Michael Jackson left behind a legacy of magic and mystic, maybe in equal proportion. He was an entertainer nonpareil to his adoring fans and an esoteric lowlife to his critics. He lived and maybe even died in pain but gave the world so much joy even through such personal turbulence and trauma. He was mobbed wherever he went by his legion of adoring fans and stalked by the posse of paparazzi perpetually hot on his heels. He was dearly loved even revered around the world by the millions for the gift of joy and succor he gave them. He was anointed the “King of Pop” but he also was the “king of hearts” who understood the plight of the fellow human and did everything in his capacity to “Heal the World”. Criticism though, was a constant companion of this music royalty till the bitter end, be it for his outlandish style (read masks) or his over the top antics (read the baby dangling fiasco). He fought battles on two fronts, in essence losing both. He was acquitted in the child molestation lawsuit brought against him in the court of law but was damned a pedophilic abomination in the court of public perception. He decisively lost the other to his addiction of powerful anesthetics, which ironically put him into permanent slumber, the very good night’s sleep he so desperately sought.
Even through all this strife and pain he spoke so little in his defense but when he did, it was as if he had laid his heart bare for his detractors to drive their daggers in. He didn’t have the guile or tact as many of his peers and when he spoke he poured his heart out, unedited and unsieved. This opened up his comments to several different interpretations most of which were vitriolic and libelous.
We will never know whether those vicious allegations of child molestation had any substance to them. Much has been said and written about the two out of court settlements involving the children and a lot of hair splitting has gone on since to justify those settlements as a tacit acknowledgement of his guilt by the way of fiscal compensation for the same.
Maybe Michael wanted to recreate his lost childhood by building “Neverland” or wanted to transform himself into Peter Pan through the litany of nose reconstruction surgeries. Still, the fact remains, he should have exercised better judgment when it concerned such intimacy with children, especially children not his own.
Human beings are imperfections in flesh and blood and Michael wasn’t an exception. But, the degree of perfection that Michael managed to achieve through his body of work and his philanthropy has no comparable reflection. When he left this world only the mirror shattered but the legend in it still lives on. “Long live the king”.