Saturday, March 12, 2011

Six20Five: A Retrospective On Michael Jackson, A.D.

On the heels of the release of my new single 'Six20Five'; a song about my experience in the apex of Micheal's passing in that exact moment, it is time to state where I 'sit' in that 'theater'

KC Shoen aka P.N.G.

My single 'Six20Five' in its 'raw', instrumental state. The song is currently in production with a release date targeted for April 2011.

I post this not as a 'fan' in any sense, nor as one whom ever 'hated' Michael Jackson. It's been a year and a half-plus since his passing and I have an aversion to jumping on major pop culture events with any immediacy. The mainstream media has the necessary trolling wunderkind to feed the masses; joining these illustrious miscreant harbingers of brain-swill whom cater to the perpetual ADD of the tabloid/ celebrity obsessed rank-and-file isn't my thing.

The only rendering of anything resembling halfway-intelligent was this article written on Huffington Post by Bernard-Henri Levy, a French philosopher. Even this rendering, as abstract as it was , still did not cover the substance of Michael as it pertains to his upbringing and eventual passing which I believe are correlative

I am also someone whom, quite honestly, is extremely judgmental of those who use their children as vehicles of vicariousness for their own social and monetary gain. I state that not as some progressive-minded, self-righteous asshole.

I say it as a parent.

I was admittedly filled with bile when Michael was acquitted of the molestation charges involving several children back in 2005. I was also incensed at the gallery of assembled affluent rubes that inhabited the jury box, sequestered in that 'live performance' venue masquerading as the Santa Barbara Municipal Courthouse. Further insulting to the senses was prosecuting attorney Sneddon and his unctuous ambition at attempting to 'collar' one of the most recognizable, ever-evolving and surgically desecrated faces in the universe. The entire event was nothing more than a controlled dress rehearsal for the media; 'Circus-Circus' for the celebrity-obsessed and voyeuristic. The train wreck was for too compelling to just merely 'drive by'.

For all this, I did, at the time, assume guilt on Micheal's part.

My narrow vision did not afford me access to the simple acknowledgment that what I deemed as impenetrable boundaries was not in direct context to Micheal's. As imperfect as my childhood may have been in large segments, I was at least afforded the opportunity to grow from meaningful play, social interaction, and being allowed enough room to really 'fuck up as I need to' within the confines of my familial sphere. Room enough was given to let me learn and be.

There are reasons for his 'failure' at adulthood. These reasons will absolutely piss off those who feel the Jackson family are imperically above reproach. If you are one of those, this isn't for you. As George Carlin once said" may want to skip this one."

The obvious is certain: Michael wasn't given brevity to be present in that illustrious strata known as childhood, draw from those most basic of experiences to build further through the beign of adolescence en route to an adult life that could afford the space of true maturity and contented being. Period.

This track, an extremely personal telling of a successful human being not ‘whole’ due to a childhood that was non-existent and unrecoverable, in my opinion, is Micheal's best work, as it is his most honest and unabridged.

This brings into focus a largely ignored, unobserved point: one that is missed in every well-written epilogue of Michael Joseph Jackson that bears mention, and was the acting catalyst in his dynamic peak-and-valley: The ne'er-do-well quasi-Svengali who, through his own pugilistic vitriol and substantial mediocrity could only hope to climb the Pyrenees of such monumental fame and fortune...

Joseph Jackson.

And his role in the destruction of Micheal's 'base' development is an excellent place to begin, as he , being an ambitious familial entrepreneur, was willing and participatory in the abuse of his own children for the sake of attaining high status at the altar of fame, is directly reflective of the dark ardor of our culture, where extreme wealth and success achieved through the scepter of psychopathy is not only accepted, but assumed as some altruistic rite of passage.

Tragedy from such behavior is addictive to the American psyche, as it enlivens our lust for drama merely for the sake of substitution in the station of our collectively ordinary, even mundane lives in this country. Escapism; even if it means that the humanity of the ones we hold in adoration get compromised, is elemental to feed such hunger to stave off the focus the inanity many of us dwell in.

We love to see success on a completely ridiculous level, but we love it more when that success becomes poisoned; when the mighty fall. It is a natural form of involvement for which we are participatory, but it belies the background needed to achieve nuance and compassion, in particular to someone like Michael.

The Construction of The Jackson 'Bordello'

'Prostitution' is not only sexually connotative, as it also pertains to those who would and will abuse their own brood for their lust of self covenant. Joseph Jackson was and is such a 'proprietor'. The realization of Joseph's own failure to conquer the mainstream with his own forgettable music lead to 'ascension by descension'; to attain a seat in the house of Babylon where he could feed his need for solipsist desires which rivaled even that of Nero's. He needed to enslave and belabor his own brood: housing his songbirds in a cage fit for rats, with himself as master,benefactor, and architect.

Through this salacious prostitution and abuse, Michael Jackson became the most obvious as one who could bring to Joseph the highest return on this investment. Michael, along with many of his siblings lost value as human beings as the adulation and compensation took on stratospheric proportions. They were as capital: to be used and bartered, exchanged and sold as desired and coveted by Joseph the Architect. Michael was the most developed and sophisticated product in his cage, the most lucrative.

The overhead cost to Michael in this Babylonian pursuit was that of his childhood, which was compromised immediately for the sake of the senior Jackson to quickly satisfy his lust without question nor conceit: Just business. As all the world was idolizing Michael and 'loving' him, Joseph begrudgingly had to release Michael from the rat cage where he had incubated and be released upon a world which he never interacted beyond his capacity as a product.

The 'Berth' Of the Man-Child

Michael was denied access to his own childhood, of which we get our rudimentary practice and programming to prepare for adult life, programmed further with its morals, mores, precepts and boundaries. Micheal's denial into this pre-development stage placed him in suspended animation, for which he simultaneously was remedial in mental and emotional maturation and learning anew; attempting to be in context yet furiously attempting to grasp a reality befitting his own stunted development. These two separate realities are what defined him, denied him, and enabled his demise. They were never at peace with one another, constantly struggling for prominence and relevance simultaneously. It was much like thinking, speaking,eating, and drinking: all needful actions in the human experience, but cannot be performed at the same time.

Without a map from childhood to build fundamentals, new fundamentals take shape that may have defied social acceptance, and harmed rather than perform the intended function of enhancing and augmenting knowledge, maturity, and emotional well-being. Joseph not only was a thief in his son's childhood, but is proud of the 'product' he nurtured and created by his thirst for his Babylon: children be damned for the expense of his need to assume the title and throne of the world's most shiniest product of all: The Jackson Family Musical Aristocracy. All to ingest,inhale, and fornicate at his leisure at the expense of his most talented songbird, whom no longer can produce, whose cage now barren, whose legacy is more important than his living, breathing human son that created it.

There was no reason for Joe to interrupt his private fuck-fest..not even to honor the very person who provided his ability to live in the decadence he had become so enamored with.

No, there wasn't any reason for Joe Jackson to stop long enough to secure his tongue in his gob, and remove his hand from the steady stroking of his creamaster to look neither skyward or earthbound to eschew a single solemn whisper of farewell or gratitude to his child, as the Master Architect need only further masturbation, and reasonable transport and conveyance to return and resume the orgy

Adulation as Rat Poison

"Scream" (1995)The end-game from the little trick Michael pulled on the tabloids in '86, and the years of perpetual media violation and vitriol come to a head...

Michael possessed a whimsy in his childlike stasis that gave him a impish foresight few 'real' adults can access. In 1986, he decided to game the tabloid media,( whom had been friendly with him, but somewhat invasive of his privacy), and willfully release false information about eccentricities in his personal life that were largely inaccurate. Articles began to surface about his spending time in hyperbaric chambers to combat aging, attempting purchase of famous skeletal remains and other ridiculous hubris that he himself knew would lead large segments of the gossip-consuming general public to believe he was insane, stating,

"They'll believe anything {they} say, because {they're} reporter(s). But if I, Michael Jackson, were to say, "I'm an alien from Mars and I eat live chickens and do a voodoo dance at midnight," people would say, "Oh, man, that Michael Jackson is nuts. He's cracked up. You can't believe a single word that comes out of his mouth."

Michael successfully baited them, and, like a prepubescent prankster illegally setting off a fire alarm pull station at a fully-occupied Hotel in the dead of night, he alone caused both the tabloid and mainstream media to be derailed by their own frenetic and insatiable appetite for sensational and private information to solicit. Michael demonstrated, in a very sophisticated context, the absolute enameration of journalists and smut-writers to expunge celebrity for their own cheap advancement of product without benefit of neutrality, fairness and verification of information. This 'prank' exposed the tabloids in particular for being exactly what they are: vultures at the carrion, awaiting for the carcass to be just cold enough to pluck apart for the dining delicacy of entertainment rumor consumption.

Michael demonstrated a media savvy on an idiot savant level; such incredible vision and intelligence in being able to capture its forthright power and visual impact; while simultaneously exposing its glaring vulnerability. His own celebrity gave him confines enough to approach this element with great depth, but it also aided and abetted his downward spiral, for in the proceeding decade and a half, the media would work collisionally to defame him at such velocity it would lead him being accosted several different times by unproven allegations from those whom he trusted within his exclusive environment, and would encourage others in varying stations in life to pursue the hunting of his persona for personal chutzpa, money, and glory.

This being the result of the deadly elixir of Micheal's incredible brilliance and raw naivety. He hadn't any grounding as to the savagery of adult solipsis, ego and psychopathy. The insular life that was afforded him through his great fortune also was a detrimental Achilles heel. Through his early underdevelopment which carried on and further exasperated by his incredible fame, Michael was never able to grasp the nuance of this reality: some people just want to run you over for their own sense of worldly accomplishment, as if a competition. Michael did not carry himself as being fully aware of what a highly prized target of opportunity he was.

The Martin Bashir interview of him in 2003 found Michael getting baited himself, Bashir completely canvased him with finessed circumvention, and it was as if he intuitively knew where the edit breaks would come in the post-production long enough to impale Michale sideways by skewering his eccentric personality and behavior in those bookended slip-streams of commentary in the voice over monologue. Through the entire course of it, if one watches closely, Michael behaves with an assuredness that he would at last be taken as honorable in his personal life: that all would understand if they could just here him speak in full, and see him engaged.

Bashir got the better of him, as that was never the intended goal of the end-product. Before scoring the interview with Jackson, Bashir was a talking head of special commentary and celebrity wonking on the BBC. After the Princess Diana dish-of-an interview in 1995, where he attempted superfluous extrapolation into her divorce with the Slug-minister Prince Of Wales , he was considered not of caliber to handle the more juicer banality of mainstream media punditry. He was considered soft and innocuous, unable to unearth the deeper stories and bylines with gravitas in his interview style.

Bashir wasn't stupid: He had cleverly finagled an interview with Michael, and used his association with ITV (U.K.) as a pacifier, knowing that Jackson hadn't any further trust of American media outlets to allow infiltration into his private domain, particularly after the '93 accusations of molestation that nearly consumed him.

And once 'ol Big-Tyme Bashir landed on Planet Michael, and was granted unprecedented access to the The Leader of Neverland, it was 'game on'. It became a dissection of an almost surgical caliber; a very orderly, yet Machiavellian train wreck, with Bashir as the helmsman and in full control, sending Michael over the cliff metaphorically and literally.

Bashir was lambasted for his manipulative angling of Michael: making him appear as some demented freak whom would, if giving occasion and opportunity, would molest your children, yet alternatively, feigned compassion for his subject as a method of conveyance as misdirection. As per the fallout from this televised assassination, it was aptly summed-up by long-time Jackson manager Dieter Wiesner

"It broke him. It killed him. He took a long time to die, but it started that night (of the original airing). Previously the drugs were a crutch, but after that they became a necessity."

A Saucerful of Sycophants

Michael did himself no favors by surrounding himself with a pantheon of celebrity-serving 'yes' glitterati. It is not an uncommon practice, as entourages and service personnel are common among the rank-and-file celebrity culture, particularly the talentless tabloid 'celebutant' carrion whom willfully put themselves 'out there' a la Kim Kardashian, and Paris Hilton. Being insular and secluded from all objectivity and free of comprehension with regards to mores and boundaries aided and abetted by the core of Michael's hired help served as a requiem for his personal recklessness.

Recklessnes in regards to his relationship with children,which never evolved into a proper mode of maturation, complete with the necessary 'rules of engagement'. Quite the contrary: his relationships with children were engaged from the level of being as a child himself. The 1993 & 2004 allegations stemmed from that contextualized engagement: sleepovers, slumber parties, and sleeping in the same bed with children not his own caused a Pandora's box of woefully colossal proportions to be unleashed.

As the mounting perception of Michael being predatory towards the very terminally-ill children whom he was offering assistance to and had stay with him began to escalate in 2004, he began to fight back; rendering commentary and interviews for anyone whom lend a mic as to defend his nature. Michael's inner-circle also kept vigil, as those under his employ would also speak out, from Security Guards to secretaries in his defense. Only but a small few would rail against him, claiming he was sexually assaulting children and feeding them alcohol as a pacifier to weaken their resolve of resistance as he had his way with them.

To constantly be around those whom are at-service to you allows no real honesty to surface: They are 'your' people whom you pay, whom advise you, take care of your inner-space, and who also act as being in your best interest.

But in what context? Michael never really had one real friend or confidant corner him and say, quite adroitly "If you keep this shit up, Mike, you will be perceived as a child-raping pervert...and not because you are, but because no one outside your sphere knows that you're not." And if he did, he probably had ran them off of Neverland, most likely.

I believe the latter might be correct, given the monarchical existence Michael lead possibly caused intense intimidation for those who called themselves either his employees or confidants. Conversely, I believe also there was an unwillingness on Michael's end to allow anyone benefit of doubt to be caste if such honest discourse and disclosure was spoken. The 'King' is never questioned, and absolute power can corrupt any ability to see things unobstructed, and without filter. A real 'friend' will tell when your behavior might land you in prison, an enemy will manipulate you into being imprisoned, while a sycophant will tell you it is safe to step outside though there might wolves in the shadows, and at the ready to disembowel you, knowing that this is what you want to hear, irregardless your fate.

The sycophant is the recidivist troll, without character and compass, always ready to give what you wish so long as you allow them access to the Castle and to be allowed to continue to sample and claim membership to that imperial life that is not their own. The sycophant will also run a knife through the proclaimed 'King' they serve, if they know a huge payout or access to the a higher life can be achieved.

A Sycophant will lie at both ends to retain grandeur and status in some form. Even if lying to themselves.

This adjective could easily be rendered to describe the matriarch of The Jackson Aristocracy:

Katherine Jackson.

As she has admitted to her husbands past transgressions of adultery and physical handling of the brood early in her marriage to Joe The Architect. She, by her own actions in those formative years, allowed Joe to abuse and exploit the brood inpunitively and without recourse in those times. Attempts to 'correct' these transgressions via her faith and stoic charge came too late to save a situation which left many of the Jackson children severely underdeveloped socially and emotionally. Katherine's early passivity to Joe's handling of Michael , I believe , was on par with allowing one spouse to destroy a child in front of another.

I don't believe that The Elder Mrs. Jackson motivation was as materialistically self-interested as Joe's, nor was she not with any rudimentary compassion. but it didn't lack self-interest either. Many dedicated ecclesiastics work tirelessly to achieve the 'rank' of Sainthood: of being revered as Christ-like and Godly, as it carries its own title and privilege in certain circles, and is a translatable power by proxy in any context of public life. Politicians of all stripes have used this pious approach in varying forms. You can be perceived as 'untouchable', pure, and without imperfection; being holy.

Mrs. Jackson assumed the traditional role of Housewife and spiritual leader for the family, in part I believe, not just for posterity per se, but to compensate for Joe's less-the-admirable deeds as well as keep her personal legacy vaulted and unscathed within the family structure. It has been an effective tool in the past when she has had to conduct interviews with the media in regards to various Jackson family controversies.

It was, however, its own form of self interest at the expense of her children. Trading direct parenting in a realistic and accountable form for piousness. Whatever has befallen the family, Katherine has been the Martyr of The Highest Order, without real reproach or question, acting as its own armor to block any attempt at acknowledging mistake or miscarriage.

And I believe an equally damaging attribute, as it did not afforded a young Michael safety from the hands of his father. Katherine's stasis was the most toxic of all passive Sycophants in his life. The wolves dined accordingly on his death years later, through an illegally administered sedative by another Sycophant named Conrad...

In this January 27th 2011 innocuous interview of Rebbie Jackson on The View, the most telling detail of her proximity and position with the rest of The Jackson family is revealed slowly in the last 4 and a half minutes. In summary: She 'raised' Michael early on, is co- parenting Michaels kids Paris, Prince Michael I & II, and Blanket, and confirms that both of her parents live separately, although still legally 'married'.

Neverland Never Was

Several friends of mine whom had visited the Neverland ranch during its last remaining heyday describe a mural painting of Michael, themed with himself as Peter Pan amongst various children grouped together within the scene as you enter the interior of the mansion. The Peter pan saga has itself a protagonist whom never reaches adulthood, and slays adult characters , as all adults in the Neverland regions are inherently evil and wish to destroy the children, or enslave them in some capacity.

Adulthood, especially in the climate of the world we reside in being that of quasi-corporate plutocracy masquerading as a democratic one, the enslavement element now is more profound than ever in modern history. What Michael left behind is something more than an expansive discography of hits spanning 4 generations: he left behind a world in a complete sea-change. North Africa and the middle east are coming unhinged, as dictators and self-described men of the people are being overthrown, or in process thereof. Western corporations are attempting a mass coveting of the general public as to strip all of proper livelihood by undercutting and denigrating Unions and organizations built and designed to protect workers rights for the sake of insular profits...

The world is in Hell's elevator, and the bottom floor hasn't been reached yet. Michael won't be here when it finally does. The rest of us might be.

The song "Ghost" (which can viewed through the link inside the box from Youtube), is demonstrative of Michael's perpetual battle with the adult world. It is warfare, with him playing a perceived evil wizard-proprietor of a macabre mansion with supernatural power. In many instances (particularly the extended version) illustrates how this alienation seeded deep resentment. Michael was a ghost of sorts, an oddity so embellished it was lampooned and scolded, but never articulated as substantially known beyond veneers or preconceived notion.

What is a prevalent theme in this song is Michaels combined detractive and didactic detachment toward the adult characters whom find him a questionable 'freak'. Alienation of this ire, and death obsessiveness pervade his work, dating back to Thriller all the way to Blood On The Dance Floor. This performance is notable from the others for his fierce handling of instilling venomous fear and macabre acts upon his guests, (repleat with the usual back-up dancing minions) with attenuated willingness to' serve the heads' of those who would castigate him. It is his 'cruelest' performance.

What is foreshadowing of this, is not only his death, but 4 years later from the video's creation, how castigated and violated in his own sanctuary he would become: photos of his genitalia be taken by law enforcement, constant search warrants issued for his premises during the trial in '05. Violated by the very similar adults whom he would have loved to perchance bestow his brand of fantastic and supernatural punishment upon. The very ones whom did believe him to be a real freak.

Neverland would be lost, and in many parables in his life, never really was.

The End of One

There is one irritating, but compelling attribute in all the 'friendly' articles written of Michael: no biographer, no 'friend' has written anything directly or meaningfully critical of him. It all seems to reside in the spectacle and awe of being in his presence, as if some were in communion with the living Jesus himself. There is no honesty in aggrandizing the deceased, particularly if the deceased had some glaring potential character issues that could have hinge on the precept of being a sexual predator.

Sometimes pontificating prose upon the death of a celebrity friend berths its own precognitive bullshit, clouded by the worshiping of and intoxication of being at the alter of celebrity itself.

Alternatively, judgement can't be doled too dismissively, either. I have known adults whom behaved similarly to Michael in my formative years, and though these individuals were not particularly predatory, some of their behavior did cross lines enough to warrant speculation and concern to relationships, those seeming more at ease amongst children, while simultaneously unable to maintain cognitive relations with their adult peers. Some of these 'relations' seemingly hinged upon a sexualized countenance, although never apparently, nor verifiably consummated.

I believe Michael to have been of this type, without question.

Michael as a father was and is still an enigma, There are varying accounts as to his fitness as parent. This is not an area I can render an angle, other than to say the only evidence of competency came in the last statement of young daughter Paris at the very end of his televised memorial on July 7th 2009; unrehearsed and unexpected, (unlike the previous eulogies on that day):

'He was the best dad'

Also vague, obtuse, and rather strange was his private arrangements involving the reproduction and birth of his children, also not firmly established with verifiable fact or consensus in any legitimate context. The only testimonial of any stripe in regards to his interpersonal relationships came from Lisa Marie Presley in this interview by Diane Sawyer in 2005

It is most likely unfair for me to state this , but here it is: Lisa Marie's account of her marriage to Michael can't be taken with any real integrity, if only due to one glaring and obvious detail..

Her father was Elvis.

The former Mrs. Jackson had already become accustomed to the ambiguous eccentricities of being born from a world-renowned icon whom possessed his own brand of insular absurdities. This is not say Lisa hadn't any 'love' for Michael, nor is not honorable in her recounting and believing those experiences. What is suggested is this: Conditioning constitutes greatly for our perception of experience as being in relative 'normal', I believe. What she or Michael might've viewed as cognitively status quo may not translate as such to others whom experience may be alternatively different. Conversely, what may have passed as regular and healthy for them may have not been, period.

The seemingly inane questions Diane Sawyer posed was what needed to be asked, especially as it was the focus of during Micheal's trial: was there a notable sexual relationship within the confines of that marriage. This marriage, and later Surrogate mothering Michael took up for the birth of his children we will never really understand nor have knowledge of in full detail.

Micheal's end , both tragic and unsurprising, was a representation of a life marred by limitations in mature, sound judgment in regards to his inner-life and relationships. In the end , he was more focused on re-cementing his position as the dominate figure of of all things mainstream as to validate his relevance beyond the mire of the trial. The nearly four year sabbatical he took did not assuage perception nor proffer enlightenment for the masses. The same issues would revisit anew through the scepter of electronic media.

And although working with renewed verve, it was apparent Michael did not grow from his self-imposed exile. As evidence to this, the manner in which he expired to me represented the continual chasm of his inability to achieve context: breathing, eating, drinking, and talking all at same time. The battle for ground and grounding not in line with the harsh reality of what he had never acquired, his insomnia and frenetic work pace mixed with dependency on pain and sleep medication to find the true peace never obtained....

Contentment from emotional maturation; being a sound and happy 'grown man'. A life being whole.

To have never lived a life complete with play, with making and un-making friends, growing from the experiences that define you as a person, all the way as you progress into later life.

To have been put to full time work by the time you have reached 8, and have your collective public education and social life amongst your peers silenced by age 11, for a controlled environment engineered by your parents, dealing with the contaminated vermin in the entertainment industry at a vulnerable time in your childhood development must have been as toxic as doing 5 rails of high-powered cocaine on your first go.

I do not need in PhD in Psychology to surmise this pysche slow-kill of an existence only could cause a deep soul drainage, and resulting in nothing resembling a 'healthy being'.

This despondently Dionysian biography that was Micheal Joseph Jackson's life was damned from the beginning, and was perpetuated, enabled , and protracted by himself and others for the benefit of that Western ideal of personal austerity:

Fame and Fortune.

I can state if given choice to have the life of success, opulence and adoration such as what Michael possessed, or my life currently: working 70-hour weeks, soliciting for investors, airplay and holding two jobs currently to sustain me and my family, I would choose my current life, with my mind and experiences in tact.

It is not say I don't wish for some form of success; as the goal is complete independence, financially and otherwise. It is to say that I am currently in a state where I could fully enjoy it unencumbered and without the heavy anxiety and brain-splitting idiosyncratic neurosis and psychotic megalomania that so many uber-celebs seem to possess.

To just be , minus the Albatross around my neck, nor the sword of Damocles waiting to drop from the tethered thread of the King's table as I sit directly under.

To be free. A life unexamined, except by those whom truly know me and love me; not craving the hyperbolistic spasm of screaming fans to render that love, while I suffer in my child-like mind as to my inability to be content.

Michael was without that contentment.

I am blessed to have that now, in the living, and have it never stricken from my being by the banality of others seeking to use me as a vehicle of their own ends.

Michael ended as product, target, and tether; ultimately alone. Unsettled, restless and unfinished. He ended before a subscript could be re-written and lived anew. The largest deficit will be of his children never knowing him any further in the living. And while vultures like brother Jermaine will continue to seek that higher edifice of adulation as programmed by Joe The Architect, we will never really see an individual reach those lofty heights as Michael did.

Perhaps, it would do us good never to view that again, or to have as defined as 'great'. The object maybe is to be as One, with others in our lives who we enhance as they enhance us, and within ourselves in the quiet recesses within our private lives, rather than be in that fervent consumption that allows us to be defined rather than define ourselves...

'Number 1.'

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