On Michael Jackson passing

I was going to post something about Michael Jackson’s passing the other day, but nothing seemed to work. I wrote for hours, but just couldn’t find the right balance. So, I’d made up my mind that I wasn’t going to post anything at all. Then, today, I stumbled across a video of 11 year old guitar prodigy Sungha Jung playing Billy Jean, and it occurred to me that it would make a simple, fitting farewell for an insanely talented, yet very troubled man… Here’s hoping that he finds peace, and that maybe we as a culture learn something from his passing about the fine line between childhood fame and child abuse.

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12 Comments

  1. Foley
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    That was very nice, among the best tributes to MJ thus far, except the part about there being a “fine line” between child fame and child abuse.

    That’s like the “fine line” between this and this.

  2. Posted June 28, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    OK, maybe the line isn’t so fine. I just think that we as a culture need to do a better job of protecting our kids from the destructive forces of celebrity. Sure, some kids, like Jodie Foster and Ron Howard, seem to have come through it alright, but for every one of them, there must be hundreds more that are chewed up by the industry system and shit back out. It’s a difficult enough task to live through it as an adult, I can’t imagine how hard it would be on a child.

  3. Brackinald Achery
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    May we all live lives where everyone thinks we’re a laughingstock douchebag when we’re alive on Wednesday, then honor us mournfully after we die on Friday.

  4. Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think – at least in my case – it’s was an “either/or” kind of thing regarding Jackson. Sure, I thought that he was odd, perhaps disturbingly so, but that didn’t change the fact that he clearly had talent. And, for what it’s worth, I think I also wished GG Alin peace in the great beyond when he passed, in spite of the fact that he was, in life, a shit-throwing hate rocker. You don’t have to love someone to wish them well… And, as I mentioned, with Michael, I think there are others to share the blame for what happened to him.

    Remember that scene in Citizen Kane where they say something like, “If he hadn’t had so much money, he might have actually amounted to something”? Well, I kind of get that sense from Jackson. I think if his dad hadn’t pushed him so hard, and if he hadn’t become so isolated due to fame, that he might have done even more, and perhaps remained sane through it.

  5. Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    And, before anyone says it, no, this kid’s no Yuto Miyazawa.

  6. Michelle
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Mark. I’ve only known overgrown children who learned a few chords, grew their hair out and pretended to be musically inclined. Finding a child who who actually has musical talent is a perfect tribute to Michael Jackson.

  7. Brackinald Achery
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    That wasn’t aimed at you, Mark.

  8. adame mae
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Course many of us are honored on Wednesday and are laughingstock douchebag after we die on Friday. At least if we play guitar.

  9. Greedo
    Posted June 28, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Yeah. I am a laughingstock douchebag, too. And I just really hope that when I die, Jesse Jackson can use my misfortune to get back in the public eye.

  10. Posted June 29, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s disgusting to watch the televised feeding frenzy over his death.

  11. gizzum
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Sungha Jung is enchanting. I’d forgotten.

  12. Robert
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Though Dr. Conrad Murray is only being charged with manslaughter (3rd degree murder), there is considerable circumstantial evidence that Michael Jackson’s murder was contracted.

    Dr. Conrad Murray’s questionable associations in Las Vegas, his mysterious introduction to Jackson, and his serious personal finance problems all raise flags.

    Murray is said to have had among his patients “several unidentified officials in Vegas government”

    One of Murray’s patients said that the doctor had performed angioplasty on Jackson three years ago without ever being guaranteed he would be paid. This is said to be one of the reasons why Jackson uncharacteristically accepted Murray into his inner circle.

    From People Magazine:
    “Lately it hasn’t just been Jackson fans who have been hounding him. In a period of a month, Murray’s businesses were hit with more than $400,000 in judgments from unpaid bills and child support obligations. It was against this financial backdrop that he accepted a job to be Jackson’s personal physician during his 50 London concerts as part of the This Is It tour, a job that would have reportedly paid Murray $150,000 a month. In a letter sent to many of his patients just 10 days before Jackson’s death, Murray called the job a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

    Some around Jackson had suspicions regarding Murray from the beginning.

    Former Michael Jackson Chef Has Suspicions about M.J.’s Relationship with Dr. Conrad Murray
    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/MichaelJackson/story?id=8209014&page=1

    Michael’s sister Latoya claims a group of more recent associates of Michael’s isolated him from his family and friends, and conspired to murder him in order to fully reap for themselves the financial benefits of his fame.

    Everything about the Michael Jackson murder appears to fit the profile of what is sometimes referred to by organized crime investigators as a syringe job. Don’t be surprised if Dr. Murray meets with an untimely death himself, most likely a staged suicide I would think.

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