Friday, 26 June 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #312: Michael Jackson Is Dead, But The Mess Will Live On

I should start off by making a very blunt declaration.

I never liked Michael Jackson.

I didn't care for his music, I didn't care for his public image, and that ambivalence quickly shifted to outright disgust as the words "bizarre" and "wacky" began to dominate his life and career. I'm going to be blunt, cruelly blunt, so if you're a Michael Jackson fan, you might want to find another blog.

Michael Jackson went from a child star to grotesque self parody as he became a failed version of the Emperor Norton of pop culture.

Emperor Norton I was once a San Francisco businessman named Joshua Abraham Norton. When Norton lost his fortune in a fiasco over the price of rice, he disappeared for several years, only to reappear in Frisco, where he declared himself the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.

The thing was the entire city of San Francisco went along with his delusion. Businesses accepted the currency he printed, he lived in the "Imperial Suite" of the city's top hotel, and people accepted his decrees with applause, whether they followed them or not. This game went along for around 20 years until Norton's death in 1880. Even at this funeral, 30,000 people formed a parade to honour their deceased delusional monarch.

Michael Jackson's story is a little different. Jackson was never able to get businesses to accept his own currency, which is why almost every business deal Jackson got involved with appeared to end in expensive litigation.

But let's get back to the people involved in his delusion, they break down to two basic types:

THE PROFITEERS: These were the people who hung around him, telling him that everything he did was right, whether it was excessive plastic surgery, or dangling a baby off a balcony. Why? Because they wanted the Michael Jackson gravy train to keep on trucking. Despite having album sales in the toilet since the 1980s, and that he was hemorrhaging cash like a stuck pig, there was always a chance for a buck, thanks to the second type...

THE CO-DELUSIONALS: These were people who appeared to honestly believe the lunacy that Jackson believed, and even they can be broken down into two groups. On the fan side there were the now middle-aged women who would look at the surgically mangled face of Jackson and still see the cute little 10 year old dancing and singing his heart out, because if he didn't, his daddy was going to beat his ass into next week. They accepted his crazy behaviour out of sympathy for his tragic childhood.

Then there were the wannabe profiteers, folks who bought into Jackson's self-declaration as the "King of Pop," and figured that since the man was still living big, he had to still be big. A huge comeback was always just around the corner, and that if they got in on the ground floor, they'd make mucho dinero. Yet those comebacks never really happened.

None of these groups wanted Jackson to face the brutal truth that his career was washed up, he had no money coming in, and had more lawsuits than faux-military dress-suits. Or admit that people bought tickets to his concerts either out of nostalgic delusions, or a desire to watch a car-wreck in action. They had their own delusions to protect, and guarded them as much as the profiteers wanted to protect their meal ticket.

Of course this is just the beginning. Profiteers and Co-Delusionals will start clawing at the ragged remains of his estate in the vain hope of flogging something out of that dead horse. There will be lawsuits over debts, properties, custody of his children, and the music library that included a share in the Beatles-Lennon/McCartney song catalogue.

This is because when you live in a dream-world you don't really pay attention to petty mortal things like balancing a checkbook, or figuring how your kids will live after you're gone. You just rely on the fact that the magical unicorn will come along and drop off whatever you need.

Michael Jackson lived crazy, and attracted crazy like moths to a flame. So, fully expect for his death to attract even more crazy.


  1. I am waiting for the fiasco of all the profiteers to come out of the woodwork with Jacko Books, Most being of former Neverland employees who all have lurid stories to tell about the secret going ons at that place.

    After the first molestation alligations the kid from that case co-wrote a book that his lawyers kept from being printed in the USA. Much of it was really pornographic detail of his relationship with Jackson. Including stories about his love for enemas and even a farfetched tale about him teaching his monkeys to masterbate on command.

    I think it is safe to say with his death there are going to be many skeletons that will come out of his closet.

    As for the Beatles cataloge, I was informed that those songs will revert to the ownership of the creators in 2013, which means Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono will own them in 4 years.

  2. You don't need to command a monkey to masturbate, you just have to give him an opportunity.

    All the dirty laundry will be coming out in very short order, especially after the Jackson family lawyers see that there's no money in the kitty to enforce all the non-disclosure agreements signed over the years.

  3. News nets are already talking about Jacko's 400 million dollar debt, and the fate of his 3 kids, who are going to be the real tragedy of all of this.

    Expect to see a mad auction of all his stuff as he is no longer alive to stop them from selling off his more embarrassing things like his countless little boy statues he decorated Nevernormal Land with.

    Now AEG has to deal with throwing 400 mil into a concert that will never happen, I believe that tour would have never happened even if he lived to see 80. I suspect we will see the Jackson Brothers and Janet take the thing over and do a tribute tour or something like that.

    I cant wait for all the books and memoirs that will be written out of spite from all his past Neverland workers he jerked over. All telling disturbing and weird storied of inside his demented fantasy land.

  4. Actually, the Times UK reports Jackson had recorded 100 unreleased songs that Sony will compile & release over the next 5 years. He's also #1 on the Itunes & Billboard charts which means he is earning more than the reported 20 million he generated per year prior to his death.
    You (& Mr Burnaska) seem to know so much about Jackson, his delusions, etc.
    Why didn't you know that?
    D, w/ all due respect, you appear to have an interesting, generally insightful perspective on the workings of the entertainment biz. But occasionally you allow your lack of personal success in that realm & the hatred for those who have succeeded to cloud that insight.
    You might want to work on that in order to remain credible.

    You'll probably delete this post.