So listen… I’m not going to write a huge spiel here going into all the intricacies of my opinions about this colorful character of a man but I felt something should be said so here goes.
First it should be noted that I am not really a Michael Jackson fan. I know his music because really who doesn’t. I own one of his albums in fact. Thriller was the first CD I ever bought at age 11 but I wouldn’t call myself a fan and I’m certainly not a fanatic supporter.
That being said, the King of pop / MJ / Jacko was a global icon and his passing sort of marks the end of an era. There’s this odd feeling when a person of such significance is sadly and suddenly no longer around. As a woman who was living in Britain at the time of Princess Diana’s death, I can’t say this is the first time I’ve experienced the departure of someone so built into the fabric of society that somehow you just assumed they would be around forever. No, I am not comparing them in any way other than the facts that both were widely known and influenced so many. The ripples they create even in death are wide spread; affect many people from all different backgrounds. Everybody has their opinions and suddenly becomes keen to voice them. There’s this mixtures of anger, shock, disbelief and sadness.
Like I said everyone has their opinion and this is my blog, so here is mine. Michael Jackson was a legend – an amazing talent. His music is the soundtrack to the time he lived through, hit after hit after hit… and all of them have me singing along even when I don’t consider myself a fan or follower of his work. When an artist has that many iconic hits, you don’t need to follow them because the songs get so much exposure you can’t NOT be aware of them, be it radio, TV, adverts, remixes and imitations. Some people’s talent just shines bright in the world and unashamedly seeps into your consciousness, demanding your acknowledgement. Michael Jackson is one such star and his music will live on as his legacy to the world.
When you draw attention to yourself through some great talent that you possess, you are at the mercy of the society you put yourself on stage in front of. You amass success and influence. Unfortunately you seem to become somewhat public property. You can’t showcase just part of your life anymore. It’s all or nothing: in the public eye or out of it and when you’re in the spotlight you can bet that a good number of people are looking to shoot you down.
You and I both know the accusations leveled in Michael’s direction as well as we know those songs we’re tapping our feet along to. Pedophilia and the crimes of child molestation and abuse are abhorrent and those guilty of such things are evil in my mind. It’s as simple as that. No excuses, no mercy. However, in my opinion, wrongfully accusing an innocent person of the most disgusting of offences is just as inexcusable. I will not tar somebody with that child abuser label without being damn sure I know what I was talking about. I believe there are only two things in this world that justify openly labeling someone as a pedophile: one is criminal conviction in a court of law where the burden of proof is beyond all reasonable doubt, and the second is personal experience of abuse and an abused loved one . MJ was never convicted and I certainly don’t know anyone of his accusers personally. Therefore, I will leave him to face judgment and punishment from God on this question for he is much better qualified than me to know the truth.
All I see when I look at the life of this icon is a person forced to grow out of childhood far too fast, reaching the top of their profession before they were mature enough to cope with such things and suffering immense and overwhelming insecurity, trying to recapture the worry free days of a childhood he never had. And that is so very tragic. The amount of surgery that man put himself through in order to try and feel accepted and “beautiful” is tragic. Somebody who is that out of touch with reality is tragic. Somebody that insecure in the public eye for so long surrounded by supporters and enemies but without any actual help appears tragic to me. If anything is to be learned from the life and death of this tortured soul maybe the simplest lesson is this: here is definitive proof that money and fame do NOT simply buy you happiness and peace of mind. That is something you must find and not acquire.
Can we please take a moment to stop arguing over the rights and wrongs of the choices he made in his life or the accusations leveled against him because at the end of the day, none of it matters? Now, a man has passed away. Have some respect for the dead. If you can’t think of anything positive to say, now is the time for quiet. Give his family and friends the respect they deserve on the loss of a loved one and move on with your life .
For my part I will mourn the Michael Jackson that was in the beginning: the bright young star whose music was an inspiration and I will hope that the Michael Jackson he became – the insecure tormented controversial soul – finally is at peace in a better place.
I chose to remember the good and try to let go of the bad… because when somebody has died it seems like the right thing to do.
Rest In Peace Michael and may your family find a little compassion and comfort in the world at this time