Smooth Criminal.

Ask me anything you want about Michael Jackson. Anything at all. Was he weird? Yes, he was in another galaxy completely, not a good galaxy I hasten to add. Indeed I would say there is a whole other universe populated by him and anyone who thinks he is the greatest gift that entertainment has given us. Jacko wasn’t wacko, he was a badly made gimp with a Peter Pan complex and a face like a melting rubber gargoyle. Was he talented? Certainly he was, he could sing ‘woohoo’ at the drop of a hat, he could tilt his hat at a jaunty angle at the drop of another hat and he was able to spin around on his toes with admirable grace. He made some good tunes but, I would argue, he is also safely in the top 10 most overrated artists of all time. Was he a giggling, creepy, soft centred paedophile? I don’t really know for sure because we don’t have adequate enough evidence but what I can say is that if and (fingers crossed) when adequate enough evidence decides to turn up I won’t be remotely surprised.

It’s been a rough week for the ghost of Michael Jackson. Of course he has a ghost; I can’t think what else could possibly be haunting us all. Four hours may seem a long time for a documentary but I suppose you need enough time to get it all across and more importantly let it all sink in. To be honest I haven’t watched it all yet but I feel I’ve watched enough to get a pretty good idea of what Michael Jackson might have been like in his spare time. After all he was fucked up enough as it was in front of the camera so heaven knows what went on behind it. And if you put yourself into the position of the 2 chaps spilling the beans you’d really have to think long and hard for a reason to go so far out on a limb if it wasn’t all true. Because if it isn’t all true then it must all be lies and I can’t see a scenario where the lies win the day.

I’m not at all saying I sensed something untoward as a child but I definitely know that I was never a big fan of Michael Jackson. I have his one compilation and that’s it. I can’t remember the last time I listened to it but it’s very likely been more than 10 years ago. There’s no ‘Thriller’ or ‘Off The Wall’, no ‘Bad’ or ‘Dangerous’ in my collection (it was never lost on me that a gooey slip of a man like Jackson never seemed remotely bad or dangerous; I’ve met decorative cushions and packets of doilies that are badder and more dangerous). There’s no racial motivation, I am familiar and in love with plenty of black music but there is not one Jackson song that gets me hot under the collar. I don’t really like the Jackson 5 either. When one of his songs comes on the radio I might just muster a hint of interest, but more often than not it will just pass me by. I know some people go nuts for him and I really don’t know why. Prince and Madonna I get, but not Jackson. He is glitter and fluff and ‘shamone’ and not much else. Hey, maybe I’m just not hearing it right.

What I’m not wrong about is that he did share hotel bedrooms with other people’s kids and he also shared beds with other people’s kids and no matter where you sit with the whole paedophilia thing that just isn’t right. People say that he was robbed of a childhood but when that comes with unheard of levels of adoration and money and fame then it becomes very hard to feel too sorry. His Dad was a proper bastard as well but that shouldn’t be an excuse for spooning some poor 12 year old to sleep at night. Maybe all that adulation made him go crazy and lose his way – gave him levels of poor taste to rival Liberace’s collection of capes and made him want to hang out with a bloody chimpanzee. Or perhaps it was the prescription drugs and the freedom of being allowed to do whatever the fuck he wanted to whoever the fuck he wanted, whenever the fuck he wanted. Yes, that sounds more plausible.

Anyway, the really big question is has this documentary ruined Michael Jackson’s legacy? Let’s remember that this is a legacy of some of the biggest selling albums ever. A legacy of ludicrous videos and gargantuan tours, of white gloves and moonwalks. A legacy that still rakes in literally hundreds of millions of dollars every year, quite a lot of which goes to the Jackson family; the same Jackson family that are suing the documentary makers and claiming that all these allegations are totally unfounded and empty. But I’m sure the money has almost nothing to do with it. Frankly I wouldn’t miss Jackson’s legacy one bit. I wouldn’t care if I never heard another of his songs or had to look at that strange, pasty, unhappy face of his. If freak is too harsh a word to use then let’s stick to weird. He was a weird little man and while I never wished him dead while he was alive on reflection perhaps it wouldn’t have been so tragic if he’d gone a bit earlier. It sounds like Michael Jackson was bad and dangerous after all, only probably not in the way he wanted us to think.

G.B.Hewitt. 09.03.2019

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