A while back, I posted notes about Jackson and some legal problems he was having. My comments stand, with the addendum that’s been tacked on.

Michael Jackson is one strange bugger, isn’t he? He seems another in a long line of persons whose artistry in their craft is quite good, or at least was, (one does not, after all sell the numbers of albums he’s sold and not have some talent at entertaining) and has since succumbed to their own excesses. Writes Stephen McGinty in The Scottsman, recently, in
(outdated link removed)

“His difficulty in relating to people his own age probably stems from the emotional and physical abuse he suffered as a child, and the fact he grew up in the spotlight of fame. I see a damaged man who has not had the chance to develop to his full potential in an emotional sense. Jackson’s relationships with the mothers of his children – two by ex-wife Debbie Rowe and one conceived using a surrogate mother – further illustrate this. Rather than create a family environment, he’s
taking these children away from their mothers almost from the moment they are born. That is a terrible thing to do to a child, which has a basic right to know its biological parents, unless one of them poses a threat. What kind of father does this? Not a healthy individual.”

That Jackson is a few white gloves short of a wardrobe is unarguable.

But Jackson hardly seems alone at having his own private (and eventually, very public) demons, in terms of today’s stars of stage, screen and sound. Anyone watching VH1’s “Behind the Music” and CMT’s similar shows, will tell you that (insert band or star name here) has gone through hell after becoming a star, apparently unable to handle stardom, and the emotional stresses it brings. Fleetwood Mac who is
now announcing an album and I hear, a touring schedule, is as good an example of this as any, though I’m certainly most of my readers can make an entire list of their own favorite examples. Most of those examples didn’t survive. Says McGinty, trying to explain the allowance for Jackson’s excesses:

“The problems with Americans is that they are obsessed with fame. If a jobless man on a housing scheme in Edinburgh did this, police and social services would be in there instantly – and rightly so.”

Perhaps. Then again, perhaps not.

First, I doubt it’s fame, so much as it is success that drives this obsession. In terms of stars, the two are certainly linked. Western society, however has always at it’s root, prized success, and thereby, successful people. Consider the near star status of such people as Donald Trump, Ted Turner, and so on. These are people who are successful, but do not have any ‘star’ value of their own, save that they’ve been wildly successful in making money… often despite the fact that they’re idiots, and who in a realistic sense, are as devoid of entertainment value as they are of social value.

Also, that there is a tendency to accept oddball behavior from such people is not only an American issue, but is rather worldwide.  Consider British Rock bands, for example. Or those from anywhere in the world, for that matter. And it should be noted that while we spend a lot of time trying to achieve stardom, or riches, or whatever, we seem to lack the ability to handle it once we have obtained it, Jackson being no exception. At some level, and possibly as a result of conditioning on both sides, (Star and Fan) being apart from the mainstream of society is what being a star is about, particularly for Rock and Pop stars, and some degree of oddball behavior is expected, even anti-social behavior, much of it overtly sexual, and certainly controversial. (I’m not suggesting this is desirable, but it has come to be the norm in the last few decades.)

One gets the impression that Jackson, however, is somewhat different, possibly due to the different paths he took to stardom. Says Jackson, in a recent interview;

“I have slept in a bed with many children … Why can’t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do, is to share your bed with someone?.. “When you say ‘bed’, you’re thinking sexual. They make that sexual. It’s not sexual; we’re going to sleep. I tuck them in.”

Even taken at face value, this is a strange attitude. Is Jackson being honest, here? I don’t know.

In fairness, I must ask; Would I even be asking the question, if as McGinty suggests a homeless man were doing this? The answer, of course, is no. Not because one is rich and one is not… not because one is demonstrably successful and one is not. No, because the odds are that the homeless man was likely not exposed to the same pressures as Jackson was, while growing up. (How many homeless celebs besdies Ron Delums do you know of?)

This is not a matter of pity on my part, misplaced or otherwise. Rather , this is a matter of determining influences learned early on, and based on that, determining current motivations behind current actions. In all likelyhood, the homeless man grew up in a more normal environment than Jackson did. Therefore the homeless man’s motivations are less likely to be as innocent…(misguided, but innocent) as Jackson’s stated motivations.

Mind you, I’m not defending Jackson, here.  Let’s be clear about this.

Are Jackson’s actions a bit strange? Certainly.

Does he need some serious counseling session time? No question.

Would I allow my kids to stay in his house? No.

But here’s the rub: Are his actions criminal?

Sorry, I’m forced to say this by honesty… I’m just not fully convinced that kids are being sexually abused by him in these
situations. Somehow his actions, given the lack of a childhood, and all the other twisted signs we know of the man, have a ring of innocence about them, at least insofar as criminality goes. Let’s just say that based on this, I could very well be wrong, here… but I have a reasonable doubt criminal actions are being committed on the part of Jackson. While I can understand most of the DA’s zeal, (this is his job, after all) I wonder if there isn’t some political overtones there, too. This is a case with a lot of those little black and white spots, called ‘particulars” (Some who don’t want to get close call
them ‘grey areas’) that make this case more complex, and it looks like many are willing to make conclusions prior to understanding such particulars.

I’ll be watching this case with some interest, but I fear that the situation has spiraled out of control, and is headed to some nasty end or another., with or without some kind of proof of criminal activity.

One additional comment seems worth mentioning; That these charges always seem to surface when Jackson’s about ready to release a new LP, or about to make a major special appearance. The charges against him may or may not be true, but I find the timing of the charges of interest. Once like that, I could buy… twice with the same timing? One has to wonder a bit.

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