There have been plenty of jokes made at the expense of Michael Jackson for decades (many of which I enjoyed) but there really is no denying that he was an amazing artist who made music and danced like no one else.
Who else hung around chimps, wearing a single sequined glove, screamed, yelped & giggled through songs (Woo Hoo! Schmon! Heee heee!) and grabbed at his crotch in 3D and made all of it seem cool and effortless.
I still get chills at the way a young Michael screams out, “OhhhhHH! Baby give me one more chance!” in “I Want You Back” and always find myself mesmerize by the sequined mirror ball suit in the video for “Rock with You.”
I’m still amazed at how badass he was in “Smooth Criminal” (and to a lesser degree in “Bad’). He manages to do what West Side Story failed miserably at doing; convincing dance fighting sequences. A shiny Puerto Rican guy snapping and jazz hands jabbing was no match with a man in a crisp white suit moonwalking and tilting his way against gravity distracting you until you realize that you’ve been hit by… you’ve been struck by… a smooth criminal. OK Annie.
Unfortunately it’s the loud vitiligo pedophilia of recent past that sought to tear down the man and let many of us forget how awesome he was. It confused everyone when he turned into a baby dangling white woman who has sleepovers with boys.
But it’s unfair to have decades of beautiful pop art created by the artist sullied by the man and the way he chose to live his life.
When the first allegations of sexual abuse came out I wanted to believe they were false….hoping that it was possible for a man who had no childhood to be able to live sweetly and innocently like a child as an adult. I want to believe in Peter Pan. I wanted to believe he was just a sweet asexual man, pure of heart and wished only to heal the world and make it a better place.
But humans by nature are sexual beings. It’s hard to find someone who is truly celibate.
The allegations started to become more and more believable synchronized with some of his bizarre behavior.
When it started to feel true…
that’s when I started reevaluating the art when I find out that its been created by a monster.
Suddenly the lyrics to “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” meant something else.
“Will You Be There” is now Michael arranging a date for freeing his willy on some child.
“Something about you “baby”.. that makes me want to give it to you” (Baby?… no longer “baby”… you get me, baby?)
“‘Cause If It’s Aching You Have To Rub It” (uhhhhhhg!)
“The Girl is Mine”…. how ridiculous is the idea now of Paul McCartney and Michael fighting over a girl.
That “doggone” girl is mine… what?!
Oh please don’t make me choose between a man who’s abusive to one legged ladies or a nose rotting pedophile who prefers boys!
I don’t want to think of any of his songs in this way. I wish that the art exists wholly as a separate form from the man. I wish I could watch his music videos and enjoy his music without ever wanting to know who this person was that created these things.
For example… I kinda like this painting:
But that’s before I knew it was done by the white supremacist who killed a man at the Holocaust Museum a month ago.. James Von Brunn.
But there is a strong part of me that is unwilling to just accept the work as it is because the belief that the work is an expression from the artist. The ideas sprung forth from the artist’s mind. It came out of him and there had to be a reason why.
Often times I feel that I have many ideas that came out of me that I would love to disown as regrettable bastard children. But I cannot deny that they were bourne for a reason and that they say something about me.
There is another aspect that also troubles me about Michael Jackson that was brought up in the movie, Three Kings.
Iraqi Interrogator : “What is the problem with Michael Jackson? …Your country make him chop up his face.”
Underwear Model:“I don’t think so.”
Iraqi Interrogator:“Michael Jackson is pop king of sick fucking country.”
Underwear Model:“That’s Bullshit. He did it to himself!”
Did we do this to the man? The white man is the picture of success in America. Did America make the black man hate himself? Is that what Michael was going for with all his plastic surgery?
In America, money will get you very far and the good ol’ US of A has had plenty of eccentric wealthy lunatics who were surrounded by enablers and allowed to do some messed up things. With enough money, there is no one who is going to stop you from making choices that you probably should not. Yes-men enablers will do anything as long as they get money, and don’t care about the consequences. They help create a world that is detached from reality and boundaries.
Jacko wants his drugos… fine… give me the cash and he gets em.
Ultimately, I think that was what killed Jackson.
I would have loved to have seen him have one more glorious return from his downfall in a new phase of his growth as an artist…. but I don’t think he could have pulled it off and maybe it’s better that he went out now.
I hope that with the passage of time, people will remember less about the man but still stand in awe of his art.
Leonardo Da Vinci was also a “child enthusiast.”
But no one really reevaluate Mona Lisa’s smile as modeled after Da Vinci’s own smile after enjoying vigorous sex with young tender boys.
The sexual proclivities of Da Vinci do not diminish his achievements.
I hope the same for Michael Jackson.