Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson – Death of a Misunderstood Icon

Memorial group invitations on Facebook were my first notification that Michael Jackson had died and the news was later confirmed via CNN. Having never really been a huge fan of Michael the news did come as muttered shock. Whether you loved him or hated him, one thing can not be denied – on 25 June 2009 the world lost a Pop Icon! His death had me wondering – How did he die? Was it natural causes ,a heart attack, painkiller overdose or did all the plastic surgeries he had finally caused his death? There remain so many questions not only about his death but also about his life…
Not being an expert on Michael Jackson I can only air my opinion. We first saw him emerge into fame as very attractive young black man, who as his career progresses slowly transformed in front our eyes into an alien like white female caricature like person. As his music evolved so did his appearance and as his fame grew he became more of a recluse. In my opinion, he was a very lonely, deeply misunderstood and a broken person. He never seemed quite satisfied with his life and over compensated for what he yearned for by material possessions and what he did not like about himself he opted to fix through surgery. He is even described as the text book case example for a psychiatric disorder called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (a disorder in which the affected person is excessively concerned about and preoccupied by an imagined or minor defect in his or her physical features, in some cases correcting these features through surgery). Michael Jackson did not by any means have a normal childhood. Since a very young age he was in the lime light which effectively deprived him of the experience normal children would have. Therefore, it should not come as surprise that in his adult live he surrounded himself possessions and symbols reflecting any child’s fantasy – his Neverland Range for example! His preoccupation with children could also be viewed as his need to regress back to his lost childhood. All this brought much unwanted and negative publicity to him; being charged with alleged sexual abuse of young boys. Charges he was never found guilty off. Many people still believes in his guilt and that he only got acquitted due to his fame and fortune. We will never know the truth as it now will go with him to his grave. Personally, I always wondered whether he was indeed a predator disguised as a philanthropist or just a deeply misunderstood person with a child like innocent ignorance.
The delusional aspect of Michael Jackson’s always fascinated me. He never admitted to having all the extensive surgeries he had, even though it was blatantly obvious. His nose took on a life of it’s own with many fearing, in recent years, that one day it will fall off. Some even speculated that his noose had been replaced with a prosthetic due the fact that the nasal area was so severely damaged that there was no tissue or bone left to restore. This made me wonder how the paramedics tried to resuscitate him when they found him at his home. Did his facial alteration in any away complicate their work in their attempt to revive him?

Having altered his appearance so dramatically over the years and with all the complication as a result, I often asked myself, when he looked at himself in the mirror without make up, some of the prosthetics he was said to use, what did he think? In his mind did he achieve his aesthetic goal or had he transformed himself into a monster? In the last year he must have had time to reflect on his past and career as he was preparing for his come back; I am sure he must have been proud of his achievements and quite saddened at how he nearly lost everything. If he did not pass away his come back would have been a success due to all his devoted fans, but would his status as King of Pop ever again have been reestablished?
No matter how queer Michael Jackson’s life may have appeared to us, who didn’t know him, one thing is undeniable – the contribution he made to the music industry was invaluable, lasting and like many icons before him his legacy will live on! Many of us may have judged him, rightfully or wrongfully so, for erring when it came to his appearance, the choices he made, his flamboyant and sometimes bizarre behavior and relationships he forged with children, his marriages to Lisa Marie Presley and Debbie Rowe and the way he choose to raise his 3 children. Michael Jackson’s life was by no means an ideal example for anyone, but not having walked in his shoes in death he should be respected and remembered for his contribution and his legacy he leaves behind, and not for his perceived mistakes. My condolences go out to his family, friends, children and loyal fans. He shall be truly missed. My wish is that his children will have a normal and safe life and one day, when they reach adulthood, be able to look back at their father’s life and proud of him.

Till next time.

Michael Jackson - Thriller live (1987)


Billy said...

I'd be lying if I said I was a fan, but that the man had a brilliant talent was a given.

Been reading some of your blog. Will be back for another visit sometime.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Pierre! I particularly liked this comment:
" death he should be respected and remembered for his contribution and his legacy he leaves behind"

I've seen loads of people on Facebook today with various opinions about MJ. Fact of the matter is, he WAS a great icon that did contribute to a whole generation - so I feel pay respect, because it's due and deserved.

Thanks for the great post! As always, I look forward to the next one!

Louis (the one that cooked for you bunch the other day!)

Pierre said...

Thanks Louis, BTW dinner was great the other day!

Billy I agree, I also wasn't a huge fan and like you can probably read from what I wrote some of his behavior I found bizarre.

But, the fact that he was a brilliant artist and what he did for the industry can not be disputed.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

this is undoubtedly the most thoughtful post on Michael Jackson that I read. I'm not a fan of his though I was of his music and I enjoyed reading this. Thanks!

Pierre said...

Thanks Roshni Mitra Chintalapati,

Most people, whether they were fans or not seem to have very strong feeling about MJ. He had a trouble past few years and his career was failed in controversy. His last best selling album was "Thriller" and his career just kind of never reached that height again.

It truly is sad that now, after his death, his record sales have sky rocketed again almost similar to that of his first big hit.

No matter what your personal view on MJ is/was one must give it to the man now in death he is causing just as much controversy as he did when he was alive. AND I am sure many more skeletons will creep out of the closet in the weeks and months to come.

Shanaz AL said...

I love the thoughts that you put in here, it is so palpable from the first sentence to the end.

Pierre, Thank you for sharing your thoughts about MJ's tragic death. I hope he is more at peace now where he is than he did on earth.

Pierre said...

Shanaz AL, I hope so too. His record sales has gone crazy since his death, suppliers is struggling to keep up with the demand.

the unpopular antagonist said...

Because of his deprived childhood, it explains how he always masked his own kids from the media. I particularly liked how you wished his kids would have a safer and more normal life.

And you literally took the words out of my mouth when you said, he was misunderstood. Not outweighing the accusations made on him, i feel for him as a person even.

Pierre said...

the unpopular antagonist, children of celebrities are always the ones that suffer. I truly feel sorry for them. Even Though many of them have privileged lives, their secret misery we will never fully understand.

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