June 26, 2009

Cycle of the Outcast Turned Saint

I don’t have anything particularly original to say about Michael Jackson that won’t be said in the media-hype-storm that is already upon us. In short, I think he may have done some inappropriate things with young kids, not out of malice, but because he was a victim of a lifetime of abuse himself. I think for most of his life, he was mentally unstable and didn't know how to handle his fame. I don't think he was a monster, but a victim who needed help and love and not ridicule.Toward the end of his life, I don't think he had a firm grasp on reality and was being manipulated by forces beyond his control. Michael Jackson is what happens when you turn a child into a commodity and force it to produce profits for a lifetime.

His life and death, however, have made me think about how the world treats its icons, idols, saints and prophets. It is a simple model, perhaps too simple, but it seems to work no matter which hero you insert, from MJ to the big JC:

1. Person is a nobody, an insignificant member of the herd
2. Person begins to rabble rouse and make statements which separate themselves from herd
3. Person is ridiculed and made to feel like outsider
4. Person is accepted, loved, and idolized
5. Person is transformed into hero, idol, prophet
6. Person is worshiped
7. Person falls from grace
8. Person is prosecuted, admonished, ridiculed
9. Person is ostracized from herd
10. Person is crucified and forgotten
11. After death person is remembered and loved again
12. Herd feels guilt for scorn and death
13. Person is resurrected and worshiped
14. Person is made into a martyr, idolized and loved for eternity.

So there you have it, the Michael Jackson is Jesus Christ cycle of the outcast turned saint. At its core, Jackson’s message was one of hope and love. Whether people see it as romanticized pop clichés or meaningful scripture only time will tell.

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race

All I know is that Thriller was the first musical experience I remember as a child and his music has always filled me with hope and made me want to dance. Although he had all by died years ago, his physical absence form the world will be felt. Hopefully now that he is gone, the world will remember him for the things he said and how he said them, not for the things he was accused of doing, or the color of his skin or size of his nose.

1 comment:

  1. Bernadette7:49 PM

    Thriller was also my first musical experience of Michael Jackson and I still recall how we used to plug a ghetto blaster in the school basement and try to do the moonwalk before the principal caught us :-D

    I'd like to remember Michael Jackson for the beautiful music he shared with the world and in that he has made it a better place.

    I still have my doubts about those horrid allegations of him abusing children. It is quite possible, as you identified in your comparison between MJ and JC, that the media was looking to paint him as a monster because he was seen as an easy target.

    Isn't it so sad that people and media persecuted him so much in his lifetime and hypocritical that even the media now portrays him in a rosier light. I think the undercurrent in all of the ridicule he faced originated from the fact he was different on many levels.

    Thanks, Jabiz.