This is based on something that I just posted on Wargamer.com
, in response to the reactions to the death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.
Michael Jackson was not a genius on a par with Elvis, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, or a whole host of legends built on talent. He was a fine dancer, a good showman, and a passable singer. The rest was a testament to the power of hype and celebrity. After all, who gave Michael Jackson the title of The King of Pop? Michael Jackson.
True, his father was a brutal, exploitive piece of crap, and Jacko had no real childhood. Although that can start to explain certain issues, too often it's an excuse. Lots of people have even worse childhoods (including people whom I know personally) and grow up to be a lot more functional. Some are terribly scarred, but they're functional, giving, and caring people.
By contrast, Michael Jackson's business dealings reveal a pronounced willingness to chisel partners and welch on deals. How many charity songs were planned, projects announced, that came to nothing because he backed out? He skipped across the world, leaving a trail of broken contracts and bad debt. Michael Jackson lacked essential integrity as a man and as a businessman, and for that alone he loses my respect.
As for the children... Yuck.
Look at the way he raised the ones purported to be his: Baby-dangling in Berlin, wrapping their faces in red shrouds everywhere. They've never been to real schools, nor socialized. He clutched them to his world of weirdness, and just as he lacked a normal childhood, so he deprived them of theirs.
Then too, were they even his, or did just buy them like so many fashion accessories?
Regarding the molestation, he was acquitted by a jury of his peers in the California criminal justice system. So was OJ Simpson. That verdict was just as much a statement of how acting like a spoiled prince, harnessing the power of one's celebrity to secure a not guilty verdict.
Judging the evidence for myself, from this and the civil trials, and after discussions with police officers specializing in crimes against children, I am personally, firmly convinced that Michael Jackson was a serial child predator of the worst variety, whose appearance of wealth and celebrity gave him a pass.
Not that there was much wealth left, after all the extravagant living and broken deals, and that celebrity had noticeably faded.
So therefore I'm not especially moved, no much more than I would be if that strange kid-loving guy on the state Megan's Law site dropped dead.
Indeed, I remember my first thought when I heard he'd gone into cardiac arrest. I was certain that it was another scam to get out of a commitment due to "illness." Then when I heard he was dead, I didn't believe it, because he lied about so much else. Then when I got confirmation that he really was, I breathed a sigh of relief for the children now safe from this abomination.
There are celebrities whose passing I can mourn. Farah Fawcett passed with grace and dignity, and she was the icon of a generation. Ed McMahon served the United States with distinction as a Marine officer and aviator.
But Michael Jackson is a different story. One might argue that he was the product of a dark upbringing, or that he was a self-made man. Both have their truths. When it comes to the latter though, what he made was a monster.