Jul 152009

I know it would seem I’m late with this post about the recent death of Michael Jackson, but the drama continues to unfold and will for some time. The story is no where near its end, but the dust is settling some, and media hype is now down to a dull drone. I thought this would be a good time for me to offer my opinion.

Jackson was definitely the consumate entertainer. It really isn’t going too far to proclaim him “King of Pop.” He was innovative, talented, and I believe genuine in his wish to please his fans.

One of his sisters was said to have made a comment that he was, “the greatest person who ever lived.” I think I’d take exception to that. I have given him credit as an unmatched influence on popular and popular culture, but I hope she was just a little carried away in her grief.

As is so often the case with a person vaulted to such a lofty place in our pop culture at such an early age, Jackson definitely had his problems. He certainly became and extreme eccentric, and in the end, it became his undoing. As with so many who gain his level of fame and fortune, he became surrounded with sycophants who never him accountable for his own actions, and who encouraged his every eccentricity.

A lot of people spent a lot of time referring to Jackson’s legal issues over the molestation charges, and calling him a perverted. As noted, he was certainly eccentric, but the charges were never proven, and he was, in fact, acquitted. In this country, that means he is innocent, and we would do well to remember that applies to everyone all the time.

Frankly, I don’t believe Jackson ever did molest anyone. I really don’t think he was very sexual at all. But he did certainly exercise some very poor judgement, and had some ideas about how one should relate to children that make most of us uncomfortable. Did he sleep with these kids? Most likely he did. That’s weird for most of us, but not illegal.

You have to face the fact that this was a high profile crime, and the prosecutor and police were under tremendous pressure to get a conviction once the charges were made. But despite that, they were not able to make a winning case. Also, we have to remember that Jackson was a high-profile and potentially lucrative “target” for these parents.

But let me state again, he did exercise poor judgement and engaged in unacceptable behavior. 

I thought his memorial service was a fitting tribute, but the media was just way over the top. I heard all this mess about, “where’s his body?” once the service ended. Well, I believe they were also reporting that the family and close friends were attending a reception at a hotel. I wouldn’t expect the hearse to leave with the procession in that case. Did the commentators expect them to drive his casket to the hotel? Then they got this whole thing about the Medical Examiner keeping Jackson’s brain. Good Lord, have these people never read anything about forensic medicine. It is not at all that unusual for the ME to keep suspect organs for more testing, but they made it sound like the Kennedy assassination.

This doctor/dermatologist needs to STFU. If this guy hasn’t violated about every privacy requirement of HIPAA, his actions have certainly been unethical. The patient-client privilege does not end at death, and this guy has run his mouth way too much. I also expect a number of doctors, this guy included, to wind up involved in this. It is obvious that Jackson was on some extremely potent narcotics and drugs, and it seems it was all too easy for him to get whatever he wanted. What doctor in his right mind would anesthetize someone because of insomnia? Apparently there are enough doctors with their hands out to make it possible.

I’m very sorry that the people around Jackson didn’t care enough about him to pull him back from the dark places he wound up in during so much of his later life. I do think that pop culture, while certainly gaining a lot from Jackson, also missed a lot because of this unstable life he lived. I know it’s easy to place blame on others. Jackson needed to take responsibility, but his family and so-called friends all seemed to bask in his light, and let him get away with anything.

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