Would Michael have ever thrilled again?

Good evening friends, hope you’re all swell.

Michael Jackson poses for Ebony magazine. 2007.

It’s been a fair old while since I posted and to be honest, it’s with good reason! I’ve been working full time and chipping away at my dissertation for third year (yes, I am already working on it) so I haven’t really managed to find a spare moment to sit down with my laptop and write something. Seeing as though I managed to get away from work early this evening – a first for a long time – I thought I’d share my thoughts and opinions on something I read in the i today; it’s also been reported on the BBC website but seeing as though I want to sound far more intellectual than I probably am, we’ll just pretend I saw it in the newspaper first.

So according to the article found in the i today (4th September 2012), correspondence from AEG Live – the promoters for Michael Jackson’s ill-fated This Is It concert series – has been leaked, the contents of which will undoubtedly have the Jackson fan-base asking many questions. The emails/letters/whatever they are, are thought to reveal the concerns of the concert promoters surrounding Michael Jackson’s health and mental state prior to announcing the 50-date residency at London’s O2 Arena in March 2009. Quotes cited in the i reveal that Jackson was an “emotionally paralysed mess” who demonstrated “strong signs of paranoia, anxiety and obsessive behaviour”; the term “basket case” is also referenced.

Now, many of you know that I am an avid fan of Michael Jackson (I even had tickets to one of the This Is It shows) and thus, defending the man dubbed the King of Pop by many often comes with the territory – but this time, I’m not so sure a quick-fire defence is on the cards. In my honest opinion, there are two possible explanations concerning the veracity of these reports.

The first such theory, which is endorsed by the cynic within me, believes that this story is nothing more than a tool used by the Estate of Michael Jackson to inject the superstar’s name back into the media limelight. With the upcoming release of the Bad 25th Anniversary package on the 18th September, what better promotional tool than to have the British Press talking about the artist you’re trying to sell? This tactic has been seen so many times throughout Michael Jackson’s turbulent career. Remember that story about the oxygen chamber? Lies. And the time you thought he was going to buy the Elephant Man’s bones? Again, lies. All methods of increasing publicity to get the star noticed; one only has to look at the record sales around the time of his death – Michael Jackson, in 2009, sold more records in said year alone than throughout his entire career! Why? Because the story was in the newspapers, on the radio and on the TV every day for about two weeks.

Another factor which lends itself to this first theory is this:

http://youtu.be/vapJSLP9yP8 – Give that a watch, and tell me Michael Jackson looks ill, unhealthy and unfit for performance.

However, all the above was the cynic in me. The realist takes a slightly different stance on this story.

Michael rehearses for his 50-date residency at London’s O2 Arena.


During the O2 press conference in March 2009, Michael was meant to stick a script which would have seen him coherently announce the initial 10-date residency at the London venue. Instead, he seemed dispondent and totally unaware of what to say and thus instead, proceeded to repeat the same phrases “this is it” and “the final curtain call” over and over, along with long pauses in which he confessed his undying love for the screaming fans crowded around the make-shift stage set up in the dome’s entrance. There were also constant reports during the rehearsal process of Michael’s lack of commitment to the shows and rumours surrounding his ill-health, long before his premature death in the June. The circumstances of Michael Jackson’s death however, play a pivotal role in supporting the truth behind the claims made by AEG Live; Jackson died of accute propofol intoxication, causing a cardiac arrest from which he never recovered. Surely a man who insists on using a surgery-grade anaesthetic to act as a sleeping aid must be suffering from issues both physically and perhaps psychologically? Think of everything the singer went through in the years before his death; a gruelling child molestation case; the  woes of being millions of dollars in debt; countless unresolved issues from a troubled childhood – Michael Jackson was a troubled soul.

Whatever the truth behind these claims are, it really has no impact on anything. The only thing that matters, is that Michael Jackson left this world far too early. He left it being misunderstood by the world that claimed to love him, and he left it never quite being able to be himself – he was never allowed to be truly happy. I do hope my cynical theory is the right one; I would love to think that Michael was excited and ready to get back on the stage after a 12 year absence. I would love to think that he was in good health and that his ill-timed death was the result of a terrible accident. The fact of the matter is when it comes to Michael Jackson, I’ve always come to expect the worst which, from the world’s greatest entertainer, is a pretty sorry state of affairs.

Signing off for the night.

– Clarke

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