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Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson - A Memoir - Updated*

Michael Jackson died yesterday, another falling star burned out too young. Does anybody know how old Elvis Presley was when he died? About the same I think. This story requires no research. It is already too familiar. Child actor/singer becomes world famous, blessed with talent, becomes the most famous man in the world. People adored him, dressed like him and wanted to have his baby, some did. Meanwhile, Michael Jackson wanted to be Peter Pan and had the means to do it. He started off by building real life Neverland where no one ever has to grow up. Then he recruited his own celebrity troop of lost Boys, McCauley Caulkin, Corey Feldman and other little boys who caught his fancy and then started carving himself beyond recognition. It was all so innocent, at least in the eyes of Michael Jackson. How could he harm those he loved most, children and since he was Michael Jackson, there was no one to tell him otherwise. Much like Elvis Presley who's posse sat with him, ate with him, laughed at his jokes and watched him commit slow suicide. Heck, they both even had "personal" doctors. How could Michael Jackson's personal physician be with him at his time of death if he didn't see this coming? Why wasn't he in an emergency room? Why didn't his brother's intervene?

You know, I don't care. Michael Jackson was one of the greatest celebrities of my lifetime. I think he was a year younger than me, but I always felt older, even when he was eight and I was nine. He was always that little kid on TV singing fallseto with the band..."One, two, three,... as simple as ABC...". Then he grew up somehow into an even more talented adult. There was that McCartney/Jackson duet, then "Off the Wall, and then Thriller. My god, "Thriller". What a great album. I never bought it, but everyone else did and the videos played non stop for years. And what great videos, "Beat It", "Billy Jean" and the mega video "Thriller". This guy could pull talent out his ass. It didn't matter how wierd he was, no one cared. We just stood in awe of is mindboggling talen.

I lost track of him after that. He was so overexposed, people were just waiting for him to crap out his next video. It didn't matter what it was, they would buy it. Idol worship has never been my thing. Michael Jackson, Princess Di, Barack Obama, all good people, but all human beings who smell bad in the morning, all except Princess Di, but they all have to look in the mirror, shave, shower and put their game face on each day. All have or had an army of people to take care of things, but they knew it was all about them and that changes you. If you are a tough guy and well rooted like a Harry Truman, you can go through pretty much unscathed, but fame is corrosive on the soul and unless you have friends that will tell you the truth, you are headed for trouble.

Michael Jackson had been in trouble so long, most people stopped caring. He was a parody of his former self showing up at court hearings dressed as "Michael Jackson", gloves, zippers and dance moves. Eventually you just become too weird for people to stand and are fit only for celebrity gossip rags and Entertainment Tonight. The long slow demise of Michael Jackson was sad to watch. He had so much talent and left so many memories, but he stopped being Michael Jackson a long time ago. He became a childish 50 year old man who liked to sleep with boys and chimpanzees. Meanwhile his crew and his family just watched and apologized for him.

All set for a London comeback, the train wreck that was Michael Jackson, finally came to a halt. No more circus performances, white gloves, crying teenagers and their mothers, just nothing. Now the post mortem begins. Michael Jackson Inc. will step in and restore his soul. Neverland will become the new Graceland. Can he be buried there? Whoever owns it is sitting on a goldmine. They should reopen it immediately, bring back the menagerie, Disney up the place and start selling tickets, t-shirts and gloves. Michael will become as big again in death as he ever was in life and he won't be there to screw it up. I hope there's a club for dead singers in heaven. While they might not form a hell of a band, they could sit and have a few drinks and figure out what the hell went wrong.

Skoal, Michael, this cup of coffee is for you.

* Dr. Juan Cole posted these Michael Jackson videos. Juan Cole is a leading expert on Shia Islam, culture and Middle Easter politics and history. I highly recommend his blog.

Here's one I bet you've never seen.

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Meade Skelton Haufe said...

Its strange how much MJ and Elvis remind me of each other, even though they were so different in many ways. Maybe its the dancing ...

Tanisha said...

My opinion on this memoir:
I am 13 and i am a huge fan of michael jackson.He was a very talented man and yet very sweet,shy and quiet.As he was a 50 year old grown up who acted like a child at times.His love for children and the world ment nothing in no descusting way.He loved children,he cared for them.If he was alive still this day he would have been the first person to ever donate how ever much money to haiti he would have been here still today and able to sing in the new 2010 "We are the World" that he and other singers performed in the 1980's.But to prove my point he was lied on and was used to get fame out of from others.My true opinion on how michael died is that his personal doctor "OD'd" him.Giving him medicine every 10 to 15 minutes,In health speaking all of that medicine had tooken over his body and caused him to die instantly at the scene of the death...But may he live on in all of our lives.
R.I.P Michael Jackson

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