Putting Michael Jackson In Context

i agree he’s being deified… and this is especailly unacceptable in light of the fact that he probably was guilty of … certain things… i read a book that pretty much convinved me… dont’ recall the name of it…

wonder if any of those “bad priests” in the sex scandal ever got so many to come to their funerals?

I’m 52. I was a teenager in the 1970s.

I remember the very beginnings of the Jackson 5, and some of the last issues of 16 and Tiger Beat that I bought included pictures of him and his brothers.

And I bought one Michael Jackson record and I stil have it–a 45 with the song “Ben,” the title song to the movie of the same name about a rat that wreaked havoc and only had one friend, a little boy who continued to believe the best of Ben the Rat.

It strikes me that Michael Jackson’s life was a lot like Ben’s.

I think that Michael Jackson’s influence on music, dance, media, and on the U.S. culture is huge, possibly huger than the Beatles and Elvis. In another thread, I mentioned that on the figure skating (ice) online boards that I belong to, we’ve been discussing how many skaters, pairs, and synchro teams have skated at least one competition number to MJ music–the list is huge. Almost every skater or team we think of has done something to MJ music.

I personally think he was a major influence on the development of modern synchronized skating. The sport was created back in the mid-1950s, but it was when Michael Jackson music started getting popular, especially Thriller, in the early 1980s, THAT’S when synchronized skating started developing and growing.

During their popular “reigns,” Elvis and the Beatles at least made an attempt at looking “normal” to the public. But Michael Jackson didn’t even attempt to look normal. He just lived out his fantasies and because of the development of various medias, we all got to watch him self-destruct.

And then there’s the race issue. There were other “crossovers,” lots of them, black stars that white people loved. (My mom and dad were big Nat King Cole, Sidney Poitier, and Leslie Uggams fans.)

But Michael Jackson made us forget all about color of skin. To me, he, or at least his good accomplishments, represent what black people (or any people) can accomplish in the U.S. with hard work. Unfortunately, I believe he worked a little too hard, perhaps trying all his life to please his father.

I don’t believe the coverage is excessive. If anything, I think it’s not enough. I don’t go along with Al Sharpton and his “National Day of Mourning.” But I do believe that everyone needs to come out of their cave or cloister and attempt to understand just how much Michael Jackson influenced culture in the U.S. Like it or not, his influence is tremendous. He was not just another pop star.

For those of us who are approximately the same age as Michael Jackson, we literally “grew up” with him, yet our lives did not go the same way as his did. Or did they? I’m sitting here right now with two bad feet, the results of years of neglect of weight and wearing down the tendons until they broke. Many of my
generation are fat, addicted to something, or depressed. Are we really so different than Michael Jackson? Is Michael Jackson simply the visible symbol of my generation’s self-indulgence that will inevitably lead to our early death?

The whole problem with this whole paragraph is that in it you presume to know something you probably don’t: Michael Jackson motives. Only God and Jackson know for sure. That’s your belief, but I will tell you mine. I think that while Michael Jackson grew up physically, his mental growth was stunted and he remained a child inside (the events of his childhood make it easy to understand why). If this is true and this is understood, it becomes easier to understand why he acted and felt the way he did around children. He probably did not see anything wrong with those types of interactions although most of us do. You insist that he *lured * children for sexual pleasure even though you really don’t know if that’s true or not. Please, don’t take my post the wrong way. I don’t intend to come of as unkind.

I have also read plenty of things that convinced me that he did not do anything…they really were convincing, but I proceed with caution and I am unwilling to take it with absolute fact, yet.

I really think you are stretching it, though. Hardly anyone knows of those “bad priests.” The are pretty much private figures. Michael Jackson has been a public figure for almost all his life. Of course a lot of people will come to his funeral regardless of whether it’s right or wrong.

I think self-indulgence is a problem in every era. Think about the Jazz Age. That period is known for its self-indulgence. Today, self-indulgence is an issue and I think that everyone struggles with it. It’s not anything peculiar to you or Michael Jackson, though in Michael Jackson’s case he had the unusual ability to act on his not so unusual desires.

I’m sure the deer hunter wasn’t really trying to shoot deer either.

Missing a shot implies that there was an earnest attempt to shoot the deer. If he really didn’t try to shoot the deer and “missed” on purpose, he didn’t really “miss” because his target wasn’t actually the deer. However, you wouldn’t know if he really tried to shoot the deer or not unless he told you. It’s a similar thing with Jackson’s case…except there’s an extra catch. First, we don’t know if Jackson intended or desired to have sexual contact with children (I strongly doubt it). That is something you continue to claim to know (with the use of words like “lure”), but you really don’t. Second, and most importantly, you have no proof that Jackson touched a child or did anything with a child that was sexual in nature. On the other hand you do have proof that the person made a shot and therefore there is at least some plausible claim that he is a hunter. :stuck_out_tongue:

Jesus said that we need to stop judging by appearances and judge rightly. Right judgment is the careful and prudent judgment about things. A judgment by appearance is simply a quick and ignorant (for lack of a better term) judgment based on how we see things. You are not alone in such things. I struggle too in making right judgments about people and things. But just so you know, God in heaven is watching. To make damaging claims such as the one you make about someone else, regardless if he be a celebrity, especially about something you are not very sure about, is nothing less than libelous. Of course, it doesn’t seem like a big deal…Michael is (or was) a celebrity after all. But if you really think about it, what you are doing is not all that different from defaming or libeling a co-worker or a peer. I’ve really thought about it…those tabloids…the very publishing of them is a sin, I think, especially if those things are false. I have a lot of work to do myself on this issue, but I thought I should bring it to your attention before you proceed with claims you are unsure about.

I’m just very sad that God gave this person such talent and then for whatever reason Michael’s life went out of control. I like a lot of his songs, I’m an 80’s fan so I remember many of his hits. I pray our Lord will be merciful.

It’s even worse when the first Classmate from your year 12 school year dies…

I agree with a previous post who said there had to be something mentally wrong with MJ with his obsession with cfhildren and Neverland. Though, he started entertaining at a very young age and said himself they never went to amusement parks, they were always touring, rehearsing, whatever. He also made it sound like his parents dad in particular,was too strict and didn’t allow for that sort of thing. So, actually I can understand building Neverland. I saw recently footage where I think it was his kids took him to a grocery store (it was closed) and he was happy about being there. He was doing something he never could and all of us take for granted. Maybe somewhere in his mind he had not matured mentally or he was trying to live a childhood he really never had, and maybe that is why he liked being around kids. Or, too much time in the hyperbaric chamber! I don’t think he wanted to have sex with the children who went to Neverland, did he ever consumate any of his marriages? I think he wanted the children to have fun and give them a day to remember and oddly to play with them.

Wow. Judge much? I’m glad you’ve been gifted with these insights into another person’s motives. The psychologist that assessed him found his personality to be inconsistent with that of a pedophile, and moreover, that he had basically regressed to the emotional age of a 10 year old. Are you a psychologist? Did you interview him?

Let’s put what we know together: as a child he was beaten and emotionally traumatized by his father and he was a lucrative child star, which is to say he didn’t have a childhood. Is it possible he spent the rest of his life trying to have a childhood? He built an amusement park and named it Neverland. He obviously had a Peter Pan complex going on. Replace Michael Jackson with a ten year old child and then tell me the picture looks weird. Children sleep in the same bed all of the time. Is it crazy to think an adult who was abused as a child might still be trapped in his childhood?

I don’t pretend to know the man either: maybe he was a pedophile, maybe he wasn’t. My point is you don’t have the slightest idea, and, as much fun as it is playing God, you’re rubbish at it. He’s dead and it’s up to God now: all we can do is pray for his soul.

I forgot to mention his charitable giving. He gave a lot more than a great many people with a similar fortune. Apparently, the Guinness Book of World Records named him as the “Pop Star who supports the most charitable organizations.” The following organizations benefited from his life:

AIDS Project L.A., American Cancer Society, Angel Food, Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles, BMI Foundation, Inc., Brotherhood Crusade, Brothman Burn Center, Camp Ronald McDonald, Childhelp U.S.A., Children’s Institute International, Cities and Schools Scholarship Fund, Community Youth Sports & Arts Foundation, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Dakar Foundation, Dreamstreet Kids, Dreams Come True Charity, Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Love Match, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Minority Aids Project, Motown Museum, NAACP, National Rainbow Coalition, Rotary Club of Australia, Society of Singers, Starlight Foundation, The Carter Center’s Atlanta Project, The Sickle Cell Research Foundation, Transafrica, United Negro College Fund (UNCF), United Negro College Fund Ladder’s of Hope, Volunteers of America, Watts Summer Festival, Wish Granting, and YMCA - 28th Street/Crenshaw

How many organizations or people have benefited from my life? How many from yours?

I was never a fan of MJ, and didn’t like a lot of the things he did toward the end of his life, but what really steams me is the fact that his parents, family and a lot of other people are just after his money and property, and could really care less that he is dead. Especially Sharpton and Jesse Jackson fighting over who was going to be the head man at the funeral. Also, that lady that’s the mother of his kids showing up and wanting them after not seeing them for years. That sounds like my ex daughter in law.

All I can ever say that I “knew” about Michael Jackson was how much fun I had as a kid and still have listening to his music. I am a few years younger than he is, and the idea of a kid my age having his own cartoon show just knocked me out. I’ve never seen anyone dance the way he did, or perform the way he did. At a time in history when black and white were pretty separate in my community, Michael crossed boundries and we all danced when his music came on the radio. The message of some of his songs was very uplifting, I still love the song “Man in the Mirror” because it reminds me that if I want the world around me to change it starts with ME.

As for the rest-I “know” nothing. It’s between Michael and God now, and that’s where I’m going to leave it.

He was an amazingly talented singer and dance, crotch grabbing aside. Thriller was a great album, with a ton of hits for one album. I’m 9 years older, so I was already an adult in his heyday. As a former performer I admired his ability.

I think he was a very sad little boy inside a grown up body. I don’t think we’ll every know the truth of his relationship with boys, but I don’t care to speculate on it either. He had no childhood, and spent his life trying to make up for that.

It seems that a lot of people who become celebrities get lost in the process. The excesses of money and fame, the adulation of everyone around them, being deferred to all the time…they forget they’re regular people inside and start to believe they’re something special. Too much money, too much fame, too much everything…not good for people.

I feel kind of sorry for MJ. He never had a “normal” life. Just think of how stressful his childhood must have been. I’m an adult, and I get stressed out when my workload gets to be too much, so I can just imagine how stressful it must have been for a child to carry the enormous burden that was on his shoulders. I can’t imagine having a childhood like his, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. His dad was really hard on him, and MJ has said in interviews that his dad made cutting remarks about his appearance growing up. That is probably why he felt the need to change his appearance as an adult. He never really grew up, and he always seemed to come across as shy and withdrawn. I don’t know if he molested children, but that is not for any of us to judge. I hope he didn’t, but only God knows the truth, and we should leave the judging to Him. Let’s all remember that Michael was a child of God, and God doesn’t want any of his children to stray from Him. I do think that the media attention has been a bit excessive. It makes me uncomfortable when the media gets obsessed with someone and turns them into an idol.

My first concrete memory is laying in bed listening to Thriller on the radio. I loved that song musically. But then the end came with Vincent Price and it freaked me out! :smiley:

I think I was 11.

Michael Jackson was definately the King of pop - especially back then. I think he revolutionized a lot of things.

I was (am) a huge Beatles fan and just LOVED his 2 songs w/ Paul McCartney. And later when I started digging Van Halen to find out that Eddie played on Beat It. It was an interesting time to grow up and I enjoyed Michael Jackson’s music.

Weird Al’s parody of Beat It was awesome too! :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s funny. There are some on here saying he is being deified. Other’s on here don’t seem to be charitable and are passing judgement on things they can’t know for sure because they’re not God.

I think the media doesn’t know what to do. I think in one sense they want to deify him but they just can’t bring themselves past the juicy wacko stuff.

As a further aside, my wife just told me he’s apparently in the Guinness Book of World Records for giving the most to charities. :slight_smile:

Like vultures? I know it’s harsh, but that’s the image that came to my mind: vultures picking at the remains of a dead animal. We should be angry about this, but again, I know that I can be a vulture many times. It just looks bad when you see “Reverends” doing it.

I was not born in the 80s, but Michael Jackson has certainly had an influence on the my time period, though not as positive as when you were young. I am unfavorable about his more sexually immoral songs (Billy Jean, while it has a good form, its message is not so good), but he really does have some good music. “Man in the Mirror,” his redo of “Smile” and “Bad” are some of my favorites. I remember when “You Rock My World” first premiered on the radio. It was 2001 and I had to be 9 years old. My whole family was so excited and so happy for him. We were so glad he came back, I know I was.

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