Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ebert on Michael Jackson

I hate it when others (as in "others who are far more eloquent, articulate and reflective in their words than I") manage to write out my exact sentiments, even better than I myself can. I conjured a little piece regarding my thoughts concerning Michael Jackson and his untimely death, and now I've just come across Roger Ebert's very well-written eulogy. As usual with Ebert, it's a must-read.

This excerpt in particular perfectly reflects what I tried to put forward and failed miserably at doing so:

Michael Jackson doesn't seem to have had that rock. His father seems to have driven him to create an alternate universe for himself, in which somewhere, over the rainbow, he could have another childhood. He named his ranch Neverland, after the magical land where Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, enacted his fantasies with the Lost Boys. I wonder if we ever really understood how central that vision was to Jackson, or how literally he tried to create it.

I have no idea whether Michael abused the children he "adopted." It is possible those relationships were without sex; he seemed frozen at a time before puberty. Whether he touched them criminally or not, it is easy to see what he sought: To create, with and for these Lost Boys, a Neverland where they could imagine together the childhood he never had.

Mixed with that was perhaps a lifelong feeling of inadequacy, burned in by the cruelty of his father. That might help explain the compulsive plastic surgery, the relentless rehearsal, the exhausting tours, the purchase of expensive toys, the giving of gifts.

Sigh. What a couple of days this has been.


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