Tag Archives: Andrew Sullivan

A musical genius and an abused child

Andrew Sullivan writes about Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson There are two things to say about him. He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child. By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father. He had no real childhood and spent much of his later life struggling to get one. He was spiritually and psychologically raped at a very early age – and never recovered. Watching him change his race, his age, and almost his gender, you saw a tortured soul seeking what the rest of us take for granted: a normal life.

But he had no compass to find one; no real friends to support and advise him; and money and fame imprisoned him in the delusions of narcissism and self-indulgence. Of course, he bears responsibility for his bizarre life. But the damage done to him by his own family and then by all those motivated more by money and power than by faith and love was irreparable in the end. He died a while ago. He remained for so long a walking human shell.

I was never that big of fan of Michael Jackson.  Thriller was huge about the same time the Walkman became popular and as kids, us discovering pop music.  Despite almost all of my friends owning his album, I don’t think I have ever listened to the entire thing.  At the same time I saw what we all did and that was a tortured soul trying to figure out life and despite all of his millions, he failed miserably.  If anything, his life is a reminder that money can’t buy the most important things in life.