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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Jackson Family’s Danse Macabre

It got silly. It got madder and more dangerously stupid even than the hysteria surrounding the death of Diana.

Worse, while the funeral service and procession of the Princess of Wales were mostly dignified and subdued, the obsequies for Michael Jackson became a nasty, noisy, vacuous affair at which his gold-plated coffin became the centre-piece of a danse macabre to which thousands of dreary little ghosts were invited to jig in vicarious unison. Millions more pirouetted alone at home.

Danse.Macabre

Indeed, when the Prince of Wales spoke at the memorial service for the victims of the July 07 2005 London bombings - which had the misfortune to fall the same day - the story came several degrees lower than the Jackson shindig on the news bulletins' pecking order. What a symbol of the world's lopsided and corrupted values!

We understand that artistes don‘t think like us mere mortals and it’s their very eccentricity which produces their work.

However, the relatives, friends and hangers-on of the so-called King of Pop played their beloved Michael’s sudden death way past the hilt, even bringing his 11-year-old daughter on stage to offer an anti-climatic finale. The adults involved were simply shameless.

They said it was to honour Jackson as ‘the best entertainer in the world’. There’s never been such a person. He was a great little hoofer who could carry a tune. He was not a modern Mozart, although there were personal parallels we could mark:

Both had showbiz-potty, money-crazed Dads who abused their prodigious talents and destroyed their childhoods so ensuring they never grew up. Both went on to live thoroughly strange private lives in the glare of publicity and were chased by personal demons that made them near-demented.

Now one wonders if Jackson ever had an original off-stage thought. At one time he had close friendships with tacky Jewish figures like the psychic Uri Geller and the Orthodox US rabbi, Shmuley Boteach. Personally, I’d have neither as house guests.

Who else influenced him? Despite his Jewish ‘friendships’ and a visit to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the Museum of Tolerance, Jackson quite infamously spewed antisemitic rhetoric, both personally and in his music.

It was for moments like this surely that Peter Shaffer wrote in his play Amadeus: “Goodness is nothing in the furnace of Art”.

If Jackson was anything, he was an idol of our Age of Ambivalence. He was most likely asexual but was accused of child-abuse; should have died as rich as Croesus but was plagued by huge debts. We are left unsure of his children’s true paternity, wonder about his eating habits, his addiction to prescription drugs and obsessive facial plastic surgery.

Was this man ashamed to be black?

Along with his children, who are really still too young to understand the portent of what’s happened, I believe the real victims of the Jackson saga are his ex-wives.

I conclude by quoting Lisa Marie Presley’s moving blog piece on MySpace about their marriage. Like Presley, I believe that Jackson did have a premonition about his early death and also understand that she views his passing as a wickedly painful reminder of her father’s ugly death. This makes me very sorry indeed.

Presley wrote:

“I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow”.

So began one of the saddest – and most honest accounts of the man regarded as the ‘King of Pop’.

After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

He was an amazing person and I am lucky to have gotten as close to him as I did and to have had the many experiences and years that we had together.

I desperately hope that he can be relieved from his pain, pressure and turmoil now.

He deserves to be free from all of that and I hope he is in a better place or will be.

I also hope that anyone else who feels they have failed to help him can be set free because he hopefully finally is.

The World is in shock but somehow he knew exactly how his fate would be played out some day more than anyone else knew, and he was right.

I really needed to say this right now, thanks for listening”.

msniw

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