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The Way You Make Me Feel

mj The Way You Make Me Feel

Michael Jackson is dead. No more dancing on cars outside of courtrooms. No more competitive baby danglin’ in Berlin. No more nose reconstructions so that he can “breathe better.” No more putting on some Barry White, turning down the lights, and curling up with a few attention starved adolescents.

Yes, Neverland Ranch is permanently closed. Peter Pan will not frequent Lisa Marie’s or Brook Shields’ or Debbie Rowe’s room another time. Unless he can channel is inner Thriller zombie, MJ is now moon walking on that great dance floor in the sky, or beneath our feet. Or I supposed he might now be that gnat that keeps buzzing about your eyelashes.

Whatever your take on the afterlife, there should be no pretense or revisionist history when it comes to Michael Jackson’ actual life. He was an alleged abuse victim, a talented performer who made two great albums and many singles, a drug addict, an alleged child abuser who paid off his accuser, and a compulsive liar (go back and watch him tell Martin Bashir that he only ever had TWO plastic surgeries done in his whole life, or that the surrogate mother of his third child was black. Unless the King of Pigmentation had his sperm whitened as well, there is no way the third child could have two African American parents and be that fair-skinned.)

Why am I being so harsh? Why speak ill of the dead? I’ll tell you. Every time a celebrity dies, we immediately proceed with the whitewashing (pun intended) of their lives and careers. We act as some collective minister and absolve them of all their sins and transgressions. Even O.J.’s jury thinks we go too easy on celebrities. A few examples:

JFK, Jr. was a child of privilege who loved the spotlight and whose reach far exceeded his grasp. His political magazine, George, had a spirited run of a whole six years. Finally, after being warned not to fly out into a storm, he died as a modern day Icarus. Only this time Icarus sank his wife and dogs into the depths of the Atlantic.

And yet, because he is that cute little kid who played at JFK’s feet in the oval office, we offer his memory the same reverence that was given to princes in 1500’s England.

Marylin Monroe. She was an exceptional pin-up girl at best, and an overrated, average actress at worst. She loved painkillers, and openly flirting with her lover-President of the United States. Many find her breathy version of Happy Birthday Mr. President to be a sultry moment in American politics. As her rendition was about as subtle as a stampede of rabid elephants, I wonder how Jackie Kennedy felt as she watched Monroe song-rape her husband.

But now she is remembered as a starlet, one of the all-time Hollywood beauties and actresses.

Let’s not forget America’s biggest celebrity president. No, not libido Bill. And Obama still has a way to go. I’m talking about the only President who actually was an actor—Ronald Reagan. Here are a few highlights from his administration. A trickle down economic policy that widened the gap between the rich and the poor. The only thing trickling down was drunken Wall Street investors’ urine atop the heads of the NYC homeless. He “defeated” the Soviet Union by outspending them on nuclear arms, using money we didn’t have and running up a deficit that would even make General Motors proud. Looks like big bad Evil Empires can go broke. I would’ve thought Evil Empires, if they were so big and bad, would have plenty of money. I never heard Darth Vader complaining about a lack of funding for the second Death Star.

But here’s the bad news. Guess what country now has thousands of nuclear weapons stashed all over the place—and has little security to protect it? Russia. Or as I like to call it, Home Depot for terrorists.

Not to mention, Reagan ignored the threat of HIV and Aids, dismissing it as a holy plague cast down on homosexuals. Forget how medically irresponsible it is for the President to ignore such a potentially catastrophic virus; every Christian knows that the only disease God has used in the last fifty years is the swine flu. To kill Miley Cyrus fans.

So what’s the debate now that he’s dead? Whether or not we should boot FDR off the dime and replace him with grandpa Ron.

Before you leave any nasty comments, understand that I’m not refusing MJ his proper credit. Every hip-hop act in existence, from Black Eyed Peas to Justin Timberlake, owes Jackson their careers. He made hip-hop digestible to the masses. He was the only cool thing about disco. He made dancing a requirement for anyone who wanted to be a successful hip-hop or pop act. Do you really think all those unathletic white boys from the Backstreet Boys wanted to dance it out? No. They knew how lame they looked. But after Beat It and Thriller, it was required for credibility.

And he has plenty of decent excuses for his bizarre behavior.

Clearly, daddy wasn’t a nice guy. And after he became rich and famous, no one in Jackson’s life ever called him out on his insistence on being treated like an eight-year old.

Or his belief that he should be held to the same behavioral expectations as an eight-year old.

Or his staunch proclamations that those lily-white kids actually belonged to him.

Hell, he had so many enablers he was able to get hospital grade sedatives sent and administered to him at home—just so he could sleep. Who needs sheep when you have ditropan?

So let’s give MJ his due. Maybe even shed a tear over his early life and career. But let’s stop short of Sainthood.

Then again, Saint Peter couldn’t moonwalk.

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