|"Young Michael Jackson"|
Michael Jackson was born as the eighth of ten children, into a poor, working-class American family. Somewhere along the lines of youth, his Father discovered the boy's prodigious talents; deciding to fulfil his own failed musical ambitions through his children. With a sensitive five year old boy - able to burst out soulful, powerful vocals; coupled with the ruthless sword of ambition, the global success and universal fame eventually rolled right in for the Jackson clan, desperate to escape the clutches of poverty.
As is consistent with success, the spoils came at an immense price; in this case, a collection of childhoods. Their father enforced upon them a strict work ethic upon which would scare most adults - let alone a collection of young boys. He would often use violence of a physical and psychological nature, to keep his dreams alive unhealthily through his children. As one of the youngest and most talented, Michael would not only have experienced direct hostility in resentment, jealousy, and bitterness towards his skills, but also seen his own family seduced by the madness, of all that this corruptive world within a world of it's own had to offer.
By the time Michael Jackson had reached early adulthood, he had already lived the ferocious hurricane of fame; a world where sex, drugs, politics, and corruption run rife. Ask anyone who has been exposed to the dark nature of life before mature enough to fully understand it, and search for the happiness behind the jaded eyes hardened from repeated exposure to excess. Better yet, Google almost every child star of history; surviving through it with sanity in tact is the exception, and definitely not the rule.
Michael Jackson never had a childhood, and spent the rest of his life fighting within himself to reclaim it. He wanted to be the child he never was; surrounded by other children, going to theme parks, eating ice-cream, watching stupid movies and staying up late, having sleepovers, and riding bikes and bumper cars; all the stuff we take for granted as a given. Not too much for a man who never had the chance, to ask for. Sure the manner in how he did this was easy to misinterpret. But, much like the naked baby penis on the cover of Nirvana's Nevermind album, those who see it as sexual are really the ones who need to worry; not the makers of the cover (he is swimming for a dollar from birth, it doesn't take much to figure out the subtext.)
|"Older Michael Jackson, still full of heart."|
Michael Jackson never abused a child in his life - doing quite the opposite by giving them a reason to smile. He was tried on twelve counts of these claims, and acquitted for every last one. Even now, there is not even a microcosm of evidence, to show he was nothing more than a very sensitive man, who wanted lesser fortunate children to experience the wonders of childhood, which he himself had so publicly missed out upon. The irony in these claims is that the negative, sensationalist media; who spew hate from every conceivable angle, are almost as detrimental to a child's future as some forms of physical or emotional abuse. The good in Michael Jackson was being defined as evil, by evil; but throughout history, when is this ever different?
He was not perfect. He suffered from Vitiligo - a disease which changes skin pigmentation, which can be argued as a subconscious rejection of his skin colour; but when you listen to his song lyrics, you realize - like all good men, he saw humans as humans, and not colours or classes. He did have a lot of plastic surgery, and was scalded for this. Yet so have people like Joan Rivers or Barry Manilow - and where are their criticisms for being middle-aged and having faces like a white version of The Mask? He was ridiculed for protecting his children's faces from the media - but why wouldn't he? He most likely loved his children, (who lose out more than anyone, as they miss out on growing up with a Father) and did not want them being hounded and tortured for both their association and looks. He once hung his baby out of a window, for a microsecond. Pretty stupid, yes. But enough to crucify him over?
In the end, Michael Jackson was simply a very talented man from a very rough upbringing, and the mixture of the two adapted his psychological state to a point of being stuck in a moment of forced regression. He was not a normal man in the conventional sense, but his heart and love were very human, and very much genuine. Beyond all this, go listen to his music or examine his philanthropy; the guy was an absolute saint.
Thankfully, he was a man who had millions of fans. And they are fans who never turned on him, gave up on his kindness and warmth, and still love the man as much as they loved the music; as well as being able to separate the two, whilst still appreciating both. Two hundred years from now, Michael Jackson will be seen as the victim, and the media the persecutors. I just wish the message got through a lot sooner...
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