Friday, June 26, 2009

Mourning the King of Pop

I'm still very upset about Michael Jackson's passing. I've been on every thread imaginable seeking out closure for this. I have never been so upset about the death of a celebrity, and this unfamiliar territory of adulthood simultaneously frightens me, and leaves me with an emptiness I never knew existed.

Closure is quite the elusive creature. On every thread there are people mourning the loss of a great talent. And there are people saying good riddance to a freak show and pedophile. And then there are people like me that mourn his death twice, and are knotted up inside because we need to mourn to move on, yet we also mourn that he may have victimized children.

It is for these reasons that I cannot seem to get over this, that I'm constantly trying to keep from crying. That I'm trying desperately to keep from snapping at some kind person pointing out that I didn't know him personally so it shouldn't affect me.

But it does.

I'm upset because he was so troubled. I'm upset that he clearly crossed boundaries with children, whether or not he actually molested them. I'm upset that he was verbally and physically abused as a child. I'm upset that he may have engaged in the cycle of abuse himself. And I'm upset that such a worldly infamous icon has succumbed to a tragic death, and at the same time I hope that, if he has victimized children, that they now find solace in his passing. I also hope that he has found peace that he simply did not have in life.

And I hope that the media avoids the victim-blaming once the cause of death is made public (though I don't have much hope in that, since there's already speculation of drug abuse, followed by the, "well he didn't take very good care of himself" crap--oh you think? Too bad we were all too busy finger-pointing and making a spectacle of his freakishness to step in and offer help. This society is plagued with a desire to see the greats fall, to illustrate that they're human too, and in that we are all guilty because we "other" them, ostracize them for their abuses and mental issues, and then are shocked when they tragically die. I'm fucking sick of this. We're all human, but rather than help each other we blame them and cause more damage and say it's all their fault anyway for being addicts or being crazy or being fat or having identity issues or whatever else we can point and laugh at, and then marveling when they're dead).

It simply cannot be ignored that Michael Jackson brought joy to millions of people around the world. He was an entertainer, and he was a great one. His influence in pop music is still evident in the genre. No other artist has compared to his success thus far. And to say that I am anything less than devastated by his death would be an understatement.


Anonymous said...

I am upset too! People like him are so confined and have such a hard life. I never believed the child molestation! It may of happened but I always thought it was someone wanting to get his money and taking advantage of him after he did wonderful things for them. I have always loved Michael Jackson, I used to get mad when kids mourned over Elvis and they weren't even old enough to know who he was. I still listened to his music. He was the one that got me into liking the music I love today, the R & B of today. I was on my way home from a Detroit visit years ago and I had a cassette (yes a cassette) Dangerous! and I popped it in and just fell in love with light rap music! I have always thought he was a very talented person and yes he did waste alot of his talent over the last few years, I think he would have made a wonderful comeback, I am really glad that when we went to Disneyworld we got to see his 3-D show, it was awesome! And I never will forget the best holloween ever years ago when it was 70 degrees and a full moon and they played Thriller and Black Cat all night. Because everyone knows I also loved Janet, my kids grew up with both of their music, Matthews girlfriend once put in a Janet CD and Matthew sang along to every song! She laughed and said how do you know all the words! He said are you kidding, MY MOM! Of course thats how he knows Baby got back, and Ice Ice Baby, and Will Smith, Anyways I could go on and on! But keep up the good work, my little neice Sheri, I look forward to your stories. Signed your Aunt Pat!

RMJ said...

Hey there, I think I may have encountered you in one of the threads. Anyway, I think that this is a very mature and well-thought-out way to publicly mourn his death. I apologize if I made you feel that you shouldn't mourn him. I like your blog and look forward to reading more!

kiss my black ads said...

FG, Thank you so much for writing this and helping my still amorphous feelings. So well stated. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Renee said...

I am still personally very much in shock over his death. When I wrote about him I tried to be as fair and impartial I as I could be because it seems like everyone always has an agenda when it comes to him.
The truth is, I still am at a loss to even accurately describe how I feel. There is a part of me that cries for the little boy in him that was hurt so terribly. I have thought of that often in the last few days in interactions with my children. I have also thought about the children he may have hurt and want to honor their pain. Of course there is also the unforgettable music.
You know I don't think that it should be an easy thing to mourn for Michael because he was not an easy man who had an easy life and so if we struggle for words perhaps that his how it is meant to be.