beyond the fact that many of these images are burned permanently into my brain from seeing them as stickers on our elementary school notebooks...
....Michael Jackson, and his image and likeness, was literally everywhere during the initial Thriller craze.. ( including blatant commercial tie ins to advertising campaigns for E.T. & Pepsi .. actually, the Jackson POP machine was already in full gear by the time I found out about him, the Jackson Five already had their own cartoon and each member apparently had their own Fan Club long before i had heard Billie Jean.. i just got in on it when they stepped it up a notch.. thats right, the 80s... and my generation was the target audience )
it seems to me that these photos (click the collage below) give away so many interesting and disturbing hints to the mystery behind the troubled life of michael jackson. i dont know what it is, but looking at the pictures of him from youth and his early career, i feel like i almost understand him a bit better.. but it's just a glimmer of truth trying to escape from a cloud of chaotic overexposure that should probably be called the Michael Jackson Empire...
i found most of these images on ebay last night as i was perusing the tidal wave of posters, certified autographs (with photos from the actual instance it was signed for proof and authentification! lol ), concert t shirts, domain names, action figures, etc that is now flooding the auction site in the aftermath of michael jackson's death.. i find it very similar to the opportunist memorabilia hawkers who crowded the streets of the financial district and canal street just days after 911... the tabloids seem to be having a good time with this too... and i guess im not much better than that since im posting this collage up... but i just feel like these photos say something about this mythical and notoriously troubled person.. maybe its because it's just so obvious, looking at the early photos, that he must have had a a pretty painful childhood.. after talking with a friend of mine who works with troubled/abused youth yesterday.. i began to think about it a little bit... and then reading some of the accounts from family members about how his father treated him. .(read the CONTROVERSIES
section of this wikipedia entry) . and some of the things he seems to have become obsessed/fixated on later in life... it almost seems to all fit together .. its just too bad that his stardom didnt allow him to work through any of the mess he went through growing up..
it's pretty sad looking at the picture of him above with the dog, or with his little sister janet (who it seems he really relied on years later during all the scandals) sitting on that wall (see below)... and especially when i see the expresion on his face standing next to his father.. you dont have to be a psychoanalyst to see that he doesnt look happy..
beyond the idea that Michael Jackson himself was "a victim" as Quincy Jones has stated repeatedly, it seems he allowed himself to go into a very dark place because of it... allowing himself to rationalize behavior that was hurtful to others (who really knows to what horrible extent?), self destructive, and ultimately fatal.... It's sad that he wasnt able to see how far off the deep end he had gone until it was too late.. or maybe he already knew it and thats why he was hiding his face all the time ..... there are just so many mixed up parts to the story of his life...i hope those he left behind, his children, his family, will also find some peace. i guess the only positive way to look at it, as melodramatic as it sounds, is that hopefully now he's in a better place ... there's absolutely no denying that his music changed the world, and the positive energy of his music will live on in our hearts forever