June 26, 2009

I’m not obsessed with his music. I don’t follow every detail of his life. In fact, I consider the King of Pop a little bit before my time (given that I don’t actually have memories from the 80’s). That being said, Michael Jackson is without a doubt a phenomenal icon – for his music, for his eccentricity, for his celebrity, for his genius. And no pop star today, not Britney with her comeback, Lady Gaga with her craziness or even Madonna with her longevity, will ever match his influence. However, my generation will also remember him for his unusual personality and troubles that undoubtedly came with his fame. The L.A. Times hints at what everyone is thinking:

How does one eulogize a superstar who, even without the various accusations of pedophilia, was something of a freak? Or was, as several talking heads put it, “a troubled individual.” In recent years, Jackson has been more infamous than famous, known for his increasingly alarming appearance, the charges of child molestation and his subsequent business-arrangement marriage that led to his single fatherhood.

But by the time I read this article, I had already seen so much love pouring out from the Internet. It seems that despite the more unappealing aspects of his character, people have chosen to remember the best – the music. That was his contribution and his legacy. His appearance, his marriage, his baby-dangling probably shouldn’t have been anyone else’s business anyway. He will forever have that tragic hero quality.

I’ll end with Andrew Sullivan’s post as I have nothing to say after these paragraphs:

There are two things to say about him. He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child. By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father. He had no real childhood and spent much of his later life struggling to get one. He was spiritually and psychologically raped at a very early age – and never recovered. Watching him change his race, his age, and almost his gender, you saw a tortured soul seeking what the rest of us take for granted: a normal life.

But he had no compass to find one; no real friends to support and advise him; and money and fame imprisoned him in the delusions of narcissism and self-indulgence. Of course, he bears responsibility for his bizarre life. But the damage done to him by his own family and then by all those motivated more by money and power than by faith and love was irreparable in the end. He died a while ago. He remained for so long a walking human shell.


One comment

  1. […] about Andrew Sullivan as of June 26, 2009 michael. – inkyeagle.wordpress.com 06/26/2009 I’m not obsessed with his music. I don’t follow every […]

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