Rather than keep your eyes glued to your favorite
news channel for the latest intrusive development or read another
biased career retrospective on the recently deceased King of
Pop, ponder these conundrums, posed by a true (frustrated) fan
who pays attention to whats really important.
10. How is it that Michael Jackson is sexy?
Admit it, he is. His appearance(s) may be odd, but with all
the different faces/styles/versions of Michael Jackson, there
has got to be something there for everyonejust pick whichever
one suits your particular fancy. Hes got the whole masculine/feminine,
black/white, borders-all blurred-and-undefined thing going on,
and he pulls it off, turning it into something ethereal that
just draws you to him. He may have been a shy, seemingly asexual
recluse in real life, but on stage, he will always be pure sex.
The supernatural flow of his form is so completely attractive
and captivating. He possesses magnetism that cant be explained,
because it cant be compared to anything else. Its
like his public persona and bizarre behavior are the challenges,
and he overcomes them when he performs by forcing you to forget
about everything else.
Perhaps a better question would be: if you had never seen or
been told anything about Michael Jackson before, and just heard
his music, what would your first thought be upon hearing his
voice? How about, Michael, will you marry me? He
has recorded some of the sexiest songs ever made in the history
of popular music. Close your eyes and listen again to Liberian
Girl, In the Closet, Human Nature,
Heaven Can Wait, and Butterflies. Pay
careful attention to the words and how he phrases them. Michael
Jackson is a perfect vocalist. Just as hes playfully floating
above the harmonies on his dance songs and spitting with anger
in the intense ones, he is oh-so-convincingly romantic on every
ballad. His last album, Invincible, is more R&B-tinged and,
though often overlooked, is actually sexier than all his earlier
works put together. On the smooth track Break of Dawn,
Michael Jackson, the same guy whos had more than his fair
share of nose jobs and believes he is the modern day Peter Pan,
is telling you that he wants to make love to you all night until
the sun comes up, and you are more than okay with that.
Forget Justin Timberlake, forget Prince, because the King of
Pop can lure you like no other. Why is everyone freaking out
about if he is actually the biological father of his children,
or what drugs were in his system when he died? Michael
Jackson is sexyhow and why? should be the headline
frozen at the bottom of the CNN screen which only the most qualified
professionals will discuss until theyve got some substantial
9. Why does Bono get all the credit for saving the world?
Michael Jacksons the one who implored us to heal the world
and showed us how. Universal love, giving, and making positive
changes are recurring themes in his songs: Man In The
Mirror, Heal The World, We Are The World,
and The Lost Children, just to name a few. He began
contributing to charity in 1979 when he provided Public Librarys
Young Adult Section with new books to encourage reading. For
the next three decades, his generosity grew to incredible proportions
as Michael donated to hospitals, orphanages, educational, and
employment institutions in countries all over the world. He
contributed to large scale causesAIDS research, Nelson
Mandelas Childrens Fund, The International Federation
of Red Cross, and UNESCOas well as smaller: his MJJ Productions
office once provided 200 turkey dinners to needy families in
Los Angeles at Christmas.
Michael donated the profits from several of his hit singles
and tours to charity, including his entire share of profits
from the Jacksons Victory Tour to the T.J. Martell Foundation
for Cancer Research, The United Negro College Fund, and the
Ronald McDonald Camp for Good Times and $100 million from the
Heal the World single and tour to USA for Africa.
He set up the Heal The World Foundation in 1992, which brought
underprivileged kids to the theme park at Neverland and also
raised millions of dollars for children threatened by war and
disease all over the world. In 2001, he founded Heal the Kids,
an international program that helps parents rededicate their
lives to raising their children with love and attention.
Perhaps most importantly, Michael Jackson visited
victims of famine, illness, war, and natural disasters throughout
his lifetime, traveling as far as South America, Africa, and
India to personally connect with the suffering and bring them
happiness and hope. He would often coordinate these trips with
his tours in foreign countries so he could meet with people
in hospitals and impoverished villages anonymously in between
He holds the world record for the Most Charities Supported
By a Pop Star in the 2000 Guinness Book Of World Records.
Charity isnt a competition, so I wont list how much
money Bono has raised compared to MJ, but feel free to look
into it. The U2 front man has somehow become the high profile
archetype of humanity while Michael has been the living definition
of good will for decades. He just does it without needing credit
or praise. In your FACE, egotistical Irish guy! Michael Jackson
raised hundreds of millions of dollars and donated $50 million
of his own personal fortune to try to make the world a better
place. . . why didnt more people take notice?
8. Whats so bad about dangling a baby over a balcony?
Clips of Michael Jackson holding up baby Prince Michael
II (Blanket) from a Berlin hotel terrace in 2002 for a crowd
to see are still being replayed on countless television shows.
Lets watch it one more time and examine just what a terrible,
crazy father this man must have been to commit such an act.
What about the famous scene in The Lion King where Rafiki holds
Simba up over Pride Rock to proudly show the kings newborn
son to his kingdom. . . now was that so wrong? A bizarre act
of questionable parenting, or one of the most genuine, emotional
expressions of love ever executed? Watch the Disney movie again
and reevaluate your answer.
7. Why is everyone so shocked by the possibility that
Michael Jackson had health problems?
All typical celebrity addiction clichés aside, its
been pretty clear that Michael Jackson was dealing with serious
ailments for years. For those of you shocked by the disclosure
of his dependence on painkillers, listen to Morphine
from his album Blood On The Dance Floor. Its clearly about
the sinister addictiveness of Morphine and Demerol. Yes, he
wrote the song and put it on an album for all to hear in 1997,
and yes, its a fucking good song. Why werent more
people listening then?
Remember when the mediaand anyone who believed the reportswas
convinced that Michaels claim of having a skin condition
was a fabrication to cover up the fact that he was obsessed
with bleaching his skin? He wrote Black or White
and promoted the universal love of all races; he disclosed to
the prying world his personal health condition of vitiligo,
a disease involving the loss of skin pigmentation; and made
multiple public statements declaring his pride of being African
American. Still he was assailed as a liar. And to this day people
still doubt the validity of him really having the disease.
Michael Jacksons personal doctors, including longtime
friend and well-respected physician Deepak Chopra, have now
come forward to report on the singers struggle with vitiligo.
Yes, he really had the disease. He was always incredibly self-conscious
about his appearance, so he wore pounds of makeup to cover up
the uncontrollable splotches on his skin. The condition made
him literally allergic to sunlight, which would explain him
always carrying around an umbrella. What a crazy person, right?!
Dr. Chopra has also revealed that Michael suffered from lupus,
a chronic autoimmune disease that caused the vitiligo, and that
it is believed to have developed from the trauma of severe
emotional abuse and stress he endured as a child. MJ never
publicly spoke of the lupus, probably because he never owed
anyone more of an explanation for his skin abnormalities than
he had already given.
Despite the evidence, there will always be some
who remain convinced that Michael Jackson bleached his skin
for the hell of it. These skeptics are like Thomas the Apostle.
You know, the guy that missed out on Jesus resurrection
from the dead and told the other disciples, Unless I put
my finger into the nail marks of his hands and my hand in his
side, I will not believe. Yes, I just quoted The Bible
in reference to Michael Jackson. For all the Thomases out there
who doubt him, read this article or search for invasive pictures
6. Why is the media not making a bigger deal over the
evilness that is Joseph Jackson?
His first on-camera interview since Michaels death, filmed
on the red carpet at the BET awards ceremony-turned-MJ-tribute-show,
reveals Joe plugging his new record company mere seconds after
he is questioned about his son, deceased as of three days at
that time. CNN anchorman Don Lemon totally lets him off easy,
not questioning his stoicism or shamelessness under the somber
circumstances. The news frenzy covered this shady interview
for a short time, mentioning it as a sort of afterward to the
BET Awards before moving on to the next story. A week later,
good Grandpa Joe told Good Morning America that two of Michaels
children, 11-year-old daughter Paris and 7-year-old son Prince
II, are showing potential for future stardom. Still, no one
screamed in his face. Isnt it the medias job to
probe further into interesting and suspicious subject matter?
They spend a hell of a lot of time speculating over who could
be the biological father of Michaels children and tracking
down Bubbles the Chimp. (Bonus question: whats weirder,
Michael Jackson having a pet chimpanzee or news stations obsessing
over his existence 25 years after they first created headlines
Joe Jackson can pretty much be blamed for all the negativity
and downfalls his superstar son faced throughout the years.
The intense emotional stress attributable to his fathers
abuse when Michael was a child manifested itself in physical
ailments (you know, the ones people thought he made up). He
also developed Body Dysmorphic Disorder, obsessively altering
his appearance to avoid any outward resemblance to the man who
raised him, mistreated him, and told him he was ugly. The singers
traumatic youth generated his obsession with childhood and innocence,
eventually leading to molestation charges that drove him physically
ill with stress and despair and dependent on anti-anxiety and
No matter what directly caused Michael Jacksons death,
it is clear that the origins of all his life problems can be
traced back to the scars left by his fathers emotional
abuse. Id think the media would jump all over this
source of evil, with paparazzi hounding Joe far worse than they
ever bothered his son for the past 30 years. Joe! Joe!
Tell us, do you feel bad that you indirectly caused the death
of the most talented and compassionate individual in your family?
Say something for the camera! Why dont the
police raid Joseph Jacksons home like they did Neverland,
for evidence that hes a permanent ASSHOLE?
5. Was it that absurd for his children to wear the masks?
Now everyone in the world knows exactly what Prince, Paris,
and Prince II look like, so they can be followed everywhere
and photographed in every different outfit and environment imaginable,
all the time. Move over Lindsay Lohan, TMZs got some new
favorites! Paparazzi have hounded Michael Jackson his entire
life, snapping photos of him at every opportunity since he was
ten years old; its not like that turned out badly. Im
just confused as to why he wouldnt allow us to get a really
good, long look at his kids before. He should have sold the
infancy pictures to Us Weekly when he had the chance. We could
have started this whole crazed speculation over their true biological
parents waaaay earlier instead of in the wake of them losing
the only parent theyve ever had. That way they could have
started doubting where they came from at much earlier ages while
the man who worked so hard to raise them in a normal, loving
environment was still alive. The media was right all along in
its depiction of Michael Jackson as a frightening eccentric;
he attached way too much importance to the concept of privacyand
4. Who the hell is buying Thriller in 2009?
Right now, Michael Jackson albums are selling like, well, Michael
Jackson albums in the 80s. At the time of writing this
article, over two million people bought his albums in the first
three weeks following his death. The third week alone accounts
for 1.1 million of these sales, which literally tripled compared
to the first week. This staggering number also includes 349,000
copies of Number Ones and 264,000 copies of Thriller sold in
the third week. The top 12 positions on Billboards top
pop catalog albums chart are currently held by MJ-related albums,
both solo and with the Jackson 5.
Physical albums make up 90 percent of his sales in the third
week, with 966,000 people buying the physical CD versus 110,000
downloading albums. Physical purchases are increasing significantly
each week as more physical product becomes available in stores.
Before now, no single artist had ever sold even one million
digital tracks in a single week, but in the first few days following
his death people downloaded nearly 2.5 million digital Michael
Jackson songs. In total, 6.1 million digital MJ tracks have
been bought in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
in the past three weeks. As time progresses (and media coverage
fails to subside), sales continue to escalate.
Dont worry about all these impressive figures, though.
The fact is that Michael Jackson album sales are not only breaking
all kinds of records, but he has posthumously breathed life
into the long-time suffering music industry. Interestingly enough,
when Thriller was first released in 1982, it single-handedly
resurrected Epic Records, and the music industry as a whole,
as they had been in a major slump for the past three years.
History is repeating itself, and Thriller continues to maintain
its title as the Best Selling Album of All Time in the Guinness
Book of World Records as people are once again going out in
droves (to real, physical stores, too!) to buy Michael Jackson
Im just a little confused. Who just realized that Michael
Jackson is amazing but didnt have any of his albums? Who
doesnt already own Thriller? Surely, anyone who was alive
bought their first copy when it came out in 1982. It remained
in the American Top Ten for 80 consecutive weeks, spending 37
of those at Number One. That means everyone in America who ever
bought music had to own Thriller. Then they all gradually bought
it on CD as the new format became prevalent; a new generation
discovered the album, and it was just like discovering it all
over again for those whose records and tapes had worn out.
By the time the 25th anniversary edition came out last year,
I sure as hell hope that anyone who had lost their copy, or
was too young to buy it the first time around, came to their
senses and realized that any MJ album, but especially Thriller,
is a life necessity. Surely anyone with a TV has seen Michaels
famous moonwalking performance of Billie Jean; surely
weve all danced to PYT at weddings; and involuntarily
bopped along to Beat It or Wanna Be Startin
Something whenever theyve been played occasionally
on the radio?
Thriller set a precedent for blockbuster albums when seven of
its nine original tracks became Top Ten singles on the Billboard
Hot 100, and its individual singles reached Number One chart
positions in the US, the UK, France, Italy, Australia, Denmark,
Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, and Canada.
Everybodys got to know the songs, and if you know them,
you cant deny that they are the definition of good music.
Yet, the staggering numbers of CD sales in the past two weeks
reveals that there are a lot of people whove heard Michael
Jackson songs in their lifetime but somehow never felt the need
to actively own and listen to them. Im surprised to find
that there are actually human beings out there whove caught
Thriller on the radio during Halloween season and
thought, Man, what a great song; guess Ill wait
til next fall to hear it again. Im just curious
as to how these men and women who suddenly feel the need to
listen to Michael Jacksons music ever lived without it
as a constant in their lives. Oh, and if its going to
take 30 more years until people realize that later Jackson albums
like Blood On The Dance Floor and Invincible are just as amazing
in their own ways, Im going to be very upset.
3. Why hasn´t the world always celebrated Michael
Jackson´s life and music?
Aside from the ridiculous media madhouse surrounding anything
and everything related to Michael Jackson, and the regrettable
fact that he is no longer living, this whole resurgence of interest
in and love for his life and music is pretty fucking amazing.
Its strange to think that he has made such a permanent
stamp on international pop culture, yet has been kind of forgotten
about in the past decade. . . at least in America. Up until
recently, it had become a semi-rare treat to hear his songs
played on the radio or catch one of his performances replayed
on TV. But now, since June 25, 2009, cars have been blasting
Michael Jackson tunes at full volume as they drive down the
street, and its no surprise to step into a store and hear
the familiar, catchy strains of one of his songs. You can bet
clubs around the world are now spinning Off The Wall multiple
times a night, and its beats are guaranteeing full dance floors.
Amidst all the negative reports, the media has started to bring
to light Michael Jacksons achievements and charitable
contributions that they neglected to focus on for so long. Weve
gotten a refresher course on how he broke the color barrier
on MTV, not to mention Grammy award and album sales records
left and right.
So, to a true MJ fan like myself, the present environment is
a bit confusing. His music should be playing everywhere, all
the time, at any given opportunity. His impact on pop culture
as we know it and his countless good endeavors to bring good
to the world should be appreciated and revered every day, always,
not just now because he is gone.
Michael Jacksons memorial service was a tribute long overdue.
It would have been especially valuable for him to have known
just how many people still admire and support him in 2009. Now,
people all over the planet are aware of his greatness as an
artist and a person. The world should have established an international
holiday celebrating this guy decades ago. (Who do I speak to
about this? The UN?) Fuck the Elvis Presley comparison; Michael
Jackson is more like the modern day Schubert or Mahler, known
as a musician in life but truly acknowledged and revered as
genius only after his death. Good job everyone; western culture
has come a long way since the 1800s.
2. Has he ever made a mistake?
Despite all the courtroom allegations, financial woes, and social
gaffes, I have never witnessed one instance of Michael Jackson
actually messing up during a performance. Once hes on
stage, he is flawless. He committed his entire life to creating
and practicing, practicing, practicing so he could give his
fans nothing less than the greatest show possible. Always the
perfectionist, he cried backstage after his legendary Motown
25 premiere of the moonwalk, because he felt he had not done
his best. Only after a young boy stopped him in the parking
lot as he was leaving and told Michael it was amazing, did he
feel proud of the performance at all. The ridiculously high
standards he set for himself mean that his audience will never
see anything less than precision and magic. If youve found
some shoddy footage on YouTube of Michael Jackson falling flat
on his face in the middle of a dance or something, dont
show it to me. . . Id rather keep on believing. To me,
he always seemed inhuman: full of humanity, yes, but when it
came to how he spoke, thought, created, and shared, he appeared
to be not of this world. He wasand still ismagic.
1. The ultimate question surrounding his life is not
how strangely he lived, or how he died, but how did Michael
Jackson exist in this material world to begin with?
We were lucky to have experienced him at all.
*Authors note: Some statements have been kept in the present
tense though Michael Jackson is no longer living. While this
may be grammatically and conceptually incorrect, its impossible
to talk about this person and his art as if it is all a finite
part of history that already happened and is no more. Hopefully
no one is too confused by the inconsistency in tense, because
to me Michael Jackson is timeless.