Michael Jackson is dead.
Before we start ungraciously quibbling about whether or not he invented the Moonwalk, let’s not forget that this was a man who never stood a chance.
Stuck on the stage at five years old, with not a hope in hell of enjoying a normal childhood, he became a fabulously rich black man – an easy target for the spiteful.
Weird? Yes, I dare say he was. But if a ‘cool’ artist like David Bowie had a zoo full of pets we’d probably be quite charmed by his eccentricity. Hell, I’d love to have a zoo full of pets and a ranch like Neverland.
Sexually deviant? I’ve never put much creedence in that one. Speak to anyone who ever worked with him and the word that crops up again and again is ‘childlike’. I’m inclined to believe he was, in many ways, an innocent.
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of his music but he made millions of people very happy even though it never seemed as if he could find happiness himself.
That’s one hell of an achievement.
I suspect, in the coming days, we may see a Princess Diana-like explosion of repressed media guilt, as all the goons who profited by portraying Wacko Jacko as a maniac or a monster suddenly realise that, compared to many, Michael Jackson was one of the good guys.
To balance that, there will be maggots crawling out from under his corpse with accusations even more vile and degrading than the ones he suffered while he was alive.
He’s gone. He’s irreplaceable. He was magic but he was also frail and human.
Leave him be.