#11: MICHAEL JACKSON

Born into a showbiz family at an early age, Michael Jackson was a kid-dynamo as a young boy.  With his early Jackson Five hits like, "I'll Be There", "Dancing Machine", and "ABC", it was clear that his ability to dance, sing, and groove was like nobody else.  And when he broke out and went solo with his album "Off The Wall", it was even more evident.  "I Want To Rock With You" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" were pop masterpieces.  And it seemed there was no stopping him once he released Thriller, with hits like "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and the "You Wanna Be Startin Something", his ability to dance, sing, and groove mesmerized the world.  To this day, Thriller is still the biggest selling record of all time.

Given nearly godlike success, Jackson began his slow descent into madness and freakishness that seem unbelievable even by fictional standards.

Perhaps he isn't evil in a monstrous sense, but Michael Jackson is the closest thing to a real life monster that walks the face of the earth today.

At first, the tabloid tales of him sleeping in a special oxygen chamber, and wanting to buy the skeleton of The Elephant Man seemed like unfair attacks on the man, but the freakish stories began to pile up in such volume that it's certain that Michael Jackson is one scary dude.

Many jokes have been made about Michael Jackson's De-Blacking, after getting nosejobs, and skin bleachings that have made him about as black as Gary Busey.  As he wore a surgical face mask in public, most folks thought he was just a health nut, paranoid about bad air, but when Oprah Winfrey interviewed him on a live special event show, you could see it was to cover up his horribly botched face.

Freakolution!!!

His song "Black or White" from his "Dangerous" album seemed to be addressing the issue, but at this point it really didn't matter if people thought he was black or white.  Was he even human anymore?

His home, named Neverland Ranch almost seems like some sort of scary supervillain hideout that The Joker would be comfortable in.  With fully functional amusement park, dressed mannequins scattered about, and questionable justifications for young children staying over regularly without parental accompaniment, it seems like a house of horrors that you couldn't make up if you tried.

Jackson has become so scary as of late that his contemporaries don't even embrace him as they used to.  Ever since Thriller, his ridiculously titled CDs "Bad", "Dangerous", and the recent "Invincible" hopelessly project the exact opposite of what he's evolving into.  It's like he's a living version of The Picture of Dorian Gray, evolving into some twisted alien mockery of a man, desperately trying to keep his career alive.

When I hear "Billie Jean", it's still magic.  Jackson was on top of the world.  But his sickeningly sad addiction to changing himself, both physically, and how the media views him, has made him one of the more fascinatingly eerie creatures to ever walk the earth.

Maybe he could clone himself and start all over again.


Bizarro Shopping Zone

I highly recommend this great paperback collection of Bizarro stories from Amazon, at $3 off the cover price for $11.95 .  I bought it a year ago and have read it several times already, it's great laugh out loud comedy that hasn't been in comic books for decades.  And the Jaime "Love and Rockets" Hernandez cover is an added treat!

 

(c)2000-2001 Robert A Berry, and retroCRUSH.com
contents may not be reprinted without permission