Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

Do you know who I am
Been gone for longer than I've been dead.
Left my soul on the bandstand floor
when I should have been in the school yard.
I grew bigger than my shadow
until I fell inside it
looking for the monkeys
and the Peter Pans in Neverland
employing Tinkerbells
to make the weight get lighter
to make the black get whiter...
Do you know who I am
The boy-man on the radio
on the tv in the day-glo
you read about it
what I said about it
though as I recall I never really spoke at all
I only called out
Do you know me now?

I went out to dinner by myself tonight and as I waited for my food I wrote this down on a napkin. I had been thinking about Michael Jackson dying (I heard it on npr while I was working on a project). After I finished and my food came and I started eating, I began to think about the fact that Michael Jackson also molested young boys. And the first obituary shrank down into a single sentence. 

Another child molester gone, good riddance. 

When I came home I went onto facebook and there was post after post mourning the musical legend and not a word about the children. So I posted a question; does everybody not remember that musical genius aside, Michael Jackson was a pedifile?
Within seconds I was told by someone I went to high school with that if I didn't have anything nice to say I should say nothing at all. And then very quickly other friends "liked" her stance. Then I got a response from a friend who said she had met M.J. when he was a child and was being berated by his father and that we are cruel to those with talent in this society and that it wasn't his fault and that we should just try to be more loving.
I apologized for offending and explained that while I'm a big fan of Michael Jackson's music I'm also an advocate for children. All children and that along with the joy his music brought, the child abuse is as relevant in his obituary...

All this got me thinking about a lot of things.  How we tend to forgive/forget certain things from certain people. How if it were you or your child you might feel differently. How I felt attacked in the bizarro forum of facebook and got defensive and wanted to be understood. How maybe it is okay to feel attacked for saying something I believe. How emotional the masses can feel for someone no one really knows. How a persons art/music can have such an effect on so many people and how powerful that is....

In any case, all of our feelings on the matter are real and true.

Michael Jackson was a great contributer and will be remembered as a true legend in the music world and he molested young boys.


  1. how i second that emotion!
    a persons musical genius or financial genius or choreographic genius or philanthropic genius always goes AFTER molestation of children.

    and I love it that you write on napkins in restaurants to process things...

    I think often when one is sad about a stranger dying, a myth, a legend, a musician especially, its more about remembering our own musical histories, our life soundtrack and recognizing their distance from us now. None of these Facebook reactions have much to do with the actual man, I don't think.

  2. I love that poem...
    Yes I also found it strange that there is not a word about the ugliness of his vices, only the beauty of his music... the media crucified him when he was alive, and now it seems they will exhalt him. Whatever it takes to sell papers

  3. Don't know about the US, but in Europe they mentionned all the shadows in his life.