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You are visiting my site on: June 14, 2024

Michael jackson-the Victim?

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(Thoughts on the guy who called himself “The King of pop.”)  During the past two weeks, we have heard reams of commentary about Michael Jackson, the victim.  That was the tone of numerous eulogies at his funeral He was  pictured as a victim of some mysterious stew of health maladies, public persecution, and secret sad nesses that, we were to understand, made this frail man-child shiver with fear.

With “Thriller” behind him, Jackson was 24. All that was required of him was to maintain credibility with his fans and continue making respectable albums. But rather than focusing on his music, Jackson began to obsess about his appearance. He altered his features, at first slightly, then eerily. His image-making began to shift, too. The sexy and charming young man on the covers of “Off the Wall” and “Thriller” was suddenly “Bad,” as the title of his next album insisted. Then he was “Dangerous,” as the next one claimed. It felt shrill and forced.

Jackson began to lose interest in his creative side altogether. He managed to release but two CDs of new material in the last 18 years of his life. He toured the world twice during that time, but somehow, besides a couple of shows in Hawaii, managed to miss the United States.. In the transfixing 2003 documentary “Living with Michael Jackson,” the star looks like nothing more than a latter-day Blanche DuBois, denying a sordid past and ultimately reality with a shake of his hair and a deranged titter. Jackson‘s tragedy was almost entirely self-made. Even his complaints about the press ring hollow. It’s hardly sporting to complain about the dogs he unleashed for nosing around the spectacle he quickly became.All of these realities are ignored by the victim talk. It’s a cover for a terrible waste, and a lost chance to reflect on how not to live one’s life. Michael Jackson was older than Elvis when he died, but he died the same way: alone with the one person who could have saved him. 


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