Michael Jackson: A Remembrance

No, Really

Michael Jackson Was Crazier Than Anyone Else Has Ever Dreamed of Being

I’m glad Michael Jackson is dead. Fuck yes, I am absolutely thrilled. Knowing that Michael Jackson was alive—in a desert somewhere (California? Dubai?), wallowing, pickling, corroding in his own suffering—was, oh, infinity times more depressing than knowing he is now deceased. This was a mercy killing.

I used to have a teeny filament of hope for Michael: not that he’d ever have a human face again, or that he’d be completely absolved of alleged man-on-boy ickiness, or that there’d be any coming back of any kind, but that he might—at the very least—retire to a castle somewhere, lie down, take a nap, abolish mirrors, and live out his old age in some semblance of wealth-padded contentment. He deserved that, at least. But that was before I saw THE STUFF.

The stuff. Ohhhhhh, the stuff. Back in April, I found myself in Los Angeles at a most fortuitous time. Facing financial ruin (apparently he died with negative $400 million—WTF!?), MJ had decided to auction off his belongings in a giant hurricane of crazy, and the crauction’s (that’s a combination of “crazy” and “auction”) contents were on display at the Beverly Hilton for any and all comers. This was officially the best $20 I ever borrowed from my friend’s boyfriend and then forgot to pay back. Ever.

The crauction display went on seemingly forever. Rooms and rooms and rooms. It started out predictable: outfits, sequined socks, Jackson 5 gold records (truly sad), a bust of Elvis, a Rolls-Royce limousine. BUT VERY SOON THE FUN AND GAMES OFFICIALLY STOPPED. I was surrounded by child-sized furniture, arcade games, California Raisins, and soda fountains. Michael’s face was everywhere: Over and over again, he was depicted as the literal pied piper, leading armies of children with a glazed smile through ruthlessly Technicolor landscapes. I saw lots of what I hoped was fan art (for instance, a Day-Glo tapestry in which MJ, Peter Pan, and the Tiny Toons have a slumber party) and too many works obviously commissioned by the King himself (a painted triptych in which Michael, crowning and knighting himself with a magic sword, declares, “I am the Primeval Self in you and I”).

There was a finger painting by Macaulay Culkin. There was a golf cart with an airbrushed painting of Michael as Peter Pan on its hood. There was an animatronic baby, wiggling and waggling. How much time do you have? Because this list could go on forever.

Maybe the most striking things were the life-size wax Michaels—EVERYWHERE—in varying stages of skin tone and wig and facial deconstruction. One wondered what he did with them. Did he talk to himself? Did he hug himself? Did he put himself in the microwave for 30 seconds or so to warm himself up so that he could fall asleep in the comforting embrace of a pretend-alive almost-human who did not judge him? There were other figures as well: an army of elderly white servants, all with zany countenances, standing at attention or lounging on gold-plated porch swings.

By the end of my tour through Jackson’s baroque, gold-plated crazybrain, it was clear that I was dealing with a madman. This was not irony or kitsch, this was a broken person—wrecked by abuse, fame, wealth, craziness, crazy-in-the-headedness, and CRAZYBRAINZ. There would be no redemption for him.

In closing, here is a poem that Michael wrote and then had carved into stone as the world’s creepiest yard art:

Kingdoms topple, lose their glass.
Civilizations crumble, ages pass.
Turbulent tempests ravage the seas.
Violent killings, despite our pleas.
But dew drops sparkle when children play.
Tyrants cry, there is nothing to slay.
Fairies dance and goblins sing.
In the garden we frolic a while.
Those are the moments when babies
smile.

You’re dancing with the fairies now, Michael. It’s where you should be. And I’m glad. recommended

 

Comments (85) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Fuck you Lindy West.
I used to think you rocked.
Always LOVED all of your articles, but this sucks.
You rude bitch.
Posted by sugarblues on June 26, 2009 at 8:36 PM · Report this
2
Fuck you Lindy West.
I used to think you rocked.
Always LOVED all of your articles, but this one sucks.
You really didn't have to go there and be such a rude bitch.
A musical icon died, who happened to be someone's father...but obviously you haven't thought about anyone but yourself.
As per usual.
Posted by sugarblues on June 26, 2009 at 8:40 PM · Report this
Rhett Oracle 3
Thrilled someone is dead who had no impact upon your life? In spite of the 15 preceding words, I am officially speechless that a museum has rendered you so - what? empathetically-challenged.
Posted by Rhett Oracle on June 26, 2009 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Lindy West 4
You guys are misunderstanding me. I have PLENTY of sentimental feelings about Michael Jackson, and I told you where I wished he'd ended up ("some semblance of wealth-padded contentment"). But he has been slowly, painfully, publicly self-destructing for YEARS, and wandering through the weird remnants of his life--which are undeniably crazy--just cemented the feeling that his downward spiral was going to continue indefinitely. Watching him has felt like watching the saddest human on earth. I'm glad, for him, that that's over.
Posted by Lindy West on June 26, 2009 at 10:34 PM · Report this
Superfrankenstein 5
I have come here tonight to offer my support to the embattled Lindy West, and to express my conviction that her essay of June 26, 2009, entitled "No, Really," made babies smile.
Posted by Superfrankenstein http://twitter.com/TomPeyer on June 26, 2009 at 10:58 PM · Report this
Fnarf 6
Lindy, I'm sorry that none of your critics know how to read.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on June 26, 2009 at 10:58 PM · Report this
7
I agree with you Lindy West!
Posted by oxyala trio http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/bernstein/shadowtime/wb-thesis.html on June 26, 2009 at 10:59 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 8
1 and 2 really didn't read this correctly. Lindy nailed this one on the head - Jackson was facing a meaningless and miserable future, and he was not going to get any help from anyone. I suspect that his unique experience put him beyond any help he could ask for anyway.

I'm sorry for his children, but also relieved - would they become noisy strangers once they hit 14 or so, the age many of his "friends" stopped hearing from him? The man seemed incapable of relating to anyone older than that. How fucked up would it be to be the grownup in your relationship with your dad when you're not even old enough to drive?

This WAS a merciful time for Jackson to die. I'm saddened at his passing, more so than I would believe (I never was a fan, and I was around when Thriller came out), but I can't think it was a bad thing.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM · Report this
9
Bingo! You are now officially my favorite lefty Seattleite writer.

The friggin' hero-worship of this dude by legions of doofuses would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. "Hail the kid-toucher".

Posted by holographhhhhh on June 27, 2009 at 12:29 AM · Report this
attitude devant 10
6,7, and 8, are right of course. This is my favorite MJ remembrance all week. Maybe the prior commenters would get it if this piece were linked to your previous "Goodbye, Brain" review of the auction?

But then like the silly optimist I am I ALWAYS think people will "get it" if I patiently explain....

MJ's was the saddest story. Who could have survived that childhood intact?

It occurs to me that you may be getting some flak from big deluded fans who are just surfing on the surfeit of MJ web bits. Best to ignore, OK?
Posted by attitude devant on June 27, 2009 at 7:28 AM · Report this
11
sad that you have passed such silly stuff into print, they pay you for this middle school blog shit?

same Stranger trite shit, and he guy is dead

fame or not, death is never to be wished on anyone

course, you do value your life? maybe not ... then, go die somewhere

buying crap is not confined to wealth, go to the goodwill, you are easily impressed, something wrong with a Rolls?

Great talent, bit of a sad life, too bad he is dead.

Signed: No Great Fan
Posted by Need Coffee on June 27, 2009 at 7:28 AM · Report this
12
"Bit of a sad life"?! No shit. Lindy's right: his death WAS a mercy, both for him and for his fans. There was no redemption coming, only more implosions of sadness and desperation. Let him be done with his weird life, filled as it was with genius gone horribly, crazily wrong.
Posted by katallred on June 27, 2009 at 7:58 AM · Report this
13
An alleged pedophile who could only sing "ooh" and "uh" is dead. So what? Aren't we better off without such waste?

Posted by Not A Fan on June 27, 2009 at 8:08 AM · Report this
14
Three children have lost their father and you think that's just swell. Yes, his was a tortured psyche. But he loved his children and I doubt he'd choose to leave them even if it meant his mental suffering would end.

And it sounds as though drugs played a significant role in his downward spiral. What if he'd managed to somehow get rid of the enablers and clean up? His life could've improved. Call me naively optimistic but I like to think there's always hope.

But you go right ahead and dance the hooray-he's-dead! dance. I'm sure you'll understand if I choose not to watch.
Posted by death makes some of us happy on June 27, 2009 at 10:18 AM · Report this
15
I suspect the kids might be better off without Crazybrainz dangling them off of balconies and whatever other unimaginable things he subjected them to in private. Michael himself would've been better off if his fucked up Dad had died when he was a kid.
Posted by T-Bone on June 27, 2009 at 11:12 AM · Report this
sepiolida 16
Lindy I completely agree! The guy was a serious nutjob!!!
Posted by sepiolida on June 27, 2009 at 11:41 AM · Report this
kim in portland 17
From outside observation he appeared to live a very sad life with little peace, may he rest in peace now.

I'll always admire his music, as a dancer I adored his choreography. I have fond memories of mastering the choreograpy or "Beat It" and "Thriller", and learning to moonwalk. As a guitar player I admired his sense of rhythm.

I think David Ryan Harris's tribute to MJ, reflects my sentiments perfectly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJcPLJoGI…
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on June 27, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
allergictopizza 18
I'm fairly certain that these kids problems began long before MJ died. They had problems long before Lindy showed empathy for the man in print. Problems might have begun when he DANGLED THEIR INFANT BODIES OFF A BALCONY.

Lindy - this is perfect. This is, honestly, EXACTLY how I felt as I cleaned out my diedwaytooearly father's apartment. The man was nuts. For different reasons, obviously. But it made me realize that his death released him from the crazy. Nothing else was going to do that - he struggled with it his whole life. I miss him like crazy (get it?), but on a lot of levels, I am glad he died. I'm sure MJ's kids will eventually come to the same conclusion.

To the fuckwads who think Lindy is being insensitive...I hope you aren't as harsh on yourself when you have similar feelings about a real person in your life.
Posted by allergictopizza on June 27, 2009 at 12:33 PM · Report this
19
14, you miss the point like @ 1 did. Saying that his death was for the best is not, in any reasonable reading of this post, a "celebration."
Posted by Matt from Denver at work on June 27, 2009 at 12:44 PM · Report this
20
You ever ben to Disneyland as a kid, and never want to leave? If I had that money, I'd pretty much make myself a big pirates of the carribean ride into my house. Except I probably wouldn't have lifesezed wax statues of myself, as I changed into some alien creature. But hell he did a lot of great things for kids and people around the world. He really did have a huge heart for the world just like you probably did when you were a kid. The man in his mirror lived in a bubble cut off from any semblance of reality. Where havin those weird things at his auctioned were condoned by his antourage' doubt he heard no ever. You should have not got drunk and wrote a frustrated rant about someone you don't know and have no understanding of. Grow a heart and use what makes us human, Compassion. Understand a little bit that a Billion people on this planet loved him, his music, his compassion, and they aren't takin it too well...
Posted by Werds on June 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM · Report this
21
I'm glad he's dead, he was a pedo, good riddance,... sitting on a park bench....I've been air guitaring that riff constantly since I heard the news.
Posted by Holy Roller on June 27, 2009 at 1:57 PM · Report this
22
One of the best comments I've heard came from a friend of mine and in the talk of children being lucky when a crazy parent dies and leaves them. I wonder if all this talk went on when Kurt Cobain killed himself and left Francis Bean but I always forget that ultra liberals are so understanding, compassionate, and love people.

"The uber self-righteousness is one thing I dislike most about our culture. We seem to have it in spades.

It urks me that many of us have to be reminded to focus on MJ's legacy. We would extend that courtesy to anyone else and expect it for ourselves, when our time comes, so why not him?

He was still just a person. What we think we know about his personal life shouldn't even be an issue. No one is denying his imperfections but we seem to find it easy to forget that that's a trait we all share. However, no one came close to his talent/influence, which are what differentiated him from us, not his flaws, and should be celebrated."

I think that's a good thing.
Posted by flaming_star on June 27, 2009 at 2:24 PM · Report this
23
i'm sure better people who were also fathers died on july 25th. and yesterday, and today. are you mourning for them? are you mourning every second of your life? it's not really sad that michael died if you don't even know him, it's just a shock. it's not like he was still making really good music and now we're missing out.
Posted by chalkylips on June 27, 2009 at 4:06 PM · Report this
24
i'm sure better people who were also fathers died on july 25th. and yesterday, and today. are you mourning for them? are you mourning every second of your life? it's not really sad that michael died if you don't even know him, it's just a shock. it's not like he was still making really good music and now we're missing out.
Posted by chalkylips on June 27, 2009 at 4:08 PM · Report this
25
My first thought, too. His life was so sad really it was better to end, like a pop-culture media orgy fame crazed version of cancer. I loved the young MJ in Jackson 5. I hated seeing his modern day face and hearing all the horrible MJ jokes.
Posted by concertina on June 27, 2009 at 4:29 PM · Report this
26
Love comment #22!!
Posted by kbeanz on June 27, 2009 at 4:34 PM · Report this
emote_control 27
Michael Jackson died in 1991. I'm glad that Zombie Michael Jackson finally came apart at the seams and collapsed into component parts. It's been embarrassing to watch for almost two decades. I can't believe that anyone who has been even passingly familiar with ZMJ didn't think "man, that's some mental illness there." But being Zombie *Michael Jackson* nobody could put him on some medication to perhaps modulate his zombie delusions. In the end, the brain he ate was his own.
Posted by emote_control on June 27, 2009 at 6:55 PM · Report this
28
Fuck you, you nasty bitch, I will celebrate your death, and i'm sure wherever you go it won't be somewhere nice like where Michael probably went, if I ever see you I will beat the fuck out of you. I promise you that.
Posted by angel on June 27, 2009 at 10:12 PM · Report this
Violet_DaGrinder 29
No, really.

Did you read Lisa Marie Presley's sad-as-fuck myspace blog thingie? About how she saw how fucked he was 14 years ago and just about went nuts herself trying to saaaaave him?

I've been contemplating what his life would have been like if his dad hadn't shoved them all into the spotlight as kids. It's hard to imagine that he wouldn't have still ended up a singer and/or dancer. Maybe he would have ended up nearly as famous, and ended up being a Madonna or a Prince (weird, weirder). But they're ok. They're alive. Because they at least got 18 years of being normal-ish people. They had time to grow brainz free of crazymakins.

In summary: fuck Joe Jackson. This is all his fault.
Posted by Violet_DaGrinder http://www.imeem.com/jukeboxmusic51/music/y1malqpG/prince-the-new-power-generation-featuring-eric-leeds-on-f/ on June 27, 2009 at 10:24 PM · Report this
eric (the other one) 30
I think "ruthlessly Technicolor landscapes" is as perfect a turn of phrase as I've read all week. Perfect!

Of course you're right about all this, and of course the apologists will trip all over themselves to berate you for not being more sensitive to this child-molesting derangement of a person, but come on: Michael Jackson's kids are better off in almost anyone else's custody based solely on that ghoul's face, let alone my secret fear that he had them bred for spare parts. There's a lot of story left to be told there, and I'm sorry if I'm being insensitive but the Michael Jackson anyone remembers as a talented human died almost 20 years ago.
Posted by eric (the other one) on June 27, 2009 at 11:38 PM · Report this
Om nom nom 31
Seriously, Literary Haters?

This is THE FUCKING STRANGER.

If you want to read some emotionless and generic bullshit about how awesome and amazing Michael "We All Wanted Him Dead Five Years Ago (REMEMBER?!?)" Jackson is, then go pick up a fucking People Magazine.

Also, Lindy: your writing always makes me smile, and you're right. The guy was cool back in the day, but how happy could one person possibly be locked in a tomb of public loathing and humiliation in which THAT PERSON CONSTRUCTED THEMSELVES (possibly out of blocks of crushed dreams and painful disfigurement - maybe using a mixture of tears and old Halloween candy as some sort of mortar.)

Posted by Om nom nom on June 28, 2009 at 8:52 AM · Report this
32
My point, for the many of you who've missed it, is that I think this is a crass, heartless message to send: "Hey! Jackson children! You're too young to realize it yet but your father is better off dead and, in the long run, you're better off too. Have a nice day!" Think it if you must, but why print it?

And as an aside, "Michael Jackson Was Crazier Than Anyone Else Has Ever Dreamed of Being"?? Google "Howard Hughes", young 'un. Michael wasn't even in Howard's league...

Posted by death makes some of us happy on June 28, 2009 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 33
@ 32, his kids will never see this. You may not like this, which is just fine. But spare us the "think of the children" line.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM · Report this
34
I totally agree. This was euthanasia. Linda is saying what everyone else is thinking but afraid to say out loud because speaking ill of the dead is a 'taboo' subject.
Posted by jinushaun on June 28, 2009 at 10:03 AM · Report this
35
@ 33, sentiments like this are all over the internet. Of course his kids will see/read/hear things like this.

And what am I thinking, hoping people will have some common decency when it comes to children. How un-hip of me. I forgot this was the Stranger.

Fuck 'em all! Death to the mentally ill! Death to his children! Is that edgy enough?

Suck it.

Posted by death makes some of us happy on June 28, 2009 at 10:23 AM · Report this
36
Who wants to see my balls? P R I D E motherfuckers. My BALLS!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by COCKMONGLOID on June 28, 2009 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 37
@ 35, you're hopelessly naive.
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 28, 2009 at 3:25 PM · Report this
38
hey Lindy! I am soooo glad that someone was finally able to capture my true feelings towards MJ!!! yes, he was a musical genius... But for the last few days, I have felt like I have been living in the Twilight Zone! The reality is - no matter how harsh it may seem - that the last 20 years of Michael Jackson's life far out-way ANYTHING that he may have accomplished in music world! Perhaps it speaks to the horror and incestuous nature of "celebrity" in America that we are unable to see the truth about him. For so many, he was an escape from the trauma of their everyday lives, and when he started parading around as Peter Pan (as early as 1985, see 20/20 interview with Babs Walter) and slowing morphing into the love child of Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Rivers, it was too much reality to take in and so we simply chose not to believe it.

But as I watched the wall-to-wall coverage on every single channel that had some sort of newscast, I found myself asking America, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!" Nevermind that there were people fighting and dying in the streets of Tehran or that the Gov of SC used state money to go see his mistress in Argentina... No, those things didnt happen that day because Michael Jackson dropped died!

Am I sad for his family... Yes. And I sad for his kids... Yes (Lord knows that they were already gunna be fucked up enough but then daddy has to go and die on them)! But do I think that he deserved the kind of coverage that it got? NO! Do I think that he should have been elevated to saint-hood as certain people would like to have happen? NO! Reality is what it is... He was a sad, self-destructive, self-hating, alleged child abuser. And those realities - no matter how hard they are to swallow - outway anything he did in a former life!

The Michael Jackson that we all knew and loved died sometime in the mid 80's. Replaced by a strange, sad, and at times scary individual whom I do not care to know! I just wish more people saw it that way!

-Zach
More...
Posted by Zachattack25 on June 28, 2009 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Rhett Oracle 39
Living things like to go on living.

- Nikita Khrushchev upon facing a potential nuclear showdown between the USA and the USSR
Posted by Rhett Oracle on June 28, 2009 at 4:25 PM · Report this
40
this guy was ca-razy, quite possibly a pedophile (I would have fought and beaten those charges, not settled), and I think someone should speak up and counter the mad rush to glorify him. Thanks LW. At best, he was a very good POP star. POP star, he didn't cure a disease or make peace in the middle east. come on, humans. why did they cancel regularly scheduled programs to worship him?
Posted by not THAT guy, ok, that guy on June 28, 2009 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 41
Right on, Lindy......

Michael Jackson was a traumatized and abused child... MJ was an amazing performer and musical genius.. MJ was a brilliant producer and manipulator of his career... MJ hated his appearance and did things to himself that defy explaination... MJ was the motivating factor that got black people on MTV and thus into white americans homes... MJ created a fantasy world to keep himself safe... Michael Jackson was insane... MJ used drugs to cope with life, many people do. Mike did things with kids that no adult person should... he may have traumatized and abused children... he may not have know it was wrong because of his madness... No one will ever have the place in music that he did, ...

He is way better off, he deserves rest, healing, punishment or oblivion, whatever we get when we are dead.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on June 28, 2009 at 5:37 PM · Report this
42
Lindy West you are a cold-hearted cunt.

Posted by Jasper on June 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM · Report this
bhowie 43
I too agree with you Lindy. MJ is the most blatant example of someone trying, desperately, to buy happiness. The harder he tried, the more of a monster he become. I saw a slideshow of the stuff you describe and had the same reaction. Upon news of his death a friend of mine said simply, "Look what money does." So true.
Posted by bhowie on June 28, 2009 at 8:44 PM · Report this
44
Hey, Lindy -
Correct me if I'm wrong: Didn't wacko Jacko CALL OFF the auction at the last minute? I think I read that somewhere. So now all the crazy stuff will be on display again: The Jackson family will make a killing off of the money they'll be charging folks to view that collection again!
And for all the numbnuts out there who are offended by Ms. West's column: Really, now, did you honestly, truly believe, in your heart of hearts, that Michael Jackson was going to die of old age? Really?? No, we all knew that he was going to be checking out ahead of schedule. So get over your sad selves and move on. It's what he would have wanted.
Posted by Doloris Day on June 28, 2009 at 9:00 PM · Report this
45
Your web designer sucks ass -- for not being able to make your layout work in the most used browser in the world.

And oh yeah, I'm kind of glad that Michael Jackson's life has mercifully ended as well.
Posted by Mike in Greenwood on June 29, 2009 at 12:48 AM · Report this
lp 46
wow - - i knew him, worked with him & played ball with him - - i watched movies with him & rode on the neverland rides - - - i was in a music video with him & i loved him dearly - - -i really hate you people who judge people who happen 2 be famous when u have never even met us. it's awful being famous & i wish it would go away - - but it doesn't.

judge not lest ye be judged - - & i hope u never, ever get sick.

but u will, or your loved ones will & i hope no one treats them as shitty as u are treating michael & his loved ones. he's more of an artist than u will ever dream of being. you are hateful.

i feel sorry 4 u.
Posted by lp on June 29, 2009 at 11:19 AM · Report this
47
ok people. lets get one thing straight. NO ONE here really "knows" him (unless you are actually a personal friend of MJ or family member. What we do know --that of which is a fact--is that he raped young boys, and bleached his skin to look white. let me repeat that: he raped young boys, and bleached his skin to look white. OK so i KNOW he is extremely talenated and i myself LOVE what he's contributed to the musical/art world. but as for the quality of individual: he raped young boys, and bleached his skin to look white. lets be real here people. Lindy, great work.
Posted by ddeevaa on June 29, 2009 at 11:45 AM · Report this
48
I loved Michael Jackson when I was a kid. I, like most of 80's baby middle America, danced on the tables in our living rooms to Thriller, Beat It and Bad. I bought the History compliation CDs and had Earth Song and Stranger In Moscow memorized. But since the early 90's it seemed nothing could go right for him and he never did fully recover. I was surprised he got off the last time he was in court for child abuse allegations but then again celebrity (as so rightly pointed out by commenter #38) will buy you anything - including a get out of jail free card. It is sad that he passed while wallowing in the loveless doldrums and I do feel bad for his kids. But then again how many of us could have imagined Michael at the age of 80 still kicking it? I couldn't.
Posted by meigs1 on June 29, 2009 at 3:40 PM · Report this
49
Completely agree with Lindy. In the end, MJ had become a modern day Norma Desmond, living within his own celebrity induced insanity.
Posted by Scrufff on June 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM · Report this
50
@28, maybe you need to calm yourself down in a tomb somewhere...away from civilization, preferably.
Posted by all i ask on June 29, 2009 at 9:44 PM · Report this
SilentG 51
Wonderful piece, Lindy! Thank you so very much for speaking empathic, level-headed, truth.

The poor bastard was screwed from Day One, and my heart has always gone out to him for that.

But, if he REALLY was surrounded by people who loved him, why didn't even one of them have the courage to say 'No' to him? Sometimes that's the most loving thing you can do.

Someone should have said 'no' when he decided to have children, too. Those poor, fucked, kids. THEY'RE the ones I grieve for.

Also, in the end, who gives a shit that the man was 'a musical legend". So's Phil Spectre.

Both he and his co-mort Farrah should be powerfully cautionary tales for our celebrity-obsessed culture. But I'm not holding my breath.

Keep up the great work, Lindy, and try not to let the single helix cryptorchids out get ya down.

Posted by SilentG on June 30, 2009 at 3:33 AM · Report this
52
Wow... Just wow...

Clearly these people that are writing death threats didnt understand the message.
Posted by ashley on June 30, 2009 at 8:37 AM · Report this
53
If I may quote a line from Star Trek...
Doctor McCoy turns to Captain Kirk and says....
"He's dead, Jim."

We're still stuck with all the videos he felt behind.
The endless recordings of his music that will live on in every elevator across America.

Had we, as a nation, taken the time and energy to morn the passing of Mohandas Gandhi,I would not be as upset about having CNN having non stop coverage. The world has NOT stopped. Elvis left...and we carried on. Lets put this in prospective boys and girls.

Now,let's let the motherfucker go.
Posted by an abstract artist on June 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM · Report this
54
No one in the history has ever been this better off dead. For his own sake. RIP.
Posted by izzydizzybangbang on June 30, 2009 at 12:11 PM · Report this
55
#11, "death is never to be wished on anyone"

I disagree. My mother, when her breast cancer reoccurred, 15 years later, decided she wasn't going to be heroic about it. She'd been heroic at age 44 because she had young children. And, with a few easy steps, she lasted 10 years more to age 69. Ironic, in a time when Ashcroft was AG, that a bit more morphine resulted in her death maybe a day early, with only 30 minutes between being completely lucid and dying at home. She got the death she preferred to the alternatives. Ironic because Ashcroft would have denied my mother the dignity and compassion anyone would give their dying dog.

MJ seems to have self-adminstered a similar exit. His pain may have been pyschological rather than from tumors throughout his body, but that probably made it a deeper level of hell.

Death, when it is an escape from inescapible pain, is to be wished on those who desire it.
Posted by David in Kenai on June 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM · Report this
56
Michael Jackson never fathered any children.
Posted by jase on June 30, 2009 at 11:13 PM · Report this
Shane-L 57
Lindy I hear you.

I am reminded of a bible quote (though I am an atheist) "Oh how the mighty have fallen"

Nobody has ever risen so high to just fall so low. Michael Jackson is a perfect example of how pathetic people can become who have no limitations. Fame and fortune only brought him heartache and despair. When money is not an object one literally do what ever they want to their face.

Its sad really, and I am glad I do not have to witness his slow death anymore.
Posted by Shane-L http://www.einherjarstudio.blogspot.com on July 1, 2009 at 5:50 AM · Report this
BigDaddy007 58
Hmmm...i think what bothers me about the article, Lindy, is not what's on the minds on most of the persons in disagreement with you. What gives me pause is that I don't know what you are from your writing (and I say this with no malice whatsoever, believe me); are you a journalist or a person who wishes their opinion known in a public venue? If it's the former, the polarity of your opinion falls far from journalistic integrity. If you're a person expressing your opinion, you've done an excellent job as well as going the easy way of getting attention, albeit much too far over the top. It doesn't matter if you say several nice things in your article if the majority of it is bashing someone else. The only thing I ask you to remember is the next time someone says gays should die for their incurable mental disease or Israelis or Muslims, ad infinitum, you are able to show as much understanding, sympathy and empathy as you have for the validation of your own opinion. I understand you may not have a ton of experience with understanding the effects of words but try and place your self in the position of those in mourning and temper yourself somewhat, just some advice, not a mandate. Lastly, if you can't be healthy when you purge, at least entertain the notion of being demure at the least or silent at best. Once again, I say this with no malice, just a weariness of overwhelming negativity...
Posted by BigDaddy007 on July 1, 2009 at 7:53 AM · Report this
gore138 59
I really liked this article. I often hoped that if I wanted it enough, I could will him into becoming "normal" again. But, I'm sure the problem was there long before we ever saw it. Coming from a family w/ a history of mental illness, I know haow hard it is, I couldn't imagine what it must have been like w/ out medical attention. I am glad he is at peace and in a place where he can look like and hump whatever he wants! WE LOVE YOU MICHEAL!
Posted by gore138 on July 1, 2009 at 9:33 AM · Report this
Jason Eckelman 60
@ 22 - Um, Kurt Cobain never molested kids. And yes, MJ was "just a person" - a person who was completely out of his mind, to the extent that he sexually assaulted children. It is indeed truly sad that he is dead, but that doesn't, in any way, change the reality of his life.
Posted by Jason Eckelman on July 1, 2009 at 12:05 PM · Report this
allergictopizza 61
@46, if you are such a big fan and friend, why does your avatar pointedly call out the fact that he completely fucked up his face?

You should also look into spelling lessons. Unless you're Prince - knock that shit off.

PS You're full of shit. You didn't know MJ.
Posted by allergictopizza on July 1, 2009 at 1:09 PM · Report this
62
@LW so you're happy he's dead because you saw his stuff. That of course makes no fucking sense. You saw one slice of his life at one point in time and are now confident you can judge what might have been another thirty-forty-fifty? years of his life. I gotta say you suck. MJ never had a life and now can't even die in peace - abused by Joe at the beginning and by people like you at the end. @47 so you don't know him but you know he was a child molester? Really? Let's ignore the fact that he was acquitted of the charges you're thinking of which in the day/age of DNA evidence is pretty telling and just concentrate on the very real question of whether he was capable of having sex - with anyone. Rumours have floated for years that he was fully or partially physically castrated by the inestimable Joe (certainly my nominee for father of the century).
Posted by GonnaBeStartingSmtng on July 1, 2009 at 3:10 PM · Report this
63
unbelievable that people like you get to write complete crap and it gets printed for all to read in a local rag. find something better to do with your time. you have zero talent for this apparently.
Posted by junk on July 1, 2009 at 4:13 PM · Report this
64
Just because you don't understand this man does not make him crazy.

I thought someone writing for the Stranger would be farther enlightened than to judge a man crazy by viewing his possessions.

There is not another person on this earth that understands what MJ went through. Even Elvis and the Beatles were "normal" at one point in their lives. MJ never had that.

Save your judgment for someone you might have a hope of understanding.... But understanding wasn't what you were trying to do, was it? You were trying to write a snarky, contrary article for the Stranger. How creative of you.

Posted by marvelgrrl on July 1, 2009 at 4:15 PM · Report this
wifeydae@yahoo.com 65
I agree with you, in all honesty. This...man, if that's what anyone wants to call it...was a modern-day Caligula. Not only was he a madman, but he also procreated with some poor woman. I only wish he'd died before he could carry on his own line. It's not a tragedy. Really. So stop putting it on the news. I don't want to hear about it anymore.

I applaud you. And I think I am going to read more of your work since I am new to the site.
Posted by wifeydae@yahoo.com on July 1, 2009 at 7:48 PM · Report this
66
You want to know what really killed Michael Jackson? Two words: Joe Motherfuckin Pesci. Vids or it didn't happen? OK:

http://tinyurl.com/smoothliteral
Posted by Cinderella Goldberg on July 1, 2009 at 8:55 PM · Report this
lp 67
@61 - sorry, you are wrong.

& btw, u know me.....&, no, i am not full of shit.

& the pic is just truthful --- and, no i will not knock that shit off.
Posted by lp on July 1, 2009 at 11:15 PM · Report this
68
Maybe someone will mercy kill the writer when things aren't going too well for her. Oh, and we should totally pray that something kills the elderly because lets be honest; their lives aren't all that fruitful anymore. Oh man, and those pesky minorities have GOT to go. As long as we embrace our inner sociopath and claim to be glad that total strangers are dead because on the exterior we make a completely valid judgment that their life is total shit, they should die. Yes, this is true. Nevermind that they actual meant something to people in their own lives. I am so glad those people died on that Air France flight because one was a riverdancer and that is so tacky. Her life was going nowhere. A total mercy killing.

This writer is a lazy pandering moron who can't even write what she really thinks. The argument she makes is full of inconsistencies. She probably just doesn't get humanity.
Posted by rocketgirl on July 2, 2009 at 9:43 AM · Report this
McGee 69
@46, 67
"Famous like us"?
Are you Macauly Culkin? Actually unless you are the guy who does the vibrate dance in "Beat It" nobody cares about you.
Posted by McGee on July 2, 2009 at 9:45 AM · Report this
70
schmader's article is excellent. so is eli's. all the other articles in the stranger, including this, are really crappy journalism and not funny at all. because they don't acknowledge clearly enough that there was something good about michael jackson that makes his insanity so heartbreaking. there is a difference between michael jackson's insanity and your weird uncle with icky criminal habits and mental illness. good journalism cleverly points out the difference between them. oh, and the cover sucks too. you should do another michael jackson remembrance issue and redeem yourselves.
Posted by julie kadingo on July 2, 2009 at 11:07 AM · Report this
71
schmader's article is excellent. so is eli's. all the other articles in the stranger, including this, are really crappy journalism and not funny at all. because they don't acknowledge clearly enough that there was something good about michael. good journalism would cleverly differentiate between michael jackson's insanity and your weird uncle with icky, criminal habits. and the cover art sucks too. you should write another remembrance issue on michael and redeem yourselves.
Posted by julie kadingo on July 2, 2009 at 11:22 AM · Report this
72
Go, Lindy, Go!!!
Posted by livedtotell... on July 3, 2009 at 3:03 AM · Report this
santigirl 73
Me and some friends were sitting in a pizzeria in costa rica when this came on the news.
We felt kind of sad...but kind of not. We knew he had to go eventually and were kind of surprised he hadn't died sooner.
What we were sad about is the fact that none of us knew how to do the Thriller dance.
Even in Costa Rica Michael Jackson news was on every channel.
He was a great artist. I just wish the recent years would have been easier on him. Now he can rest I guess.
Posted by santigirl on July 3, 2009 at 9:29 PM · Report this
allergictopizza 74
@ 67 are you Sir Mixalot?
Posted by allergictopizza on July 4, 2009 at 12:46 AM · Report this
ReverendDeacon 75
Lindy, your article is fantastic, and I feel the same way. There is little sympathy or understanding for the creative class in our society. It is very sad indeed that a true American icon was forced into such a state by no other than the very fans he lived to please.
Posted by ReverendDeacon http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Deacon-Barfield/29626179 on July 4, 2009 at 1:19 AM · Report this
76
Lindy, I liked this article. This man was clearly troubled, and while it's sad his children lost their father, at least he is out of his misery. I can't help but pity him.
Posted by jjj on July 4, 2009 at 7:24 PM · Report this
6 77
@11 - death is never to be wished upon anyone? Maybe he wished it upon himself...When it comes to MJ I'm going to stick with my initial response - Shocked. Not Surprised.
Posted by 6 on July 5, 2009 at 1:29 PM · Report this
78
Me and my sons love Michael Jackson and feel sympathy for his family now--I don't know how to express. I did a tribute to Michael: http://www.youtube.com/ajjoneses
Speechless, is how your comments leave me. I think your intent is irony though. When taken literally, such meanness seems to have brought out the goodness in others though. So I thank you for your comments.
Posted by AJjoneses on July 5, 2009 at 6:34 PM · Report this
79
Me and my sons love Michael Jackson and feel sympathy for his family now--I don't know how to express. I did a tribute to Michael: http://www.youtube.com/ajjoneses
Speechless, is how your comments leave me. I think your intent is irony though. When taken literally, such meanness seems to have brought out the goodness in others though. So I thank you for your comments.
Posted by AJjoneses on July 5, 2009 at 6:39 PM · Report this
80
Lindy's a conservative-hatin megatwerp but she is saying Michael is happier if there really is a paradise and if not then at least his suffering is over because his tortured soul is at rest. Who can't sgree with that?
Posted by harkin on July 5, 2009 at 6:48 PM · Report this
81
I actually don't think that poem he wrote was nonsensical -- I found it beautiful and touching; that's probably the way he saw the world. Pain and wars going on everywhere, but if you were able to look at the world through the eyes of a child, everything would be happy and free again.

I loved and felt sorry for Michael, but I was not "glad" that he died, Lindy West. If you saw the footage of his rehearsal from the night before he died, he was still on his game, musically and physically. It was just that darn addiction to painkillers, which is so sad...

Lastly I resent the way every adjective in this article, about him and his belongings, makes him sound crazy. Maybe he wasn't watching after everything that came in from fans, and just didn't want to throw anything away. Geez, that's not so crazy. OH -- and do your research. He died with $500 million to his name to give to the Michael Jackson Trust.
Posted by SaraJean on July 6, 2009 at 1:48 AM · Report this
82
I saw a video a few years back of Michael walking through a boutique filled with gold-painted low grade crap that would have been less than stellar at a swap meet. He was buying EVERYTHING and paying huge bucks. He may have had some investments that still were paying but remember he had already leveraged the Beatles library twice to avoid bankruptcy and he was notorious for not paying his bills.
Posted by harkin on July 6, 2009 at 5:54 PM · Report this
83
I'm so happy that he's dead.

I cannot have any sympathy for anyone that hurts children.
Posted by georg on July 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM · Report this
gore138 84
Wow! You have really started something here Lindy!

First off, none of us actually "knew" the man. We can only remark on what we have seen and what we feel to be true.

His life was as much tragic as it was amazing, he was as loved as much he was hated, he was as talented just as much as he was flawed, he was as exposed as much as he was shrouded in secrecy, he was as beautiful as he was ugly, fuck, he was as black as much as he was white....

His life was extreme, he lived it as he could, but with such genius comes a price. We are all flawed and fuck up our own lives as such. He went down a path that he could not come back from, if it started from the beginning or happened later w/ fame, drugs, mental illness, media, etc., or all of the above...Micheal HIMSELF chose this road and knew; he wasn't going to stop after a while and go retire somewhere...no, to the death, he would be the/our king of pop. And how could we expect any less? With our hungry ears and worm tongues? He would be what ever we said he was....until he did die, now everyone cares, huh? FUCK YOU HIPICRITES!
Posted by gore138 on July 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM · Report this
85
What a pointless, stupid piece. Judging a man by his possessions. Completely shallow. Hey, Lindy, why don't you invite Seattle over to your house to judge you?

Sick fucking bitch.
Posted by rr on July 7, 2009 at 6:42 PM · Report this

Add a comment