Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is dead. Everybody is writing very touching tributes but they make me feel profoundly uncomfortable.
When I was a teenager I loved Jackson's music. It's true that he defined an entire generation. It's true that his music is great. But since I heard him confess that he sleeps in the same bed with boys, there is no Michael Jackson for me.
If there is anything I hate in the world, it's pedophilia. I know that people will now come here to tell me that nothing has been proven in court. It hasn't, that's true. But I know that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for a grown man to sleep in the same bed with 12-year-old children. Doing that is pedophilia.
Of course, we are ready to forgive many things to the famous and the talented. But there should be a limit. I think that any discussion about Michael Jackson should not leave out his victims. I think that every time we say how much the world lost because of his death (which it has) we should remember how much these children lost because of his life.


Paul Solomon said...

The last two days, no matter where you were in the world, if you looked at a newspaper or turned on a TV, you saw the face of Michael Jackson. On Friday night's half-hour broadcast of "NBC Nightly News" host Brian Williams spent three minutes discussing news other than Michael Jackson.

Now that the shock has warn off, fans are celebrating Jackson's life, rather than mourning his death. News of possible drug use is surfacing in the Jackson case, and to fill the time, reporters are now discussing his financial empire, which is in disarray. But we already new that.

The news media is now finding time to devote to other matters: the economy, unrest in Iran, global warming, Bernie Madoff, and Gov. Mark Sanford, the wacky Republican governor from South Carolina, who disappeared for most of last week. His Wednesday news conference caused a media frenzy, but the Michael Jackson news temporarily saved him from media scrutiny. Now he's back. We all love a good scandal.

Anonymous said...

When we heard the news, my wife said that part of her childhood was gone with Michael Jackson's death. I replied that many children's childhood was gone because of Michael.

Anyways, you post raised a classic debate about drawing the line between the private life of an artist and his/her artistic production. Should we always remind Jackson as a child molester? As an important artist? As both?

Can I still enjoy an artist even if he/she committed a cirminal act? It drives me crazy when people dismiss Rousseau (especially his treaty on education) because he abandoned his many children, or Althusser because he killed his wife.

Clarissa said...

Of course, a person's artwork doesn't lose value because the artist is a criminal or simply a jerk. Somehow, one can be a disgusting human being but still produce great art. But I think we shouldn't gloss over about an artist's or a thinker's crimes when discussing them. We can admire the art but still tell the truth about the artist.

Tom Carter said...

Thanks for saying what so many haven't said. As I've watched the wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson's death on both CNN and BBC, I haven't heard anyone mention that he was anything other than a saint. Maybe I just missed it.

I like his music, too, but I can't get past his general weirdness and his behavior with young boys. Seems to me a person has to be seen for what he is, or was. That doesn't make his music less wonderful, but it might keep the world from raising him to sainthood.

Clarissa said...

Thank you, Tom. It's very nice to have you here.

Jane said...

Much have been said about him. All I can say is, Michael Jackson is gone but his music will live forever. Peace man!