Something has happened to me that I’m not sure ever has before. I find myself in agreement with the Reverend Alfred Sharpton. I agreed with Sharpton when he stood at the podium at the Michael Jackson memorial service and said, “I want [Jackson’s] three children to know, [there wasn’t anything] strange about your daddy. It was strange what your daddy had to deal with.”
This is something that I really do agree with. It’s not my belief that Michael Jackson was strange at all, given the circumstances that he was raised in, and the circumstances that he lived his entire life in.
One thing that does make me sad is the other day, as I was sitting around at my house, I got a text from one of my friends asking me if I believed that Jackson molested children. I think this in and of itself is a sad commentary. That even with all of his Grammys, number one singles, charity work, and everything else, the first question I’m asked by anyone is if I think he did something that he was acquitted of doing.
Sure. It was a bit unusual for a grown man to have a mansion that was modeled after a carnival, and named after Peter Pan. However, when it gets down to it, I really think there’s a perfect acceptable psychological explanation for it all.
From the time he could walk, his father Joe would force him and his brothers to practice singing and dancing for hours of times. Methods of training are rumored to have included beatings, whippings, intimidation using wild dogs, and other ways. Some of which Joe has himself admitted to have done.
So growing up, Michael never had a childhood. He never was able to play with the other kids in the neighborhood. He was thrust into the spotlight at the age of six, and thus had to mature very early. I think it’s only natural that in the back of his mind, his biggest wish was just to be a kid. Sleepovers, playgrounds, you name it. He wasn’t allowed it, and I think that manifested into what became the Neverland Ranch.
Then, after making what has been touted as an impossible transition from childhood star to adult star, Michael Jackson faced all kinds of accusations, most notably that he was bleaching his skin to become white.
While I’m not sure there will ever be solid proof one way or another, I believe that he really did have vitiligo, an auto-immune disorder that affects the pigmentation of skin, lightening it in patches. However, it might have been a somewhat blessing in disguise as it lead to his creation of the white glove to hide the discolored splotches on his hand. His dermatologist said, “we basically used creams that would even out the color and we destroyed the remaining pigment cells,” which explained why he became pale all over.
Also during the time that this started, in 1984, while filming a Pepsi Cola commercial inside the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, a pyrotechnics accident set his hair on fire, giving him second degree scalp burns. This, in my opinion, is what led to both his addiction to painkillers and his addiction to plastic surgeries.
Following the incident, Jackson had his first plastic surgery to hide the scars on his head. I think that with his constant strive for perfection, he decided that through plastic surgery, he could perfect his look, which actually ended up destroying it.
By the way, just a show of what kind of character Michael Jackson was, Pepsi settled out of court with Jackson for the incident, and Jackson donated his entire 1.5 million dollar settlement to the Brotman Medical Center in Culver City, CA, which now has the “Michael Jackson Burn Center”.
After everything he had gone through, he had one more chapter to write. It was the ultimate comeback. Jackson was finally going to straighten his life out. He had begun rebuilding his nose after Dr. Klein finally convinced him to avoid any further plastic surgery. It had even gotten so bad that he couldn’t breathe through it anymore. He was trying to fix his life up so that his children could see what he was, not what he became.
I would like to think that now that they are deciding where to bury Michael Jackson, his asshole of a father Joe will relent and allow him to be buried at the Neverland Ranch. This would be the modern day Graceland. It would certainly become the most visited grave of the modern day, if not of all time. It would be a nice piece to give back to the fans. The remaining owners of the ranch could even turn it into a Michael Jackson Museum.
Something that can certainly be said about Michael Jackson’s death: people cared. The internet got hit hard. TMZ crashed, as did most of Twitter, Facebook, and parts of even Google crashed. In the course of 24 hours, Jackson’s Wikipedia went through close to 500 edits before crashing Wikipedia as well. The Los Angeles Times, who broke the story, crashed as well.
AOL Instant Messenger experienced a forty minute long crash. Not to mention the estimated thirty million people that tuned in for his memorial. For better or worse, people did care about him passing away. I was definitely one of them, and I know I’m not alone in saying that I loved Michael Jackson, and I will miss him.