Did anyone imagine that this could end differently?
(Note: the part of the initial entry dealing with the culture’s responsibility for Jackson’s deterioration and death is overstated, as commenter Markus points out below and as also I discuss in a later entry.)
Ian Halperin has a stunning article in the Mail about Michael Jackson’s decline and death. Jackson fans will see it as the sad story of a sensitive and talented man done in by his handlers and hangers-on. But what I get from the harrowing tale is that the things that went wrong with Jackson were the very things that made up his stardom and success—namely his transformation of himself, via horrifying plastic surgery and skin treatments, from a black male into a white Peter Pan, with a nose that looked like a fragile chicken bone about to break off from his face. The artificially created freakiness that left Jackson disintegrating physically and emotionally during his last 15 years had been intrinsic to his persona and to his phenomenal popularity in his heyday. Meaning that the decline that led inevitably to his death is not just a judgment on him and his conduct of his life. It is a judgment on his fans. It is a judgment on the culture that saw this freak—which was what he was, no matter how sweet his personality or inspired his dancing—as something wonderful and admirable. Such a culture is indeed a culture of death.
You wrote:LA replies:
This is a useful and informative comment, thanks. However, my memory is that in the ’80s when Jackson was a huge star he had already radically changed his appearance. Narrowing his nose and lips etc is already a big change. But I may be wrong about that. I’ll have to look at photos in chronological sequence.Markus replies:
My pleasure, and please feel free to publish. This whole story is a natural for VFR, combining such things as race, culture and your particular interest in physiognomy. Interesting to hear others’ comments.LA writes:
Markus is indeed correct about the chronology of Jackson’s physical transformation, as I discuss in a new entry .
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 28, 2009 04:22 PM | Send