Thursday, June 25, 2009

The performer, the legend, the pariah

I always thought Michael Jackson would have been better off dying young.
I said it to anyone who would give me five minutes. Had Jackson died after "Thriller," or even after "Bad," he'd be a legend, a God, almost, the way people think of John Lennon or Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix. Jackson was a perfect example of an artist who's legacy would have benefited from an early death. Let's look at it another way: What if Morrison was still alive today? The guy would be a freak, a joke, a blithering idiot, probably. Hell, Hendrix might be the same way, as much as it pains me to say that.
But now? Well, it seems cruel that Jackson dies now, when he was planning a comeback that might
have made people think about his music again rather than his plastic surgery or skin color or kids or, of course, the sexual abuse charges that were proven unfounded but unfortunately seemed to fit.
I was pleased to see most of the coverage I saw last night focused on exactly that, his killer music, his
groundbreaking videos, his incredible dancing, his aura. It's always funny about death: Jackson was
vilified in the media in the last few years, many times rightly so, and his music or his legacy never
seemed to come up, but now all people can do is say nice things about him. Why do we do that
when they're no longer around to hear those things?
I said he'd be better off dead because I got tired of defending Jackson the artist and trying to get
others to separate his amazing music from the freak show that he'd become. For one night, the night of his death, it was easy to do. People talked about "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" and "Thriller" and "Rock With You" and "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough."
Sad thing is, his death comes too late for the adulation to last.


lightning36 said...

"the sexual abuse charges that were proven unfounded"

Rarely can anything be proven to be unfounded.

He bought silence, as most rich and powerful people do.

Lauren said...

I agree with you to some extent. He had very good music in his earlier days but, his actions turned him into a monster. Now that he is gone, the world is saddened and I can't figure out why? No one has liked him for years. People have shunned him, talked horribly about him, but suddenly they are sad he is gone. Personally, I am thankful there is one less predator in the world, good music or not.