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From Wacko Jacko to Saint Michael in two hours

Michael Joseph Jackson (1958-2009)

Michael Joseph Jackson (1958-2009)

I have to disclose something from the get-go: I never liked Michael Jackson and/or his music.

I will not attempt to judge the man or the musician; I will let others decide if he was a musical prodigy, a world class entertainer, a tormented addict or something else.

I will, however, make some comments about how the media and his family have handled his passing.

Michael Jackson never enjoyed a normal life, and the media never missed an opportunity to poke fun at, ridicule and exacerbate the pervasive conditions that made an already uncontrolled life, worse. When he got a chimpanzee, there were special editorial segments -animal behaviorists included- on every evening news around the country. When he dangled his baby over the balcony for a group of fans gathered outside his Berlin hotel, the media spent countless hours debating his parental skills… Some even called for the kid’s removal from Jackson’s custody. When he went on shopping sprees, many called him crazy -I saw him once at a mall in Florida; he closed up a store and bought pretty much everything. I could go on, and on, and on….

Today, I spent two hours watching and listening to several people from the media call Jackson “awesome.” Others called him “the greatest entertainer that ever lived.” Some even went as far as rolling their eyes when one commentator dared to remember Jackson’s sour encounters with the law. The truth is that the media took and embalmed the dead body of the same person they chastised in life in order to score a few Nielsen points. You guys -the media- managed to turn years of  “Wako Jacko-ness” into “St. Michael-ness” in less than 2 hours. You used the redemption-card when you might have played a great role in putting him into the $25,000 gold casket. Shame on you.

About the Jackson family…

It’s no secret that the relationship between Jackson and his family was cordial at best. He was close with her little sister of Super Bowl fame, Janet, and the other “successful” Jacksons, but that was about it. He was very vocal about the abuses he endured from his father while he was growing up. His brothers tried to piggy-back on his success, and enjoyed a relatively good ride, but by the time Thriller came out, they were already in a steep decline. Michael and Janet left them behind but they never got over it. Several reports claim that Jackson provided financial help to some members of his family -including Pa and Ma Jackson- but they were never allowed to be part of their brother’s business, much less reap the benefits of his success.

Today’s “memorial” went smoothly until one of his brothers started mumbling what it sounded like a reprieval to those who criticized and ridiculed Jackson in life. The other members rushed to whisper into his ears and tried to calm him down. At that point everything was clear. A family that never, ever benefited directly from Jackson’s success had the opportunity -finally- to start doing it. A memorial service that looked -and felt- more like an awards ceremony is just the beginning for the new Jackson Corp. Now, it is easy to understand why they tried to legally block the executioners of Jackson’s will from taking charge of his state, and why they’re moving desperately to take control of everything related to his business.

Poor Jacko never enjoyed a quiet, mundane, normal life, and he surely didn’t get a quiet, mundane, normal passing; the former might have been a result of his lifestyle, the latter was certainly a family (business) choice.

In any case, the story doesn’t end here… It has just begun.


7 comments for “From Wacko Jacko to Saint Michael in two hours”

  • Pats

    Johann I couldn’t have done it better! Brilliant!

    I have to admit I liked his music and talent until he really became Wacko. The last cd/lp or cassette I bought was Thriller, I was 14. After that, some songs, some videos caught my attention but never to the point of thinking of buying anything, less going to a concert to see him grab his groin and moonwalk 300 times in 2 hours while moaning like a teenage virgin discovering her boyfriend’s manhood…

    His life bothered me even more, to the point of feeling really sorry for this black-turned-white Peter Pan with lots of talent and devotion to his profession but who, as most stars are, was surrounded by opportunists, beggars and “family”; all of them waiting, like dogs, for the next bone to be thrown.

    As a father I cannot stop thinking how lame it is to push your sons beyond any imaginable limit for your personal profit. Lots of names come to my mind but the Jackson’s patriarch has to be in the Top 3.

    I agree with you, the story has just begun and I’m pretty sure it will have an ugly ending. Now it’s up to the media to do their part… if they still know how to do it.

  • Pats

    one last thing…where did you get that picture???

  • Caterina

    Brilliant. Thanks for capturing my feelings with such accuracy

    You have a way with words my friend!!!! Kudos :)

  • Caterina

    First of all, that picture will haunt me forever 😉

    It’s a brilliant piece. Thanks for capturing my feelings about the whole affair.

    You really have a way with words, kudos Johann!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.isatraverso.com isatrava

    Love your way with words, and that talented brain of yours. I loved MJ and his music, I know his songs and can dance Thriller. I think he was weird but not a child molester. I also believe he was dead when he was accused of harming children.

  • Maureen

    It always amazes me when people start to deify the same person in death that they crucified in life. Was he a child molester? I don’t know. But what I do know after listening to countless news shows is that he lived a tortured life due to an abusive home situation and a tyrant for a father. He was addicted to all types of drugs and he doc-shopped and no one – not one of those doctors, said no. And he was so filled with self-loathing that he turned himself white and subjected himself to more times under the knife than most people can count. And…he wanted only white children.

    A talented musician – yes. An incredible dancer – second to none. The biggest selling album – no doubt. But also a sad, tormented, shell of a man who spoke like a child and lived in Neverland. May he truly find the peace in death that he eluded him in life.

    • Vivian Oberon

      Amen Maureen. Well said.