Michael Jackson was Already Dead

The world mourns at the unexpected death of Michael Jackson yesterday. Truth is, he died long ago.

The man who died yesterday was not Michael Jackson. The man who died yesterday was a husk, an empty shell, a chitinous membrane of the original. The man who died yesterday was not Michael Jackson, but a media concoction, a fantasy, a freak. I mourned for the real Michael long ago, as I stared at the stand-in that took his place with a mixture of horror and fascination, trying to determine if he was even human any more.

I was 12 years old when Michael Jackson released the greatest pop album of all time, “Thriller.” I remember being totally blown away — utterly enthralled —  by the music. I thought Michael Jackson was the most talented man on the planet.

A year later, Michael was still riding the “Thriller” wave, and the moonwalk took over the world. I spent much time up in my room, trying to perfect my own version of the moonwalk. I could never quite get it right. If I was on the moon, I must have been wearing lead-lined gravity boots.

Michael, on the other hand, made it look like he really was moving in zero gravity, effortlessly flowing backwards while appearing to the eye to be walking forward. He looked like he truly was on the moon. Sadly, it was not long after this that it began to seem like he was from the moon, too.

It was about 1985 when Michael, 27 at the time, died. He had come out with the greatest pop album ever, which has now sold more than 28 million copies. He had been to the mountaintop. He knew there was never going to be a return visit. There never was.

The focus of his fans and the world began to shift. It was no longer about his music — the story was now just about Michael himself. When the focus of the story switched from Michael the artist to Michael the man, everything began to fall apart. Michael spiralled down with the story. We all stood around and watched as the toilet that had become his life flushed.

Michael died that day in 1985, the day the focus shifted from his music to his crazy life. In my mind, he plunged from being a great artist and entertainer to being a freak; an alien being; the breathing embodiment of the parable of Icarus flying too close to the sun. He had flown too close; he had gone too high; he had been burned.

The tale of Michael Jackson is a tragic one. He reached greatness too young. He had too much fame. He had too many fans. He never was able to become his own man. He was forever stuck trying to regain his former glory. He was forever stuck trying to reclaim his youth.

If we are stuck trying to reclaim the glory of  the past, if we are trapped in a losing battle to retain our youth, we are already dead. Michael died long ago. I think he knew it, too.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson (1958-1985).

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19 responses to “Michael Jackson was Already Dead

  1. you are right he has been dead since 1985 and the imposter named frank jespin came along in 1986

  2. I am not unturstand .
    you are lie!

  3. Michael Jackson Died of 3rd degree burnings around the body and forensics made the autopsy on the wrong ” creature” Michael also died of cancer so his life gave him hell they had technoligy to bring a man change his DNA and called
    him Michael Jackson .

    Truth is the clone actually died 4 times because of the surgery.

  4. I will only remember Michael the entertainer, and to me that remained vibrant til ’92. Truth was, the fame was a narcotic to him.

    He did do alot of charity work, but their are others that have done just as much charity without the stunts. His fame and popularity made him a good pitchman for causes. If only he didn’t do other things in between that continued to stain his image.

    He did some good, some bad with his life. It’s his music that will endure.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Tim,

      You are right. Eventually, people will not remember Michael the man. They will forget the antics, the freakish appearance, the allegations of misconduct. Michael the musician will live forever as people generations down the line continue to rediscover and enjoy his music. Good point!

      VP

  5. brittany sparkles nicole lynn mcdowell and emily nicole wagner.((:

    from brittany: i love your article i totally agree with what you said. when i always saw him on tv he always gave me the heebeejeebees. but thats just me. he was a TRUE FREAK. but he did have some good music. and his moon walk was freakin amazing! see ya later aigator. 🙂

    from emily: I don’t agree with the whole he died in 1985 thing. because to me he was still very much alive. i guess i don’t understand what your trying to say because i didn’t think he was dead because he still all over the place and still in the spotlight. peace out boy scout.(:P <– thats a hat, haha.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Brittany,

      I’m glad you liked the article. Thanks for taking the time to read it and respond. Towards the end of his life, he definitely gave me the “heebeejeebees,” too. His music was great and his moonwalk was unparalleled.

      Emily,

      I was not being literal of course. I meant that he was never going to reach where he had been. He was on top of the world when he was 27 in 1985. From there, it was all downhill for him so, in a way, he had already died, metaphorically speaking. Until 1985, he was in the spotlight because of his music. After that, he was in the spotlight because of his crazy life and appearance. His music was overshadowed by his life. Thanks for reading and responding to my article.

      You all take care! Check back in with me sometime!

      Sincerely,

      VP

  6. so im pretty sure that, that was the coolest way of putting everything. i agree with you. even though i wasnt around when he was all. F A M O U S . but yeah. your creativ-ness truely inspires me mr.vp no lie. rest in peace mr.jackson.
    amen (:

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Mo,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It really makes me feel good to know that you enjoyed what I had to say. Take care. I hope to see you back here sometime!

      VP

  7. Vantage Point Productions

    This is Mary VanPelt, John’s wife:

    Who doesn’t want to achieve success at a young age? If you had made millions of dollars at 27, would you have thought it was too young? Everything in life is clearer in hindsight, so it easy for us to look back at his life with a critical eye. Still, who would turn their back on being a great singer, dancer, artist and money-maker? He did become a freak, but we can’t forget about all of the great charity work he did during the 90’s (after he was a big star). Remember his work for AIDS awareness, his monetary donations to people in need and his work on “We Are The World”.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Mary,

      I love you! Thanks for you insightful comments. You are right, it is far too late for me to walk in Michael’s shoes and know what it would be like to have his fame and money. I would not turn my back on any of those things and we both know it.

      I also did not realize he did so much good for charity. I have the “We are the World” single on 45! That’s a great song. I did not know he was so instrumental in that! Thank you, Mary, for your valuable input!

      Love,

      VP (your husband, John!)

  8. I more or less agree (although I don’t think any of his albums were the best pop album ever. So sue me.)

    I think Michael was brilliant, an excellent entertainer, a darn good singer and dancer, and a victim of the Machine[1]. I think he reached too much greatness too young. I think the levels he reached at a young age would be hard for someone with 30 or 40 years experience to handle well. And the Machine just ate him up. Bloom County had some *very* insightful strips about Michael and the weird world he lived in.

    I don’t know if all the craziness (the constant alterations, his best friend Snuggles or Muscles or whatever the python’s name was, etc) was because of drugs and such, or a desperate attempt to establish his own identity, but it was just one of the latest examples of what the Machine does to its Kings and Queens.

    [1] I’m using the term loosely here, to include both the Music Industry Machine and the Pop Society Worship Machine. Nevermind the Greed Machine, which everyone around someone like Michael jumps on.

    • Vantage Point Productions

      Miles,

      Your view was insightful and expressed well. I completely agree with you. The Machine got to him way too young — those are normally the ones to whom IT causes the most damage. I do agree that Michael was another victim of the Machine, as you so eloquently state (even with footnotes — love it!) Thank you so much for your input.

      Sincerely,

      VP

  9. Enjoy reading your articles………And I agree.

  10. bobby rabinowitz

    see i disagree on when he died.
    I think he still brought hope and faith to people even after turning white. ya i do think he was a freak. but i also think he was confused. I think people started to much rumors and people didnt get to see the real side. The one thing i want to know is if he was gay or an asexual. o and thriller was a 50million selling copies

    • VanPelt's Vantage

      Bobby,

      Thank you for sharing your viewpoint with me. I am glad Michael Jackson was still able to bring hope and faith into your life. I agree that he was very confused and you are right, we do not get to see his real side since he was constantly under a microscope. And also, yes, I was way under on my numbers, but I was basing that off of sales in the United States. I think for sales just here and not worldwide, my figure is fairly accurate.

      Thanks again, Bobby. Keep reading.

      VP

  11. i love it. everything about it. Your making love to WordPress with your words, keep posting!

    • VanPelt's Vantage

      Thank you, Rick, as always for your kind words. I don’t quite know about the “making love to WordPress” part, but I believe I understand the sentiment. I appreciate your support.

      Sincerely,

      John VP

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