Marika Malaea

faithful marauder + fake royal

Human Nature

with 30 comments

Quote, unquote.

"Human." Quote, unquote.

Earthlings, you have lost. your. shit.

Consider yourself lucky if:

You’re in a coma.

You’re currently spelunking in a cave on Mars.

You’re a blind deaf-mute.

If you can’t locate a proverbial rock to hide or live under, then you’re probably going through what the rest of us are: a masturbatory media race aimed at squeezing the last remaining life out of Michael Jackson’s memory. Oh, and by the way? The King of Pop is dead. Excuse me while I sit here in a total state of not-shock.

To hear other celebrities talk about him – crammed onto every TV program imaginable – he’d been in trouble for the past 20+ years. That made sense to me: he’s been the Thriller video come to life for at least that long. But Michael Jackson the Icon has been gone for far longer thanks to Michael Jackson the Monumental Mess; his death meant almost nothing to me, because he died a long time ago.

I said ‘almost.’ People have been all HOW CAN YOU BE SO HEARTLESS, SNOTTY, HE WAS A LEGEEEEEEND – and my response to them is this: 1) He was a legend who molested little kids. I understand he was acquitted; so was O.J. 2) Everything we loved about Michael Jackson hasn’t died, and probably never will. His music, his videos, his best performances – it’s not like he took them to the grave. And all of the horrifying things about Michael Jackson that were too precious to wrap our brains around, i.e.; the child-molesting, the baby-dangling, the surgical masks, the odd choice in women – and the questions, OH THE QUESTIONS – can now be dumped in a landfill called Ignorance Is Bliss. Like, who molested him as a kid and made him so hideously unhappy? Where the fuck did his nose go, and did he keep the old one on a rotating pedestal in a super secret room? Did he ever see what he really looked like? Why did any court of law allow him to raise those children? AND WHY IS ONE OF THE NAMED BLANKET?! Although closure would be nice, I’m just happy those unanswered questions – really creepy unanswered questions – have died along with him.

Some of my best friends called me The Day Of to commiserate and share our collective Oh-Em-Gees, and I finally understood that everyone on Earth knows who Michael Jackson is; it’s not speculation, it’s a FACT. THAT’S CRAZY TALK. The enormity of that knowledge floored me, because yes, I liked me some Em Jay, and yes, he traveled around the world – but I guess I always thought of him as an American artist loved by “the people,” never defining those people as the world at large. I knew that Japan was insane over him, but come on – it’s the Japanese. They’re trapped on an island with a fuckton of little people; if anyone was going to sweep them away into the Abyss of Mindless Entertainment, it was the King of Pop himself. I told my girlfriend that African villages speaking in click-only languages were probably grieving, too; that’s a lot of sad clicking.

Hey, I’m not heartless; I’m realistic. I had the Bad poster in my room, and envisioned a beautiful future as Mrs. Michael Jackson on Neverland Ranch, before Neverland became an unholy metaphor for something else completely. I know the Thriller dance and, like my mother and a handful of gays, totally worshiped The Wiz. I drank Pepsi because of him (eww!) and coveted that glittery silver glove (double eww!); I actually cried when his hair caught on fire, and felt only indignation when the first batch of unsavory accusations came his way. I basically grew up with Michael Jackson, although it’s debatable how much growing up was accomplished, on both our parts. He wasn’t an inspirational demi-god to me like he was for some, but he made my young life go from dull to dance-worthy in a matter of minutes; he brought out my inner Solid Gold Dancer and the boogie within. Michael Jackson is to blame for a lot of the awful choreography and bad karaoke that went on in my childhood bedroom; same thing goes for En Vogue (TRIPLE EWWW).

To hear people talk about Em Jay now, you’d think he cured cancer and saved all the whales while piloting the first space shuttle to the moon; I’m here to remind you that he didn’t. What he did do for us and the world at large was simple, effective, and perfect in every way: Rock With You. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. Billie Jean. Beat It. Wanna Be Startin’ Something. Pretty Young Thing. Human Nature. Thriller. We Are the World. Bad. Smooth Criminal. Leave Me Alone. Man In the Mirror. Will You Be There. Remember the Time. Heal the World. Ben. Can You Feel It. I’ll Be There. ABC. And absolutely nothing from his very last album. (Sorry, MJ – I’m old school.) Thanks to technology, we can enjoy what we loved about Michael from his heyday – because that’s how I’d want to be remembered after my very timely, unsurprising, drug-related celebrity death: when I was at my best, doing what I loved.

It was uncomfortable to look at Michael, to hear about him, and to see how far he’d fallen. It was difficult to reconcile Michael the Amazing Entertainer with Michael the Walking Open Wound. If Average Joe got so much plastic surgery that he was an unrecognizable monster, or invited little kids over to sleep in his bed so he could comfort them with HUGS and WINE, or stayed drugged up enough to keep a monkey around the house , you’d hope the loony bin, prison, and rehab were in his very near future. But not the King of Pop! See, he was special – a celebrity – an icon – “troubled” – “fragile.” So he got a free parking pass for being ‘Wacko Jacko,’ and there he stayed parked for the rest of eternity. I wonder how many people got close enough to say HEY MIKEY, MAYBE THAT’S ENOUGH DEMEROL/CHILDREN/MONKEYS, or if they would’ve had the guts to do it. Not that it would have helped; he seemed destined for this kind of ironic life, getting everything he wished for and still being miserable.

I didn’t know Michael Jackson, and yet it was abundantly clear that he was disturbed, unhappy, misunderstood, lonely, delusional, afraid, and living on a planet that we’d never heard of. If you go back and watch his videos, they have this larger-than-life, fantastical point of view where Michael is saving the world while keeping ugliness and reality at bay. Do you know how much pain he must have been in to have lived this life?–to have chosen a vehicle that would continually drive him over a cliff?–to hate himself so much that he changed his entire face? And then to be so blotto that he didn’t recognize all of the lines he’d crossed: it’s immeasurably sad. When I think about it that way, like here’s this half-human who had the world at his feet and he still ended up a broken shell of a child-monster – in light of that, praising his Moonwalk just doesn’t seem appropriate. In recent years, he’d become the poster child of What Not To Do, a warning about the spoils of excess and a psyche gone unchecked. I just feel bad he couldn’t find a way out of his pain that led to something healthier, or something resembling ‘happy.’

MJ, you were a major part of my musical upbringing. Thank you for the toe-tapping deliciousness. Thank you for bringing 100% to your performances. Thank you for Thriller, one of my favorite albums of all time. And thank you for appearing, so many times, on the soundtrack of my life. I won’t miss you – but I won’t forget you, either.

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Written by sn0tteh

July 3, 2009 at 10:37 AM

30 Responses

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  1. I freaking love The Wiz.

    Well said Snotteh!

    Buttercup

    July 3, 2009 at 11:11 AM

  2. I haven’t seen it in years – maybe we should have a viewing party! 🙂 If there’s one thing I do well, it’s sitting and watching things.

    sn0tteh

    July 3, 2009 at 11:13 AM

  3. Okay that was such a satisfying read I think I’m done for the weekend. Would anyone like my copy of the New Yorker?

    Arthur

    July 3, 2009 at 11:23 AM

  4. I think we’re going to hear about MJ for awhile; long past the point where mourning becomes a pathological indulgence…

    He’s too widely known, and his behaviors demand a personal stance. Weren’t we affected by more than just his art? The escalation of idiosyncratic to morally offensive acts chiseled away at our core values, and whatever opinion we took – the degree to which we dismissed or absorbed certain facts – became metric to how true we are to our own ideals.

    His life is a story arc rife with speculations and over-exposure, with the shared evidence of his greatness communicated via art. I say we don’t bother resurrecting him; he’ll probably be like a demi-god to our children…

    theperverse

    July 3, 2009 at 11:35 AM

  5. HA – thanks, Arthur. I would have read the New Yorker instead.

    sn0tteh

    July 3, 2009 at 11:36 AM

  6. @Mark Dude, you always have these comments that are like the basis for somebody’s PhD thesis. It’s truly amazing!

    sn0tteh

    July 3, 2009 at 11:38 AM

  7. When the younglings have resurrected Ronald Reagan as some sort of definitive American Hero, how can they be expected to do anything less than deify Michael Jackson? They are mindless in the face of their intraweb indoctrinations, mere playthings of a bombastic, hyperbolic mass media propaganda machine. Example 2: Farrah. Example 3: Billy Mays.

    I miss the Soviets. They gave us a mirror to actually view ourselves through.

    Matt

    July 3, 2009 at 11:45 AM

  8. @Matt You and Mark Thrust are like Commenters of the Year. I don’t even understand half the things you say, but I love them anyways.

    sn0tteh

    July 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM

  9. Nicely put, Snotteh.

    Mr Farty

    July 3, 2009 at 12:54 PM

  10. Thanks for coming by, Mr Farty!

    sn0tteh

    July 3, 2009 at 1:15 PM

  11. Well said, although I had no idea what you were talking about with “The Wiz.” Obviously I was never a big fan.

  12. You should see it! It was definitely something *different*, as remake movies go.

    sn0tteh

    July 3, 2009 at 9:01 PM

  13. I watched the Wiz again recently. My sister and I used to play the tape in my Nana’s basement and act out scenes from it. It is still right up there with Xanadu as one of my favorite movies that most people don’t understand.

    Viewing party? Most definitely.

    Sangster

    July 4, 2009 at 11:34 AM

  14. This is perfect, and explains so well exactly how I’ve been feeling about this whole mess since last week. As usual, I don’t know why people are not paying you loads of money to write like this all of the time.

    Michelle

    July 5, 2009 at 5:26 PM

  15. I am oh-fended.

    Imitation Gucci offended.

    The Wiz was a Broadway musical extravaganza of the stage, that was later made into a a movie, not, as you say, a “remake movie”.

    -6.5 hag points.

    Kiki

    July 6, 2009 at 1:06 PM

  16. did you find this article funny (1) useful (1) cool (1)?

    konichiwa, bitches.

    July 6, 2009 at 3:24 PM

  17. Wait. Soooo…piloted the first space shuttle to the moon???

    Thank you for this. I loved every bit and now I want to make out with you. Funny how that works.

    Mama Kat

    July 7, 2009 at 8:16 AM

  18. Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson are one and the same in my brain. I don’t even consider it a loss. He was an embarrassment.

    I’m reluctant to jump on the O.J./ M.J train because murder and playing the kiddie fiddle are pretty far from each other. But I can draw the line between the moments of disgust that gripped me in both moments. With O.J. it was sickening to watch people celebrate like it’s open season on pretty white ladies who have daddy issues. Then with M.J. it’s outside of my realm of understanding why anyone is that sad–to the point of public tears, and carrying on– about this.

    He had kids, sure, it sucks when your parent dies (I imagine) but, dudes, it’s Michael Jackson we’re talking about. His fucked-uppery was not salvageable. The children were ENDURING him.

    One thing that buh-lows is that Blanket never gets a chance to punch his dad in the “nose” for naming him –fucking, Blanket!

    Off-point: I met someone the other day who doesn’t know who Bono is.

    BreeSeliot

    July 7, 2009 at 11:13 AM

  19. @Sangster Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve never seen Xanadu. Double-viewing party!

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 1:10 PM

  20. @Michelle I can’t find anyone with loads of money, is my guess. 🙂

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 1:11 PM

  21. @Kiki The Wiz was adapted for Broadway (1975) thanks to the book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900). So was the movie, The Wizard of Oz (1939), which came first. So maybe The Wiz (1979) wasn’t a remake of the original, but it certainly could be mistaken for one, especially since The Wiz (the book based on the musical) came later – MUCH later. So where did The Wiz really come from? The original book. If I made a point in all that ballyhoo, awesome.

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 1:24 PM

  22. @konichiwa YELPTASTIC!

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM

  23. @Mama Kat I agree with you – that you want to make out with me, I mean. Let’s hook that up.

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM

  24. @Breeber I’m not saying that MJ’s pedophilia and O.J.’s murderous intent are on par, I’m saying that they both threw money at it and got away with their crimes. I know so, because Bono told me.

    Seriously, who the fuck doesn’t know who Bono is? My 75-year old ex-mother in law knew who he was, and she lived in Nebraska.

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 1:28 PM

  25. I have giant tv and surround sound…and A COPY OF THE WIZ! 🙂

    Buttercup

    July 7, 2009 at 4:59 PM

  26. Snotteh, that was long ass post you wrote there, but gawd Jesus Christ I read it all, i agree with you a 100%, society is so two-faced.

    franco

    July 7, 2009 at 10:56 PM

  27. @franco You’re hilarious 🙂 Thanks for hanging in there. Also, I tried approving your other comment, but accidentally hit Spam instead. Sorry! Glad you had a good fourth, though!

    sn0tteh

    July 7, 2009 at 11:32 PM

  28. I had the unfortunate experience of the “experiencing” MJ’s death while on vacation in Spain.

    All of the 4 channels we got in the little village was MJ all-the-time. I was truly a horrid display of weirdness.

    Then just when it couldn’t get more bizarre, they would cut in with the Gourmet Pet Ice Cream commercials.

    Tourpro

    July 9, 2009 at 12:32 PM

  29. @tourpro I LOLed and LOLEd when I saw the Gourmet Pet Ice Cream commercials. At least you had a humorous reprieve from the Michael Jackson madness.

    sn0tteh

    July 9, 2009 at 12:34 PM


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