Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was America's most beloved recording artist, singer, songwriter, artist, record producer, arranger, son, sibling, dancer, father, choreographer, actor, author, philanthropist, child star, musical prodigy, day care provider, skin tanning expert, businessman, and the indisputable "King of Pop".
Michael began to showcase his exceptional talent when he was 11, as the youngest member of The Jackson 5 soul band. As a solo artist, he recorded five of the world's best-selling albums: Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1982), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995). There is no disputing the fact that Michael is the greatest musical artist of all-time, and he has sold over one millinillion records in the universe.
Michael was acquitted of child abuse charges in 1993 and again in 2005, which many hoped would put an end to shameful attempts at character assassination from his jealous haters. Unfortunately, the haters continue to take potshots at him even after his untimely death.
Early life and The Jackson 5
Michael was raised in a family of professional musicians. His father, Joseph, was a harsh disciplinarian, but the daily beatings he issued produced exceptional work out of the children. In short time, the family pop group The Jackson 5 became a tremendous success. There were some occasions when this discipline got too out of hand, leading Michael's many detractors to frequently cite this as reason for his alleged mental instability.
What those agenda-driven detractors fail to notice is the inherent contradiction in their attacks. If Michael was physically abused as a child, then all the more incredible is his subsequent greatness. The abuse was not his fault; he was not in any way responsible for the emotional trauma that his father inflicted on him. Yet despite this difficulty, he worked hard, got past these emotional roadblocks which would have stymied a lesser man, and became the world's greatest singer. Jackson should be credited for his success in the face of such a past. He should be looked up to as a beacon of hope for other abused children. Instead, he was derided for having been through terrors over which he had no control.
Michael's incredible ability to connect with people of all backgrounds and reach out to little children made him a famous celebrity. Universally loved by all, Michael quickly became America's favorite Jackson, to the point where no one could remember the names of the other four. Michael then decided to put out his own music, after outcry from the fans that the other four Jacksons were holding Michael back.
Michael truly began to blossom as a solo artist. Not only did he produce hit after hit, he also started his acting career, starring in The Wiz, a clever urbanization of The Wizard of Oz. In 1979, Michael released Off the Wall, which was the greatest album of all time at the time. A hit machine, Michael subsequently released four chart-topping singles after some dispute with producer Quincey Jones, who was also on the project. Tensions between Michael and Jones only increased with the release of the second epic, Thriller. The hit single "Billie Jean" was the topic of much dispute. While Michael had already perfected the track, Jones insisted on making his own adjustments to it, such as shortening the intro, cutting the bass line, and completely rewriting the lyrics. In order to defend his artistic vision, Michael decided to distance himself from Jones for a few days. When the song turned out to be a hit (as predicted by Michael), Jones apologized for everything and the two made up.
Allegations of pedophilia
A dark stain on Michael's otherwise spotless reputation is the allegation of pedophilia. These accusations have unfairly and significantly diminished his reputation to a level not reflective of his true character.
The evidence presented, although relatively powerful, is false. In fact, there is ample evidence that completely disproves these allegations. Michael had this exonerating evidence under his bed, but he refused to present it and it has been subsequently lost in lootings. The reason for this refusal was that he didn't want to stoop down to the level of the tabloid media, his agenda-driven detractors, and the FBI. By trying to defend himself, he would have unnecessarily dignified the allegations, thereby lowering himself.
However, some of this evidence has come to light. Assume, for example, that he was a pedophile. Even if he did violate, or "molest", a few little boys, which isn't to say that he did, the fact is that such an act is regarded by many as a minor offense. It has been proven that one out of every two men is a pedophile.[Citation not needed at all; thank you very much]
But it is unfair and inappropriate to pursue only one such man due solely to his high profile. It is a common phenomenon in social psychology for people to harbor jealousy toward the highly talented, the highly successful, and the greatly beloved. Michael was all of these things and more, so there will naturally be backlash against his greatness, and common hating people will seek and find reasons, however specious, to discriminate against him. The fact is that even if Michael was a pedophile, it is a disease beyond the individual's choice and therefore he should not have been vilified for it any more than a cancer patient should be hated for his condition.
Allegations of ethnic self-hatred
Despite absurd allegations to the contrary, Michael did not hate being black. Quite the opposite, he loved how well he could dance, how well he could moonwalk, his creamy smooth-cup-of-coffee skin, and how well he could do many other things that can be attributed to his ethnic origin.
However, due to his tragic illness, which greatly discouraged and depressed him daily, his skin slightly lightened over the years, causing many to accuse him of the disgusting practice of skin-whitening. These agenda-driven detractors also identify the minor detail work he had performed on his nose as further evidence of this ethnically-based self-hatred, describing the work as "de-ethnicizing". But the truth they fail to point out is that "de-ethnicizing" is not even an actual word, so it was impossible for Michael to have pursued this endeavor.
A closer look at the details of these alleged alterations will reveal the fallacy of the accusation. Most of the paleness that we see in footage of the King of Pop is due to technical changes that stage lighting has undergone in the past three decades. There are countless examples of stage lighting techniques that serve to brighten the features of a performer. This fact is not disputable. It is mostly due to these innovations that Michael has been made to appear lighter in skin tone. It has not been due to any actions undertaken by the star himself.
The other factor contributing to Michael's paleness was his horrible, tragic genetic disease. Vitiligo affects more people of darker complexion than is currently realized. His entire body was affected by the condition's macular depigmentation, but especially the extensor aspects of his extremities. This depigmentation would have progressed gradually with lesions enlarging and extending until it reached a quiescent state.
Every true Michael Jackson fan knows all about vitiligo, and most of them have many friends with the condition. Many of his true fans have it as well, and they are the ones who truly understand what Michael went through. If anything, he should have had our deepest sympathies about his skin lightening, not vicious attacks impugning his character.
As for the detail work Michael had performed on his nose, this is a minor reconstruction that many people of all ethnicities have done. Once again, however, it was Michael alone who bore punishment for it because of his elevated position in the world of entertainment.
Michael did do significant work on his chin, of course. But that's considered highly attractive, so it should be forgiven.
Finally, some agenda-driven detractors have pointed out that the very shape of Michael's face has radically changed in the past decades. Whereas there has been some alteration in this regard, it was entirely due to his vegetarian diet. A vegetarian diet is well-known to radically alter a person's overall body shape and size. For example, compare these photos of Charlize Theron, from before she became a vegetarian, and after. A significant change can clearly be observed here, but do people accuse her of hating her white South African ethnicity? The answer is clear.
Allegations of mental instability
Throughout the history of art, the greatest artists have all been slightly eccentric. A slight eccentricity seems psychologically to engender artistic brilliance. That said, the accusations levelled at Michael that question his mental capacity are entirely unfair and uncalled-for.
Agenda-driven detractors identify a few minor incidents and character quirks that they claim violate a rather vague set of social norms, and this leads them to call Michael crazy, unstable, or irrational. But the irrational nature of these incidents pales in comparison to the behavior of truly mentally disturbed celebrities such as Courtney Love, Amy Winehouse, and Vincent van Gogh.
Most of the accusations regarding Michael's eccentricity are rooted in jealousy. We have seen that there are countless people who would love to own chimpanzees, build their own amusement parks, dangle their babies over their balconies, and even own the skeletons of famous deformed people. But only one—the inimitable Michael J. Jackson, the King of Pop—actually realized these dreams. They point the finger with one hand and desire the life they point at with the other. They are hypocrites and fools. They are the crazy, unstable, deluded and irrational ones. Michael was the true hero.
For instance, people often chided Michael for his love for his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles. However, research has shown that as many as six percent of pet owners own chimpanzees. And chimp ownership is growing rapidly. If this behavior is a matter of concern for a person's sanity, then we have a lot of crazy pet owners running around. But since none of them tower over the rest of humanity in musical genius, only Michael got attacked for it. The truth is, Michael's love for Bubbles was genuine: why else would he have put his remains up for auction after his death?
The Happiest Place on Earth
Others wonder about the mental capacity of a man who used his vast wealth to build a private theme park. But these detractors obviously never went to Michael's beautiful Neverland Ranch, a place where little boys' most fantastic dreams come true. No one questioned Walt Disney's sanity when he set out to translate his grand vision of peace, love, and friendship into a multi-billion dollar amusement enterprise. Or if they did, they don't now. But Michael made his dreams—of beautiful little boys frolicking freely like fey faerie folk through fantasy amusements—come to life before his eyes, and suddenly he was a nutcase. True fans see through this senseless accusation. True fans can see the deep-seated envy seething under the vitriol. In 2008, Jackson was awarded the Mother Teresa award for his childcare work at the Neverland Ranch.
The Dangling Baby Conundrum
Admittedly, the incident where Michael dangled his baby over a fourth-floor balcony is more difficult to defend. Such behavior really should not be condoned. But it should also be pointed out that many researchers have found that the practice is relatively common in Germany, where the incident occurred. And Michael has a history of tremendous respect for the cultures of the foreign nations he visits, so it is possible he was merely trying to identify with his millions of German fans. We are not in a position, from our American living rooms, to judge the common practices of other cultures simply because we don't understand their sense of humor. A rush to judgement in this incident is inappropriate. Besides that the baby, for its part, appeared to enjoy it.
Michael was also accused of extensive drug use during his life as well. During a 2003 raid on his home, the police found stockpiles of "illegal" drugs, photos of which were released to the press. At the time, it was explained that Michael was not using these drugs, and that they were kept in his home purely for medical emergencies, to avoid him having the embarrassment of a protracted hospital stay.
In a deposition in 2007, Michael did admit to using some drugs, all of which were of course medically prescribed, even though some were not legal in the United States due to FDA's short-sightedness. However, due to his failing health and the immense pressure of the press and his detractors, it was understandable that he would reach for a medical solution to his problems at this stage of his life.
There has been no direct evidence to link Michaels' death of a heart attack—obviously brought about by being broken-hearted by the betrayal of a world that he loved—and any medication, legal or otherwise.
Finally, people are freaked out by the fact that Michael owned the bones of the famous crippled deformed guy, John Merrick. But what they failed to realize is that he did not actually own the bones of any deformed man named John Merrick. The man known as the Elephant Man, whose bones Michael kept as a souvenir of his tireless charitable work on behalf of deformed children, was actually named Joseph Merrick. This goes to show that these agenda-driven detractors don't even know what they're talking about. If you are going to dig for ways to attack poor Michael, you should be sure of your accuracy first.
Return to the stage and 2009 tour
Despite the unnecessary torment he had received for many years over false accusations, Michael intended to take the stage again for another tour that was sure to be nothing short of spectacular. Fans were simply ecstatic that they would have a chance to again see the "King of Pop" perform before their eyes.
Scheduled to begin on July 8, 2009 and continue until February 24, 2010, Michael was set to perform 50 sell-out concerts to over one million people at London's O2 arena. The ticket sales of this popular event had broken several records, and were expected to earn the talented singer £50 million. This proves Michael's character was above that of a normal human in many ways. Obviously, despite the torment of critics and agenda-driven detractors, people still worshiped him. They couldn't deny the fact that although they constantly poked fun at him, they still thought he was the most talented performer to have ever lived deep down.
The tragic death of the man who was King
Unfortunately, on June 25, 2009, Michael was pronounced dead, allegedly from cardiac arrest. This, of course, curtailed (or maybe enhanced) the career of a fantastic individual that was an inspiration to us all, accepting of all humanity regardless of their color, religion, age, or sexuality. Fans flocked to his funeral (well, that was a funeral, right?), crying out their love to him as MTV played his greatest hits on heavy rotation, starting with "Beat It" and the classic music video where he dressed as a zombie, continuing with "Billie Jean", and ending with "Beat It".
Michael Jackson was above us in several ways, and that is a proven fact. Many, when accused of pedophilia, ethnic self-hatred, drug use, and mental instability, would simply give up. But not a man with the dignity and courage of Michael. His braveness to stand before the crowd of those who have once criticized him is unmatched.
The Return of the King
Many fans have reported seeing the Son of Joseph following his death, which may actually have been homicide. A recording seems to show Michael leaving the hearse that carried his body, leaving an empty hearse. He was reportedly seen by some of his closest fans, who say he spoke to them backstage at a Hannah Montana concert in Galilee. And he was allegedly seen in a shopping mall next to a bowling alley in Whittier, California, where he bought a single glove.
- Some have suggested this was actually the day Elvis died, although most experts agree that Michael Jackson was the famous musician who died on that date.
- Such as the time in Pasadena when Joseph whipped Michael with a live rattlesnake
- Janet, Tito, Frito, and Cheetoh?
- Such as dubbing him Wacko Jacko, a dubious nickname that he has never liked.
- Bubbles' remains, in this case; not Michael's.
- As according to the prophecy found at Death of Michael Jackson: Homicide or Fake?
- As reported in the July 2009 issue no. 7 of Intermittens magazine, owned by Time-Life.
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