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Perspectives Change After Death

Most of the general public did not care about Michael Jackson’s physical or emotional health a week ago. Perhaps they cared about their money they shelled out for a ticket to his forthcoming concert series which there was no guarantee he’d perform. Perhaps they cared about his ability to be a capable parent and his interactions with his children and friends of his children. For the most part though, they didn’t care about him at all, except as a pop icon of decades past.

But now that he has died everyone cares. They say they are about him, for his family, for the tragedy that he died at the age of 50, for his life in isolation, for his past full of trauma. They care about finding out the “truth!” about what really caused his death and how the situation was handled.

I think there is a perversion in that. It’s really no ones business. It’s also incredibly odd to me that one day people can so easily ridicule him, speculate about him, but enjoy listening to his music… and then the next, after he’s dead, be upset and “in mourning” over a great beloved icon. Perhaps that’s harsh of me to say, because I understand the complexity of emotional process behind it… it still bugs me though. 

I was never really a fan of Michael Jackson. I liked a few of his songs. I knew a few vague points about his past and who he was and how he lived but I didn’t pay close attention. I never followed the story close enough to have an opinion on whether or not he was a pedophile but my intuitive leaning was, and is, no he wasn’t. Did he have a very bizarre unconventional way of interacting with children? Yes. That doesn’t mean he molested them. But again, I don’t know details that were reported, and even if I did, that wouldn’t give me any more authority to throw my opinion out there.

From what I did observe through the filter of pop culture, I knew he had been terribly abused physically, verbally, and emotionally as a child by his father. In my mind, that made completely sense in direct connection to his intensely damaged persona of the latter years which I believe (again, intuitively) that he suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. There really isn’t a doubt in my mind about that. I’ve noticed a lot of articles popping up since his death speculating he had an eating disorder which contributed to his death. Perhaps, but I don’t really understand why this is being pushed. Whose agenda are you trying to push here? To prove he died from complications from anorexia, would that somehow put eating disorders into the mainstream eye in a more credible way to get better treatment for those who suffer? I doubt it. Would he help show that men also suffer from eating disorders? Again, I doubt it, but perhaps. Are people trying to find any way to feel relatable to him? Hm?

In the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is nobody could help him, which is always tragic. But in this case, I find it rather infuriating. He was surrounded by enablers and those in his life who did truly care about him were not able to keep him safe from all who put money and status above personal health. 

The two things I read in lieu  of Michael’s death that I appreciated (not sure how I can appreciate something being completely removed from the situation… but still…) was the post Deepak Chopra wrote on The Huffington Post and the short but intense blog Lisa Marie Presley wrote on her myspace

He was a real person behind the incredible, incredible hype. A person who was highly sensitive, fantastical, brilliant, and so very damaged.

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