June 26, 2009

Child Stars

The unexpected passing of Michael Jackson quickly upstaged the expected passing of Farrah Fawcett. I suspect for years there will be speculation that the Three Kings; him, Elvis, and the Lizard King wander not the Orient, but convenient stores in the midwest, never aging, but specters of Madame Tussaud's visions.

I remember watching the Jackson 5 cartoon and singing along with ABC, it seemed as easy as 123. Then in high school, Thriller hit the charts and no school dance was ever the same. We all tried pathetically to moonwalk while wearing zippered jackets and parachute pants. As if we could capture the mystique that was MJ.

Then, he got weird. Really weird. He carved his face with plastic surgery, lightened his skin and appeared more and more androgynous each month. He married, divorced, dangled children from balconies, and built a Neverneverland tribute to his seeming lost childhood. Did he ever have a chance to be normal? He entertained us, but he always seemed like a lost soul. In his attempt to capture the youth he never had, he stole the youth of others. My skin crawled and my heart cried. The manchild was neither, he became one of the monsters from his Thriller video.

That's the thing with child stars. So few grow up to be adjusted adults. From Judy Garland to Robert Blake, from Danny Bonaduce to Britney Spears. These wind-up machine children who entertain adults are denied the very essence of who they are. They grow up lost, confused and exploited. They don't learn impulse control because the adults around them are so busy milking their money train they don't realize they're also building a future train wreck. It's tragic.

I guess all I can hope now is that Michael Jackson really does Rest In Peace. I don't know how he could.


  1. I suspect he finally is at peace. From a lost childhood, he grew into an adult that didn't know how to navigate through the world. Musically and creatively, a genius. As a personality, not enough of the neccasary life experiences to become a 'functioning' human being. I think "Thriller" did him in. Since then, he tried to find his way, but didn't know how. What we see as "getting weird", he saw as trying to figure out who to be next.

    What numbs me is the speculations and outcrys of the media after the fact. Blech!!

  2. Ditto what Rev Ray said!

    I saw MJ as a drug addicted, financially irresponsible, child molester. But it is undeniable that he had a great talent and that he was the King of Pop just as Elvis was the King of Rock n' Roll.

    Wake me when Willie Nelson passes on to that great Whiskey River in the sky. Now Willie is my idol! Yes, I admit he is a pot smoking, poorly groomed, tax cheat. But old Willie has never been a child molester!

    Wake me when Willie dies!


    P.S. Miss ya over at the other place!

  3. RayOLight and True-Man,

    Thank you both for coming by! I love seeing familiar faces. I suppose we'll never know whether MJ was or was not a child molester... but we DO know that some children were exploited horribly, starting with him, perhaps then with the children whose parents allowed them to befriend MJ with dollar signs in their eyes. But he just always seemed a lost lost soul, and my heart broke for him, repeatedly.


Thank you for joining the conversation! Your input is always valued.


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