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Archive for February, 2010

I wept when I read the full autopsy report on Michael Jackson. I am only human and he most certainly was a mere mortal. Pushed to such extremes, it now seems inhuman to have lived his life. I read the full report myself because I was sick of the relentless, brainless media coverage stuffed in our faces to make us focus on the insignificant minutae. Who cares if he had tattoos on his middle-aged receding hairline and eyebrows thinned from lupus and lips made pale from vitiligo? Only now the bloodsucking muckrackers are finally admitting he did suffer from vitiligo? And all this time the media was supposed to be focussed on the truth?

Having watched the movie “This is it” in the theatre, despite the hazy images as I viewed him with my one good eye, the Michael Jackson in those last few months of rehearsals seemed energetic, happy and clearly he was just rocking the house down. The man was as magnificent, mesmerising and magical as ever. Now that I bought the DVD of the movie I can rewatch it as often as I want,  But having read the autopsy report, I couldn’t help as the tears flowed at the thought of that person who was so alive during rehearsals would go home at night and have catheters and tubes put into him to pump fluids to battle his dehydration and to drip propofol to get him to sleep while another drained his urine.  Did he have to do this every night just so he could show up for rehearsals the next day? It just baffles the mind why he would resort to this but seeing as to how he always tried to fix all the problems in his life, he may have felt this was the best way to deal with his crippling insomnia in a way that would not affect his singing and dancing. Knowing he needed to be at his best during rehearsals and for his gruelling 50 shows, it may have seemed right for him to have a fully qualified doctor to administer the propofol. It may seem foolhardy to resort to such a powerful drug but he was cautious enough to hire a medic willing to do the deed.   The doctor’s culpability in his death is another matter that will be dealt with in the court of law.

What made me cry was that the problem of Michael Jackson’s insomnia stems way back when, as a very young child from the age of five, he was forced to perform night after night at some sleazy club or another to help feed his family and to fulfill his parents ambition that their children would become stars. When they were eventually discovered by Motown, he and his brothers were churning out hit after hit and were touring all over America and eventually the world. Normal sleeping hours were out of the question and all that travelling between time zones over the years seriously messed up his biological clock. Chronic insomnia for Michael Jackson was a way of life. Only this time, he had a comeback tour to prepare for and the pressure to perform for his beloved children and adoring fans. Propofol was just Michael’s way of fixing another problem in his life and it proved fatal.

It made me cry to read reports of his vitiligo, remembering that triumphant, handsome, young black man who held the eight Grammys he won for his album Thriller. On that night, he was hiding from the world the excruxiating pain he was suffering from treatments to restore his burnt scalp and the discovery that early stages of vitiligo was turning his skin blotchy. For someone so self-conscious about his acne and his nose, the thought of turning into a mottled creature before the entire world must have been horrifying. Is it any wonder that as the vitiligo spread, he chose to turn freakishly white with makeup and creams just so he would not look even more terrifying. Rather than give up performing and the only life he had ever known, it now makes sense why he opted for those iconic looks and blindingly-blinged-out costumes so that people’s attention would be more focussed on his fashion sense rather than on him.  Because he always looked so good in whatever he wore, the media doubted his vitiligo claims.  Now that the autopsy confirmed it, would the media publish a retraction for all their scathing sarcasm and blatant lies? The almighty media does not apologise apparently.

Since his death, opportunistic vultures have published tell-all books that cash-in on morbid curiosity of the masses. True fans would never buy those garbage disguised as “well-researched” books, especially the one where the author claims to have predicted Michael’s death six months earlier, the same hack who entertains unfulfilled fantasies that Michael Jackson was gay. What would he have to say now that the full autopsy report shows that Michael Jackson was a perfectly normal middle-aged man who suffered from benign prostatic hyperplasia that resulted in urinary retention? No wonder Michael didn’t have a woman in his life (and his bedroom), let alone a man. The blue mat on his bed may have been for the morning incontinence associated with this romance-stifling condition. If he had taken medication to treat it (not indicated in the autopsy), he may have experienced sexual dysfunction. Having suffered my own female related middle-aged problems, I can empathise with Michael’s discomfort. I wish he had had a loving wife to help him through his last days but with his history of betrayals from those closest and dearest to him, who could he trust?

For all the talk of him being a dope addict perpetuated by the media, he died from propofol and not all those other drugs self-important media moralists were so eager for him to overdose on for dramatic effect, purportedly in a desperate act of suicide to get out of performing for his concerts. Having watched him in “This is it”, I doubt this scenario very much and wish media dimwits would shut the f**k up! Enough already with the sensationlisations, speculations, misleading interpretations and outright lies. Stick to the facts, tell the truth and be balanced in reporting like real journalists are supposed to! 

Amidst all this, three young children will be growing up without their daddy. Watching many of the Youtube documentaries on Michael as a father, it is obvious that what he wanted most for his children was for them to enjoy their childhood, an experience he was denied. In one interview he said: ” I always want for my children to know that I love them. I look in their eyes and I tell them this everyday.” In other interviewss he said: “I will never force my children to do what they don’t want to.” ; “I would never hit my children”;  “I want them to know that if I buy them anything, it is because I love them.” Friends have praised his daddy-skills saying that he would make a point of reading bedtime stories for his children every night, he was firm about bedtime schedules, playtime and study time. There are so many heartwrenching stories on his love for his children and the extent he went through to shield them from the world that was so cruel to him. Tears welled up in many viewers eyes that night when Prince and Paris spoke of their daddy when they received the Grammy lifetime achievement award on his behalf. No matter what was and will be said qbout him, I cannot believe a man with such profound love for children could have done anything to harm any child. May God watch over his beloved children and keep them safe.

Watching Michael in “This is it” and his brief public appearances after being exonerated in the humiliating trial in 2005, I sensed that he has had to grow up tremendously. No longer was there that painful shyness and obsession to relive a lost childhood. Instead he now spoke in a deeper voice, walked with a confident swagger and seemed fully in charge. His travels and exposure to world cultures had also given him a regal demeanour and gentlemanly bearing with mannerisms so dignified and graceful. Watching the special feature “Memories of Michael” on the DVD, Kenny Ortega says that despite all the torture he was subjected to in life, Michael Jackson was never vindictive. I believe it and you can see that for yourself in the movie, how Michael interacts with the people around him, especially the young dancers and singers who idolised him. But what gets me all choked up is when Michael Bearden tells the discussion he had with MJ about talent being a gift from God. Michael reminded Bearden to be humble about such gifts or God will take them away. When Bearden tried to say his own gifts was a lot lesser than Michael’s, MJ said “We need to bring my gift and your gift together so we can help other people find out what their gifts are!”  That goes to show how deeply he cared about others. 

The torture he was subjected to: as a child deprived of sleep and a normal childhood, and as an adult one-man-money- making machine who was the target for opportunistic vultures and bloodsuckers, Michael Jackson defied all odds and charmed the world like no other. Heck he made vitiligo, lupus and wigs look good! There is no doubt that even in death he will be dragged through the mud by the maggot-infested media that tormented him mercilessly when he was alive. The only consolation is he will no longer suffer and the strength of his love will shield his children from harm. May Allah have mercy on his soul.         

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