In all seriousness, what's wrong with Michael Jackson?
April 27, 2006 11:40 AM   Subscribe

I was just in my car when "Billie Jean" came on the radio. As I tapped along to the beat, I got to thinking: what happened to Michael Jackson? What caused his meteoric fall from mental stability? Can he really not comprehend how crazy he comes across to most people?

Before I begin, I should preface this by stating that I'm not biased against the Gloved One in any way. I think he's a phenomenal talent, and I'm not ashamed to turn up the volume when his earlier songs play on the radio. But seriously, how did he get so crazy?

He was a sex god in the mid-eighties (my sister have a poster of him alongside Don Johnson and Kirk Cameron), but then it all started to go downhill. It seemed with every chunk of flesh they cut away from his face, a little bit of his previous self disappeared as well. What happened? Do you think he every wakes up and thinks to himself, "Man, why do I act this way? what went wrong, Mikey?"

I'm sure the early onset of superstardom and the problems he had with his father are much to blame, but there have been other superstar children who grew up okay (i.e. Shirley Temple). Is he the product of our society's need to see the famous stumble and fall... and be accused of child molestation... twice? Anyhow, I don't mean to be chatty, I just want to know what's up with Mike?
posted by bjork24 to Media & Arts (13 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: What's the deal with x? doesn't make for an answerable or useful question.

Unimaginable superstardom, insane wealth and a closed group of yes-men, hangers-on and fixers will drive you crazy. Viz: Presley, Elvis.
posted by docgonzo at 11:46 AM on April 27, 2006

Response by poster: That's a good point, docgonzo, but Presley didn't seem to go through quite the physical and mental degradation that Jackson did. He got a little pudgy.
posted by bjork24 at 11:48 AM on April 27, 2006

he got a little pudgy.... [and died as a result of] - i'd say that's the ultamite physical and mental degradation!
posted by nitsuj at 11:49 AM on April 27, 2006

A network documentary or two about him came out a few years ago. From what I recall, they seemed to make the case that he was always pretty bizarre, but that his PR team was brilliant at creating his public image. One of the shows had an interview a woman -- I believe his "co-star" in one of the videos (Thriller? Someone knows better, I'm sure) -- whom at the time they tried to present as his real-life girlfriend. She seemed pretty affected by the situation: that she had been quite attracted to him, but that he apparently had no romantic interest in her whatsoever.

One documentary also had home video footage of Michael as a young man hanging out with Emmanuel Lewis in his apartment. They were performing a little choreographed dance, and seemed like best friends -- despite the fact that Emmanuel was a pretty young kid at the time.
posted by penchant at 11:51 AM on April 27, 2006

he may just have a mental illness. Can happen to anyone, and while his social circumstances may not be the casue for it, it may be the trigger and magnify the symptoms. If you are isolated it makes it much harder to get help, I'd be surprised if many people that surround him have pushed him to get help. He is many people's meal ticket.
sad really
posted by edgeways at 11:54 AM on April 27, 2006

I dont' think he really went crazy until he became open about his pedophilia (when he took the boy and Brooke Shields to the awards show). I believe his entire lifestyle is devoted to this pedastry, and funded by his enormous wealth. I have a feeling our own quirks would be exacebrated several times larger than they are if we had all the time, powe and money to do whatever we wanted.
posted by geoff. at 11:55 AM on April 27, 2006

I believe one of the documentaries I was referring to was a BBC production that aired on ABC in the US.
posted by penchant at 12:05 PM on April 27, 2006

Response by poster: I remember that particular documentary, penchant. I believe that's the one where he's holding hands with the young cancer survivor towards the end... ? If I remember correctly, his earlier interviews (circa Thriller) seemed rather tame... he seemed more bored than crazy.
posted by bjork24 at 12:08 PM on April 27, 2006

Penchant, are you saying, then, that in recent years, his PR group has failed to maintain his positive, non-pedofilic public image? Or that they purposely let it be known that he's flipped out?
posted by UnclePlayground at 12:14 PM on April 27, 2006

I guess that would be non- pedoPHilic.
posted by UnclePlayground at 12:15 PM on April 27, 2006

arrested development

He is stuck with a teen mindset/ view of the world.

He is surrounded by people who tell him what he wants to hear and helps protect him from the ugly stuff.

He still wants to play with if he is a kid and he doesn't see anything wrong with that. Sometimes kids, even of the same sex explore each other in a sexual way....I think he still wants to do that too...

Its sad really, looking at him and others makes me wonder anybody would want to be famous. That's why I chose to say no to fame...well fame did not really ask...

That is my unprofessional opinion based on television reports and footage, and I am sticking to it!
posted by TheLibrarian at 12:15 PM on April 27, 2006

The referred-to documentary was actually made by Granada TV for ITV, the other UK TV network. Just as a heads-up.

But then, Bashir wormed his way into the Jackson clan by winning his confidence, and "exposing" the weirdness of Jackson's life to the world.

Personally, I think that any reclusive multi-millionaire with no reason or connection to everyday humanity would have similar issues in some sense. Wasn't it a Twilight Zone episode where they had a kid with infinite god-like powers towards all, and the adults had to placate the kid or else be winked out of existence?
posted by badlydubbedboy at 12:18 PM on April 27, 2006

« Older Interesting Las Vegas neighborhoods?   |   Knowledgeable meat cutter, needs I. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.