I think it’s about time that I get around to writing this post. I’ve done seven or eight drafts of it but keep tossing it out because, quite frankly, I just don’t know what to say.
Michael Jackson is both legendary as a performer and confusing as a person. He is, quite literally, the fundamental reason why people are obsessed with celebrities. He is, by definition, the physical embodiment of schadenfreude.
Like most child stars, Jackson had trouble keeping it together as he aged. I can only imagine how hard it must be for any of these people growing up in the limelight. For most, they peak at a young age. Michael only got bigger and better, at least for the next 20 years or so.
This is the man who broke so many barriers and managed to be an inspiration to generations of musicians. Yes, there is a cloud hanging over his head, and likely there always will be. Even in this article, which I sat down to write thinking that it may be something to honour him, I find myself having to mention the lawsuits. The alleged child molestation. Jackson was acquitted, but somehow that did not do enough to clear his name.
I think, in the end, that’s part of what ruined him, his health, and his mind. But let’s not focus on the negatives of the man himself. Instead, let’s honour him as a performer and a trailblazer. The first black man on TV. He wowed millions with the moonwalk, he created masterpieces, he even invented special shoes to help him dance. There’s no doubting that he was a hell of a creative person.
So, in his waning years, he was plagued by scandal, debts, and all kinds of gossip. But no matter what, deep down I think he was still the same kid who loved music and was dying to perform.
Finally, he passed away at the age of 50, leaving behind his kids and legions of fans. And despite all of the hatred that people seem to have for the man, his kids clearly seem to have loved him. And now he’s just had a huge funeral with thousands of attendees, millions watching on TV, and rumored to have cost $1.4 Million.
So obviously, here’s Thriller. Remember him as this, and not anything after.