Saturday, 27 June 2009

Michael Jackson

You'll note that I haven't given this post the usual 'Respect is Due' heading for noteable stiffs.

That is because michael Jackson did not merit my respect. He lived his life in petulant splendour and turned his children's existance into a freakshow. He made a few good-ish songs and a lot more really bad ones. He was monumentally up his own arse. No-one deserves to die young, but he doesn't deserve the outpouring of faux sympathy he'll receive for having indulged his weird fantasies his entire life.

I certainly was not surprised, far less shocked at his death. It might not have been predictable, exactly, or even expected, but that someone who lead a warped life died suddenly while still quite young is not surprising. The howling and gnashing of teeth that will accompany his passing says a lot about us, little about him or his legacy. The emptiness - practical and metaphysical - of the lives of people who can just stop their worlds to indulge in public displays of grief for irrelevant nonentities, amazes me.

I despised thse man for his child like behaviour, the hideous freakshow he made of his children's lives and the undignified spectacle he made of his own. This was a man who had the means to do what most of us can't - live on his terms. The fact that he failed to set any terms other than the most garish consumption is disgusting, the fact it obviously brought him no happiness, pathetic.

And I hated his music. The handful of half decent songs he made were ruined by the irritating 'Eee-heh!" squeals he specialised in. And the videos, with his gurning, jerking, crotch grabbing and their ludicrously inflated, show-off visuals (isn't it meant to be about the music?) just served to alienate me even more.

Setting my person pique aside, I think the man's influence on music is greatly over estimated. He made a couple of decent albums, over twenty years ago. Other people contributed to their success. Artist of a generation? Maybe of half a decade. If by artist you mean successful pop star. He was, bluntly, a bit of an Uncle Tom, appealing to mainstream audiences outside the Race Music soul / R&B ghetto, taking all that soul and funk that was a bit too strong for white boys and girls and turning into squeaky pop that was just bland enough to sell by the ton. So he was a perfect pop pagkage, but ultimately, just the Britney Spears of his time.

With regards the child abuse allegations that dogged Jackson, I do find it strange that knuckle dragging neanderthal twits people who immediately scream 'Hang/castrate him" when someone is accused of paedohilia are willing to reverse their position and claim Jackson MUST have been innocent, simply because they liked his music. Similarly, those who normally call for restraint, or at least due process, are willing to brand him a pervert. Perhaps money is the deciding factor - rich people are ALWAYS guilty, aren't they? - and the fact he paid so many millions to buy justice doesn't help him. I don't think the "paedophile" comments are justified, but I can see why people might be prompted to make them. And I find myself so repelled by the man that I can't bring myself to argue against the accusations - though at least this time there isn't a lack of people willing to do so, however inarticulately.

So I'll limit myself to repeating - Michael Jackson was a wildly over-rated pop star, who embraced a freakshow life style, warped his own children so they have no chance of growing up normal. A pitiable wreck of a man, at best.

And those who gave him unthinking adulation, bought his records, attended his concerts, contributed to his bizarre, freakshow lifestyle and the of his children. I bet they're the sort of sickos who don't just rubberneck at car crashes, but stop to get out of their cars to have a good look, and maybe get snap shots taken of them standing by the wreck.

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