Michael Jackson’s estate has released a new album, Xscape, the hype for which has produced new slander against the King of Pop. Xscape revamps eight recordings over the breadth of Jackson’s career. Songs like Love’s Never Felt So Good and Slave to the Rhythm retain Jackson’s original energy while being brought up to the times with the help of his producers. However, the fame he created with his passion attracted controversy all throughout his life. His art is so legendary that the slander has followed him beyond the grave as new allegations of molestation deface his estate.
Throughout his career, Jackson had one mission: he desired to spread a message of peace and love with his music. The simplicity and integrity of this desire to Heal the World matched with his unique entertaining skills led him to become the most successful performer of all time. He made a lot of money doing this yet died without wealth, having given most of his money to charity. Jackson’s new albums continue to produce revenue, and slanderous wolves are again at the door.
When Michael Jackson was charged with child molestation in 1993, he paid an out of court settlement of $15 million dollars. He said he did this because he felt bad for the family, and simply wanted to make it go away. The accusations came out of greed and not out of violation. At this point in his life, Jackson was still somewhat innocent and believed the best in people. This was a trait that would allow him to be taken advantage of over and over again. His music before this first instance of slander reflects his open-hearted perspective, lighthearted and all about love. His voice was clear and open, mesmerizing. As more slander was thrown at him, and empty accusations bred from greed, Jackson lost his faith in people. His bitter heartbreak was reflected in his voice, and his later albums reflect his hurt and anger at being so completely misunderstood.
Michael Jackson confused people with his choice of lifestyle and expression. He was a highly sexual person, as reflected in his dancing and lyrics, however, he retained a child’s spirit. He once said that since he never got to have a real childhood he wanted to experience it as an adult, and so created Neverland to escape into. This innocence and vulnerability naturally attracted children to him, and Michael in turn loved the unspoiled nature of children in a world that had seen its share of corruption. The public could not accept that a grown man with the heart of a child would express himself sexually. It did not help that Michael was intensely private about his love life, but that was his choice.
Jackson was acquitted of child molestation when he took the charge to trail in 2005. At this point he understood that paying off his accusers would only draw more freeloaders to him that did not have a moral issue with lying. The trail was an intensely difficult time for him, and it appears that he never truly recovered it. People who knew him at this point said his health deteriorated as he had difficulty sleeping, and that he grew increasingly depressed after being subjected to the indignity of the perverse false accusations. It is this time that led to his use of medications to sooth his sleep, and would create the strange complications that led to his death.
It is an odd fascination humanity has with genius. Although people appreciate the gifts of the genius, they often have difficulty accepting and valuing the vessel for genius. People are quick to forget that geniuses are still just people with their own peccadillos, and harbor a morbid fascination with the fall of the genius. Michael Jackson was a bright star that was Gone Too Soon. However not gone too soon for those who hated the message of love he consistently gave voice to. In this day the voice of the cynic is given credo, and the voice of the idealist is denigrated. Although Michael’s voice and heart was broken, his message never was. He poured his love for this planet and for the innocent into Earth Song, not caring if people thought it in poor taste to be so blatantly concerned and emotional about the fate of the planet.
After the fall of a genius, it is customary to raise them up in esteem now that they are safely silenced and can no longer hear the acclaim. The success of The Immortal Cirque du Solei world tour, and the fact that Jackson sold 75 million albums the year after his death, affirms the curse of the genius is still upon humanity. Jackson’s very successful new album has produced new slanderous accusations of molestation from persons who believe that because they were close to him they have a right to the fruit of his creation. This is a truly heartbreaking sickness that is reflected in many areas of society. However, the taint of it does not mar the beautiful songs of Michael Jackson’s new album, Xscape.
Opinion by Grace Pollari