Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Does It Even Get Any Weirder...?

There are some thing in life that are so weird, we just accept them. For me, the life and death of Michael Jackson is one of those things. Jackson was arguably one of the most talented entertainers who ever lived. His "Thriller" album is still hard to beat, even 30 years later. Every time I listen to it, it still sounds fresh and innovative. But, unfortunately, Jackson was a very strange person, and his private life reflected that fact. I was never entirely convinced that his preoccupation with little boys was anything more than just friendship. Child molesters will often create an atmosphere where children feel comfortable, and in my opinion, Jackson's Neverland Ranch was a typical child molester's lair. If anyone in any of our neighbourhoods ~~ Mr. Smith or Mr. Jones down the street ~~ had participated in such behaviour, the outcome of the trials would have been much different. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... But Jackson is gone, and we will never know for sure.

And now, his personal physician, Dr. Murray, is on trial for Jackson's strange death ~~ yet another trial involving the strange life and death of Michael Jackson. At the time of his death, Jackson had been given propofol (an anesthetic), and two anti-anxiety benzodiazepines ~~ lorazepam and midazolam ~~ to help him sleep. During the autopsy, midazolam, diazepam, lidocaine and ephedrine were also found in Jackson's body. Now Dr. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter, and he is also accused of using the wrong type of CPR to try to revive Jackson. Weird? No more so than the rest of Jackson's life.

Jackson's career was on a downhill slide at the time of his death. He had been trying to revive it, but I think as with everything in life, times moves on, and fresh, new weird things arrive on the scene. Lady Gaga, anyone? Consider this: Lady Gaga wasn't even "born this way" yet when "Thriller" was first released. She was born four years later.

In a way, Jackson's weird death is his immortality. His death revived his record sales, and he has stayed front and center on the scene in a ghoulish way for the past two years, and will probably continue to do so for a long time yet. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Was his "Thriller" album prescient? Did he have a sense of what was to happen? Who knows? As long as Dr. Murray's trial continues, Michael Jackson will be in the headlines every day. His corpse will continue to be dug up and examined every morning, and laid to rest again in the evening. Every detail of his life, eating habits, sleep, friends, family, recreation, medications ~~ all his privacy ~~ will be open for the world to examine. I ask you, does it get any weirder than that?

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y'alls neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse's shell

I'm gonna thrill you tonight
(Thriller thriller)
I'm gonna thrill you tonight
(Thriller night thriller))
I'm gonna thrill you tonight
Ooh babe I'm gonna thrill you tonight
Thriller night babe

25 comments:

Sightings said...

My take (which is worth what you paid for it):

People who become so rich and live in such a protected bubble end up indulging their whims and fantasies so much that the weird things begin to take over. They lose touch with the real world ... and end up mad.

Such was Michael Jackson.

Sextant said...

I agree with Sightings. I think celebrities and politicians are subject to thinking that they are gods or master of the universe and lose sight of their human frailties. The rules no longer apply to a god.

There is one thing that we the many, the dung encrusted masses have that these people can't buy even with all their money: blessed anonymity.

Jo said...

Sightings, I agree totally. I don't think Michael Jackson ever lived in the real world.

Sextant, "Dung encrusted masses" ~~ I like that. Can I borrow it sometime? And yes, anonymity is so valuable, isn't it?

PhilipH said...

I have never been a fan of Jackson's music. OK, his video promos were very well done but I've never, ever, bought any of his albums or singles. Not my bag, as the street talk has it.
He had fame and riches, yes. But he was struggling to stay remotely happy in life.
Hope he has now found peace if that was what he was searching for.

Jo said...

Philip, well, yes, I hope he has found peace too. He certainly lived a life of turmoil, didn't he? Very sad.

Sextant said...

Jo

I hereby grant you a 99 year exclusive license to use "dung encrusted masses" (C). If you are around when the license expires, well, I am sure I won't give a damn.

Jo said...

Sextant, LOL...! Thank you. :-)

Leslie: said...

His corpse will continue to be dug up and examined every morning, and laid to rest again in the evening. May I use this as an example of figurative language for my English students? It's extremely vivid!!!

Jo said...

Leslie, omigosh, that is a HUGE compliment, coming from you...! Of course you can use it. :-)

JeannetteLS said...

I've never known what to think of him beyond an uncomfortable cross between squeemishness and compassion. But he never lived in a balanced world, from the pressures on him as a very young boy to bring in the bucks for daddy, through adulthood. Alcoholics are said to stop any emotional growth the first time they hit the bottle. And abuse can also kind of warp one's growth. I look at Michael Jackson and figure he never had a prayer to live a life of balance. After "Thriller," when he started getting the massive plastic surgery to change from the handsome young man he was to a clone of his sister, I simply could not watch.

Yet we were forced to watch, if we watched television news or opened a magazine. I hope that he did not molest these children, but we'll never know... and the whole thing made every alarm bell in my body go off.

Perhaps one day he will be allowed to be put to rest for more than a day or a month.

Jo said...

Jeanette, yes, I agree with you 100%. He never had a chance. Any of the folks who called him "normal" were also wounded souls themselves. And yes, he should be put to rest as soon as possible, and hopefully this trial will be the end of it.

Paula said...

Add me to the list of people who have never owned any Michael Jackson music. I can remember when he was on Ed Sullivan as part of the Jackson Five, and was a cute, absolutely normal looking little black boy. The next thing I knew he looked like Diana Ross, which was nice on her, but not on him.

Sextant said...

Jeannette,

You hit the nail square on the head...

But he never lived in a balanced world, from the pressures on him as a very young boy to bring in the bucks for daddy, through adulthood.

I remember reading during one of the earlier bouts of Neverland a theory that because Jackson never had a childhood that there remained an unfulfilled little boy that desired the company of other young lads. I give that some credence, but I feel that separate bedrooms with a nice staff of watchful women servants about would have reduced the creepiness factor and indeed proved that "hey we were all being boyhood chums."

Linking Jeannette'observation here to Jo's recent post on Toddlers and Tiara's, how much damage are these parents doing to their little girls, by forcing them to dress and act the role of a bimbo and not allowing them to be little girls? It is frightening, what parents can do to their kids.

I love this blog...Jo you are to be commended once again.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I always feel sad when I think of Michael Jackson. His childhood was stolen by his exploitative father, and as other posters have stated, he never was allowed to live in the real world. The multiple plastic surgeries were painful to behold and one cannot help but marvel that such an immensely talented person could have failed to make peace with who he was.

Rob-bear said...

Frankly, there was nothing about Mr. Jackson that appealed to me. In the slightest.
I understand many people considered him a media star. I never watched him, or bought any of his records.
I just took him as a sad, pathetic man, who lived hard and died in a mess. Like so many others.
RIP, Mr. Jackson. God bless.

Alicia said...

Well dear Jo, again you've inspired so many to give their take on Michael Jackson's life and death. I too have never been a huge fan of Michael. I loved the Thriller video of course but that was about it. I feel sad for him, for the life he led and for his children. I hope life will be easier and less sensationalistic (ok, I know that's not a word) for his children. But I doubt it. Sad all the way around.

Marguerite said...

Great post, Jo! I can only describe his death as bizarre and his life as even more bizarre. But, when you factor in the childhood abuse that he had to endure, it's not surprising. Fame, money, and drugs didn't seem to help, if anything, they added to his pain. Hope his "children" can overcome it all. So sad.

Katy said...

I'm a fan of the guy's music. But while on the one hand I can't help but feel sorry for what his life became, its also worth remembering that he put a lot of time and effort into making sure people thought he was weird.

And I agree with you Jo. I would never let me child be around Michael Jackson.

I guess that's why it bugs me when people try to paint him as a victim. If he was seen as a child predator it was because he acted like one. If he was seen as odd, it's because he acted odd. If he had wanted to be seen as completely normal I'm sure he would have acted that way...

the walking man said...

*shrug* They still party at Jim Morrison s grave...fame is the thriller and the killer.

Jo said...

Paula, I had the Thriller album, and I gave a copy to Phinnaeus for Christmas a couple of years ago, and he liked it too, but Jackson had not done anything lately, had he? And yes, he did look like Diana Ross ~~ as Billy Holiday, only not as pretty. :-)

Sextant, thank you! :-) And yes, it could be that Michael Jackson was the ultimate Peter Pan ~~ the little boy who never grew up. I still think there was something more, though, judging from what some of the children testified.

Susan, yes, I hope Michael Jackson's father is not allowed near the children, Paris, Prince and the little fellow. They seem like nice, normal kids.

Rob-bear, he was good for a while, but went downhill very quickly, and did become a sad, pathetic man. I think his death reflected that.

Alicia, I hope Michael Jackson's life and death is a cautionary tale for his children. They do appear to be growing up to be very normal, thank goodness.

Marguerite, yes, I don't think Jackson was ever part of the real world. Martin Bashir did a documentary on him once, where he followed him around, and his life was very, very strange, indeed.

Katy, yes, he did put a lot of time and effort into appearing weird, didn't he? Good point...! And yes, one would have thought his advisors would have asked him to town down the friendships with young children, after the first charges were laid against him. Very strange...

Mark, well, yes, look at how famous Elvis and Marilyn still are too. An early death seems to be some folks' immortality.

Paula Slade said...

Jackson's whole life was sad to watch crumble, especially because he was extremely talented. I feel sorry for his children.

Jo said...

Paula, my heart breaks for his children. I think they have a loving family around them, though. But yes, it was very sad.

Stephen said...

It's difficult to convey to the younger crowd just how big Michael Jackson was. His ability took him to the top of multiple entertainment categories--as a singer, dancer, choreographer and composer. Combined in one individual the package was incandescent.

The young Jackson's voice was so beautiful that only the most talented (or delusional) vocalists presume to sing his best-known hits. When I listen to his music--I prefer "Off the Wall" (#68 on Rolling Stone's top 500 all-time albums) to "Thriller" (#20)--I try to put aside knowledge of what came later and let the music speak for itself.

His life veered in disastrous directions, but IMHO those will be just afterthoughts to the songs that will still be playing when we're all dead and gone.

Jo said...

Stephen, there is no question that Michael Jackson was brilliant. I gave Phinnaeus a Michael Jackson CD for Christmas, and he really liked it. It's just so sad that Jackson's life took such a down turn.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

You brought up -- as have the previous commenters -- so many points that have come to mind in the past few days as the trial has started. Michael Jackson was a person who had little chance for a normal life thanks to an abusive, exploitive father combined with the impact of super stardom at an early age. Some people can shape their own lives in a positive way after childhood abuse as they grow up and make their own way in the real world that may be much less scary than the childhood home. However, Michael Jackson never lived in that real world and never knew what normal was. He made obscene amounts of money and was surrounded by the usual show biz hangers on who never would or could say "No" to him. The whole scenario of his life was sad: the brilliant talent that was overshadowed by increasing weirdness, the mental illness, the inability to know or accept who he was, the frantic search for happiness and, in the end, for a peaceful night's sleep. Like many, I've always suspected that he wasn't innocent of child molestation and felt that he beat the rap because of his celebrity, but it's impossible to know for sure. I'm horrified at the incompetence and twisted priorities of the doctor currently on trial. His life ended as it had always been -- with him being exploited and, by that time, actively participating in his own downward spiral.