My Apologies to Michael Jackson

I owe Michael Jackson an apology. For years I criticized his quirks and eccentricities and considered him as a borderline nutcase. I always enjoyed his music, but frequently took shots at his indulgences, ever-changing appearance and peculiar lifestyle. In my rush to judgment I never considered how much his behavior; values and worldview could have been shaped by a highly abnormal childhood and the selfish sycophants and leeches that surrounded him. It took his death and the subsequent behavior of his father, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to bring this realization to life.

 Before an autopsy was even completed, Papa Jackson was holding press conferences shamelessly promoting his new record label. And then the circus came to town as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton swooped into LA, poking their mugs in front of cameras and belching out hysterical sound bites as they jockeyed for position as family spokesman and auditioned for the star speaking role at the funeral. I’ve seen sharks in a feeding frenzy conduct themselves with more dignity than these old school opportunists. If this single glance into the character of the “friends and family” that influenced Michael Jackson during his lifetime is any indication of how he was used, abused and confused for five decades then perhaps the most incredible result of his life is that he was as normal, kind and sane as he was.

I learned a lesson this week. I’m going to practice being less judgmental and to give people more benefit of the doubt when they act in a manner that doesn’t fit my cookie cutter definition of what “acceptable” or normal should be. I knew better. Now I’ll do better.

Admittedly, I could begin my resolution to be more understanding by trying harder to comprehend the actions of the three men I’ve addressed in this piece. But that’s not going to happen. After all, I’m not critiquing their quaint little quirks, but condemning the callousness of their character, the tackiness of their timing and the maliciousness of their motives. Bubbles the Chimp had more class than these clowns. I’m sorry, Michael. Rest in peace.  

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