26 June 2009
A celebrity hounded. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people remember him for the wrong reasons. Enduring physical and mental abuse by your own father for years is not a simple thing. Growing up branded in a cruel world that thinks nothing of you if you ain’t white or rich can be psychologically devastating.
But, MJ not only made it, he made it like no other! His was THE breakthrough. He is the reason other African-American singers were noticed and recognized.
Not for nothing was he described as, “an unstoppable juggernaut, possessed of all the tools to dominate the charts seemingly at will…” He had star power and that fact is undeniable. Remember him for his music, his songs, his voice, his dance moves…forget the rest…he was human, like us. So what if he got a nose job/other surgical treatments? Don’t forget – he grew up believing black was not beautiful. Isn’t that something the society needs to feel responsible for? What’s wrong in wanting a better nose anyway? He was just another human who wanted to look better than he thought he did. Is that a crime? Any one else would go unnoticed; but, just because it’s “MJ,” people badger, attack, stab, gibe, mock, twist, distort.
Limelight does strange things to people. Maybe he was weird or a rebel. So what? He was a man who could not only hold but arrest your attention. And, for decades! How can you forget his path-breaking work?
Let him be…let's not judge...he made mistakes…we all do. Life is complicated. Let’s celebrate him for what he was: a singer, a dancer like no other, a song-writer. The rest does not matter. As Auden once wrote for Yeats, so it is for MJ:
You were silly like us; your gift survived it all;
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the Prison of his days,
Teach the free man how to praise...