“His death may have stunned the world of music, but those who knew Michael Jackson say the warning signs of his fading health were clear. They claim his long-term addiction to painkillers is the obvious underlying health issue which – combined with the considerable pressure of attempting a showbusiness comeback – may just have claimed his life. Only last month, the Daily Mail reported that Jackson was struggling to make even a handful of the rehearsals for the comeback tour which was due to start in July at the O2 in London. He had been to just two out of more than 45 rehearsals.”
He’s steeped in my memory from childhood but I lost total interest during the creepy years (which, sadly, were the majority of the past 2 decades). Why is it then that his death finds me suddenly fascinated by such a strange personality and bizarre larger-than-life life — a sad, twisted product of childhood abuse and resulting psychological disorders, the intense pressures of superstardom, almost continuous medical treatment morphing into 25 years of prescription drug addiction, a disturbing obsession with plastic surgery and the peculiar two-sided coin of unrelenting media scrutiny combined with a reclusive, self-delusional private fantasy world enabled by wealth and a sycophantic entourage of opportunistic handlers.
Michael Jackson was a completely and utterly fascinating icon of the ravages and consequences of the American supermedia machine and resultant hyper-celebritism. He was also a phenomenally talented musician, singer, songwriter, dancer and entertainer who was loved around the world and broke so many records we’ve lost count. Whether he really was a child abuser or simply a psychological and emotional child himself unable to grow mentally into adulthood due to physical and emotional abuse from his father from a young age and complete sheltering from adult reality (or both), it was a sad and terrible long decline for a star once so bright. Whatever he became, it’s clear he so long and so desperately wanted to become someone else. It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.