Decorum dictates that we not speak ill of the dead. Yet, at a time when the media is indulging an unseemly display of fawning adoration for Michael Jackson, we do well to recall both his extraordinary talent and the abjection of his life.
If Michael Jackson is an icon, an image that merits adoration for its spiritual perfection, then the world needs more iconoclasts.
Among our more eminent iconoclasts I count the unfailingly decorous Emily Yoffe. Clearly and succinctly she blogged what we should all be thinking. Link to her post here.
Our culture needs be more careful about whom it elevates to the status of icon. If an icon is someone to be adored and admired, even worshiped, then the icon should present behavior that is worth emulating.
At a time when the cult of celebrity has reached obscene proportions we need all to take a step back and recalibrate our moral compass.
We should recall that the King of Pop was Peter Pan, a man who refused to grow up, and who created his own amusement park so he could surround himself with and exploit vulnerable boys.
The only difference between Michael Jackson and ordinary pedophiles is that Jackson never bothered to hide his attraction to children.
The world gave Jackson fame and fortune. He used them both as a cover for some very unsavory pleasures.
And how better to attract children than to appear to be one? As several writers have remarked, to their chagrin, the King of Pop was also the King of the Extreme Makeover.
Surely, there was something freaky and creepy about the persona that Jackson had crafted out of his addiction to plastic surgery.
Michael Jackson possessed a ferocious will to force his physical appearance to conform to an image and to make his life replicate a fiction.
His extraordinary musical talent was inviolate. Yet, we should not overlook what he did with the rewards that that talent gained him. And we must be clear that his is an example that no one should ever seek to emulate.