sees, and Jackson was the victim of his own choices in that respect.
I am not excusing him fully. I am not going to say that Michael Jackson lacked an adult’s mental capacity. He was able to reﬂect on his own mortality, according to his ex-wife Lisa Marie Presley on her MySpace page. He knew what was going on, even if he chose to shield himself from it.
But he was a deeply troubled man, with a very different perspective on life because of his experiences. He chose himself to be as deﬁned by his eccentricities as his music. Just as with Britney Spears shaving her head, many chose to poke fun at the person rather than say that they needed to be protected and looked after. Jackson’s plastic surgeries and his strange complexion were signs, in my layman’s understanding, of someone who chose to dissociate himself from his true identity. This was not about race, as many want to paint, but about a man who never understood who he was.
Still, I have devoted a post to him. One part of it was seeing the negative comments pages with his videos are attracting on YouTube. He did not deserve many of them. The other part is that there was a Michael Jackson, once, who was a great performer, who never divided opinion as deeply as he does today. I choose to remember hits like this one.
Posted by Jack Yan, 09:48
Well written, Jack. Picking up a buzz word often used from an ongoing NZ trial (no points guessing which one) - MJ's 'psychological makeup' just didn't allow him to function as a normal human being. He was different from the word go. Most child stars never turn out 'quite right'. Shame.Post a Comment
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