Friday, June 26, 2009

In the end, he was no longer thrilling but goofy

In a searing commentary, recalling the quip that it's wrong to speak ill of the dead, but it's ok to comment favorably on the obituary, Mark Steyn ("Beyond the Pale" click here ). Steyn noted that Jackson was invited to speak at Oxford, where "he called on the world to adopt his Children’s Bill of Rights, including 'the right to be thought adorable' and 'the right to be listened to without having to be interesting'. The right to a $30 million out-of-court settlement, won by a 13-year old former playmate of his, was not mentioned."

As one who has fond memories of the album "Thriller," I was saddened to learn of Jackson's death---but the Michael Jackson of 2009 was not the Jackson who sang and danced his way into the title the "King of Pop." That Jackson died sometime in the 1990s, drowned in a sea of weirdness. In the end, he was no longer thrilling but merely goofy. Appearing in a burqa? Dangling a baby off a balcony? A bazillion plastic surgeries? (You know you've gone overboard when Joan Rivers starts doing jokes about your plastic surgery).

So let us remember the Michael Jackson of "Thriller," of "Smooth Criminal," of "Billie Jean." Heck, let us remember the Michael Jackson of "I Want You Back" and "I'll Be There." As for that other guy, God have mercy on his soul.


  1. Somewhere, Jackson changed from a major talent and superstar, to the icon for weirdness. It might have been his childhood or the pressure of stardom that totally changed the pop superstar into a something scary.

  2. Unfortunately the media does not provide the coverage to great patriots and contributors to our society, like Ronald Reagan, on the day of their death... that they are allocating to a talented entertainer who evolved into a mentally-ill freak.

  3. certainly Dr. Schweikart's comments on Michael Jackson are not at variance with the truth...he was one of the most incredible entertainers of the 20th century...he lit up the airwaves and the stage with the kind of passion & visual sensationalism that we most likely won't see again in our lifetime....on the other side of the coin he was a tragic figure in the last years of his very sad ....I believe when all the facts of his death are revealed they will follow similar patterns of the demise of Elvis , Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison...with great fame comes great pressure... a very complicated human condition ..
    Mark Stein/Vanilla Fudge

  4. Mark pretty much echoes my comments that there were two MJs, a wonderfully talented entertainer with some extremely vexing demons. If the evidence of his pedophilia is to be believed, what he did to children was an abomination, but probably not as horrible as what he did to himself.

    He is also the latest in a long line of entertainers who was incredibly well paid and yet flat broke.