Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Jackson Circus


I am getting a bit fed up with this, and it has barely begun.

The vultures are circling. Everybody wants a piece of Michael.

His ex-wife wants the kids. Never mind that she, in essence, sold them to him a few years ago, and hasn't seen them since 2006. Never mind that only two of them are hers. Never mind what disposition Michael made for them in his Will. The poor little things are going to be worth billions before all is said and done, and the woman wants her share...the share that Michael denied her in his Will.

The Staples Center wants to charge $25 admission to his memorial. Isn't that a crock? Since when does a venue charge guests at a memorial and sell T-shirts, as if it were a concert?

Since it's Michael Jackson, that's when.

Nancy Grace is going on and on about the fact that he had "round-the-clock doctors." What a crock. Elvis had dentists on call, 24/7, in case he felt like having a little happy gas. This is nothing new. If I had Michael's money, I'd probably have a doctor on staff, too. Why not? I bet he had a cook, a nutritionist, a hair stylist, a personal trainer...

Of course, I don't approve of the drugs. I hate to see anyone dependent on drugs, prescription or otherwise. But, Michael Jackson had never had a normal life. The man was weird. And rich. And weird rich people are going to do what they damn well please.

As far as the pedophilia trial...he was found "not guilty." There are those who will say that the verdict was as much a travesty as the OJ Simpson verdict, but, really...who knows? I am getting very tired of seeing message boards associated with other stories being taken off topic by folks trying to top each other with bad-taste Jackson jokes. Let the dead rest. The man was the greatest influence on popular music since The Beatles, Kurt Cobain notwithstanding.

Let them put him in his custom-made, flame-blue velvet lined, gold plated coffin, and lay him to rest, taking his secrets with him. Let the terms of his Will be honoured, and let his children have the most normal childhood that can be provided for them.

Beyond the circus, there was the man. And he is gone forever. He will be missed.

Rest, Michael.

(photo ganked from the archive at Pulse 87.7)

19 comments:

  1. I remember falling instantly in love with Michael the first time I heard him on the radio when I was 9 years old. It sickens me to see how many vultures have jumped into action. Yes, he was "different", but look at his childhood and his life. For all his eccentricities, he was kind and generous to a fault, and it was his downfall. For all the negatives people wanted to talk about, there were so many positives. The sheer number of terminally ill children Michael gave joy to is staggering. The millions he gave to children's charities puts most other celebrities to shame.

    Nobody could move or sing like he did. I was so happy to hear he was coming back. Then he was just gone.

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  2. Hi Ronni,

    I am one of those who thinks his trial is of the same caliber of OJ. And the verdict as well.

    All in all I still felt sorry for him. He was in fact a child, and really only had interest in his peers.

    Yes, he was kind. Some 13 year old drunk boys might like a hand job or two no matter who it came from. Especially if they might not get one ever again because they are dying.

    Not trying to be controversial here, but realistic.

    Yep, he was magic on the dance floor. But his music wasnt to my taste.

    This whole thing has me wondering if people will feel sorry for other child molesters who werent as talented or rich.

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  3. Melissa, for me, it sucks to define an entire personality by one facet of it.

    If Elvis were to be remembered solely because he liked to bed young girls in white granny panties, and couldn't get it up for any woman who had borne a child, it would be sad.

    The defining factor in Michael Jackson's legacy is his music, and his generosity, not his sexual orientation.

    I fail to see how that would translate to sympathy for others who hurt children.

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  4. I have huge issues with our Sex Offender laws as it is. IMO, there is a large difference between touching a child and forcing a child to have sex. The children with whom Michael messed (if he did) were of an age where statutory consent laws should be in place, IMO, and violation of those laws should carry a lesser penalty than forcing sex on smaller kids. I know this is controversial, but it's the way I feel. It is ridiculous to make a guy sign up as a RSO because he turned 18 and his girlfriend's mom doesn't like him, for instance. Michael's alleged offenses fall somewhere in between that and the really disgusting offenses, for which a person should be hauled before a firing squad.

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  5. Not to carry on the circus/comments overmuch but do you know why Michael used donor sperm - and from a caucasian at that?

    I also heard rumors that Debbie Rowe is NOT the bio-mom but rather a surrogate.

    His youngest, as we all probably know is from a surrogacy as well.

    I never cared for Michael - thought he was flat out weird - but he was a gifted musician and a human being who is deserving of respect at his memorial not a circus atmosphere.

    ~tiki

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  6. Tiki, I have no idea why he wanted his children to be Caucasian. Regardless of whether Debbie was the egg donor, or a surrogate, by law, they are her children, as she is on the birth certificate.

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  7. First of all, brilliantly written piece Ronni!
    I agree with everything you said.
    My two cents: Jackson was the Elvis for at least two generations, and the fact he died young is painful to his fans and shocking to those of us his same age. No question he has changed what defines music for millions of people internationally for 30 years.
    The brouhaha over MJ is really not much different than it has been over any famous person's death throughout history, it's just that with every passing year we have technology that allows images and audio to pervade our space nearly exponentially.
    Lastly, my comment on kontiki's last comment: what does it matter why MJ used a surrogate caucasian mother? Seems logical to me: She was his Dentist's assistant for many years I heard, and he may have felt a kinship with her. He was famously private right? If it was purely about beauty, he could have "bought" a prettier surrogate. Quite honestly, I don't think she is the most beautiful Caucasian around that he could have paid to bear his children. There are many couples that look at page after page of body descriptions, eye-color, height, weight, etc before choosing an egg or sperm donor. Apparently Jackson looked at a personality he knew and trusted.
    Another possible reason he used a Caucasian surrogate: if he had a skin disease that lightened his skin, maybe he thought a mix of the two races would somehow lower the chance of that for his kids. Maybe that was more than two cents...t

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  8. T, Tiki is saying that he also used a Caucasian sperm donor. IOW, there is nothing genetic of Michael Jackson in those children. I don't know the ins and outs of that, but I do know that Michael was the only parent those kids have ever known. I think his wishes should be honoured. His mother may be getting up there, but, face it, a lot of kids are being raised by grandparents these days. Heck, I have two such families' blogs in my side bar! Grandma Jackson is divorced from Michael's abusive father, so I have no problem with that. It's not fair to punish both Grandma and the children for the sins of the grandfather.

    If they were going to give the children to their putative mother, they might as well track down the sperm donor, too. She is as big a stranger to them as he is.

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  9. I am saddened at the death of MJ, especially when it probably did not have to end like this.

    In my limited knowledge, I have to say that MJ was a victim of his childhood (or lack of it) and that he, similar to the fictitious Benjamin Button, aged backward. He acted as an adult at age 5-16, then gradually became the child.

    The gifts and talents one has can bring great pleasure, and ironically, those very pleasures can be the sources of the greatest pain, suffering and tragedy in life.

    MJ was a great entertainer and artist. That has to be separated from the eccentricities he had. Same with Elvis, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin,John Bonham,Mama Cass Elliott, John Belushi, Kurt Cobain...the list goes on.

    MJ's unorthodox behavior will always be fodder for the tabloids - whether his children are biologically his or anyone else's - they are human beings, and he was their dad, and they loved him. Debating and digging to find out their DNA matches is cruel and inhumane.

    I am not curious about who or why they exist - but I care about them as children who lost their dad, and really don't have a mom. How sad for them.

    Let MJ rest in peace - the tabloids never will.
    (Just remember how many years the Enquirer had Elvis, Marilyn, and JFK sightings on their cover)

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  10. Goldie, this is insightful and right on the money. Hear, hear!

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  11. Goldenblatt:

    OMG, that was SO on the spot.

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  12. A tad late but to be clear, I was NOT judging Michael's choices but rather asking if anyone knew the reason[s] why he made them.

    I, like many others here it seems, give little stock to nature over nurture. In every way that is meaningful, Michael was their father and his wishes should be honored unless & until they can be proven detrimental to the children.

    I have more than a little discomfort with Debbie Rowe getting custody. From all appearances, it seems she "sold" her parental rights and now sees even more moolah in re-establishing them. As I said above, whether or not they carry her genetic material, her prior actions must not be ignored. I will be judgmental here and say that it appears to me that the only linkages she is acting on are those of the kids to their father's fortune -- where they go, it goes.

    Ronni, your point is well-taken re: grandparents raising their grandchildren. From all appearances, Katherine Jackson was a constant in their lives and those poor children have plenty of changes facing them as it is. I have no idea as to her health or abilities but she can provide them with love & nurturing and have nannies pick up any slack for the things of significantly lesser importance/value.

    Without question, the best interests of those children must be the driving force in all decisions that affect them.

    Although no great fan of his, I really hope the media tempers what is said/written and allow the kids to remember their father based on their own experiences. From my limited knowledge, it appears he was a devoted & loving father.

    RIP, MJ.

    ~tiki

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  13. Ronni, I agree with you on everything you've said.
    Instead of everyone bashing MJ they should be thinking of those poor children! The things they are going to go through. My heart goes out to them.

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  14. Did you hear that senator yesterday? Holy Cow! I sure hope he doesn't get re-elected! He made the definite statement that Michael was a pedophile...no "in my opinion," NOTHING! That is technically slander, as Michael was acquitted of the charges! Talk about speaking ill of the dead! I was shocked that one of our elected servants of the people could stand there and say that.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you can't call a person a criminal as if it were a bald fact, unless there is some legal truth to back you up. that's why so many of us say "IMO."

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  15. It was horrible! it's such a circus. I'm not sure he would have liked what they are doing. His poor family,my heart goes out to them. And not for anything,does everyone forget how abused he was by his father? He never had a childhood,no wonder he built Neverland Ranch..he was only trying to get back what he lost!
    no one seems to think about that. as for that senator? I hope the family takes him to ocurt for slander. Who cares if he wanted to act like a child,he paid his dues,who cares? all of us are eccentric in our own way..I know I am!

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  16. Hello Ronni:

    I was hoping you would write about Michael. I am very upset about the way he withdrew from public life and how he died. I agree with you that the vultures are disgustingly inappropriate.

    I am proud to admit that I am a long-time Michael Jackson fan. I loved his music and his dancing, and the amazing effort he put into his music videos--Thriller was a thrill and continues to be everytime I see it.

    ON Thursday June 25, after learning of Michael's death, I had a MJ music video party at my condo and invited anyone in my complex who wanted to come. The party was an outrageous success--and no one mentioned Michael's troubles. All we could talk about was how we loved this song or that song--where we were when the song was released, etc. And we danced. Some of us are good dancers and some--not so good, but we still all danced together as one acceptable group. It was joyous on a very sad day.

    Regardless of what troubles Michael had in his life and in his choices, Michael's generosity cannot be denied. He shared his money with more needy people than any other entertainer ever. He shared the potential of world unity everytime he danced and everytime he sang.

    Most recently Michael was working to figure out a way to influence North Korea to free the two female American journalists there--I believe if he had lived long enough, he would have done it.

    The global mourning that we see over his death should teach a lesson. As our president is in Russia discussing the Cold War, the world stood still today to say good bye to the one person who taught us that the world is truly flat. And that "flat" is the dance floor.

    He united us in the joy of his dancing--and in pursuit of peace--lets remember what he showed us to be the universal language that can accomplish just that.

    I am sorry I will never see Michael perform again. While he stayed in self-imposed seclusion all these years there was still an EVER!! Now that as turned to NEVER--and that is the real tragedy of this day.

    I am lucky to have been just old enough to remember Michael's career from that first day to today. If what Michael did in those 40 years was easy--everyone would do it. --In my lifetime, I do not expect to see another person like him.

    There was something very magic about you, Michael.

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  17. Susan, that is a beautiful eulogy, and better than anything I heard, watching the memorial on TV today. Thank you.

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  18. Ronni--thank you for providing a forum to post it.

    Have a great weekend--dance it out!!

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