Came across this article over the past weekend, We'll Never Listen to Michael Jackson the Same Way Again by Brandon Griggs at CNN.
Is this article for real?
Let's start with the illustrious Brandon Griggs. He's a Senior Editor at CNN specializing in trending news. From his Bio, you can tell he's in his early 40's and does not appear to be in a Jackson Fan's Demographic? What demographic is that, you ask? People who have lived under rocks for 25 years.....
I remember when Micheal Jackson saturated the public consciousness. The year was 1982 and the album Thriller was released and would go on to be the biggest selling album in American History. Thriller would eventually move over 66 million units. By the end of 1983, every other song on Top 40 radio stations were from Michael Jackson and every third song on MTV was from Thriller.
"Everyone" loved Michael Jackson. But not me. It wasn't popular not to like Jackson, like there was something wrong you if you didn't get his musical genius. Let me ask you a trivia question: Who has won the most Grammys in one night in Grammy History?
Michael Jackson with 8 in 1984. Ironically his eighth Grammy of the night was for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which he recorded (with Jones) to accompany the Steven Spielberg blockbuster. The album was voted Best Recording For Children. In hindsight, how creepy is that? Michael Jackson owned music for a specific time period, that being from about the year 1982 to 1989, the year the single "Leave Me Alone" came out. Michael Jackson didn't like answering questions about the color and the structure of his face. What I never understood is that if Jackson had vitiligo, (which he did) why didn't he just say "I have vitiligo." It's not like he could hide it.
Editor's Note: Technically the Grammy record is a tie. Also correct, Santana in 2000.
But something happened to Michael Jackson. Every album he made after Thriller was exponentially worse than the previous effort. Like a great athlete, the quality of his production slid and Jackson was washed up at 33. When Dangerous was released, it sold a mountain of records, but you don't hear any of those songs on the radio today. When Jackson died, he was 14 years removed from his last #1 hit.
What was distracting Michael Jackson?
Michael Jackson's hit Scream was released in 1995. Michael was angry that the tabloids were badgering him to no end, so he wrote a missive and set it to song. Then he made the most expensive music video ever made to accompany it. He was trying to sway public opinion in the best way he could, through song (and money.) The song failed to reach #1 despite many built-in levers in its favor. The video won multiple awards back in the day, but it seems a bit opulent in hindsight and its visual successes can also be tied to visionary director Mark Romanek.
Go on over to YouTube right now and watch Billie Jean.
Jackson's #1 hit from 1982 has 612 million or so views.
Jackson's #5 hit from 1995 has 93 million or so views.
That's quite a bit of difference in popularity.
Why wasn't the general public buying what Jackson was selling? The tabloids had been reporting odd stories for years. Jackson wanted to buy the Elephant Man's Remains (yeah, google that topic and try to get a straight answer) and he slept in a Hyperbaric Chamber (probably true). But it was the story of Michael Jackson molesting young boys that elicited MJ's ire.
The problem is that where there's smoke, there's fire.
Tabloids rarely randomly hound anyone. They are looking for salacious and scandalous stories to sell their papers. In Jackson's case, the two examples above (Merrick's Remains and Hyperbaric Chamber) probably came from Michael Jackson's own Management Team.
Some people leak things to the tabloids and feign indignation, and others simply want to keep their secrets a secret. According to the documentary Finding Neverland, there are numerous cases that involved Michael Jackson and (way) under aged boys. Where are these boys today? Not hiding, they are in the documentary.
There are 2 Undeniable Facts in the documentary:
Why in the world is the Jackson Estate currently trying to make you believe the improbable, that absolutely nothing sexual happened? Because it has made over $2 billion since Michael Jackson died. They have no interest in letting that cash cow die. In order to believe the Estate, you would have to suspend common sense AND believe nothing happened in the Michael Jackson bedroom AND all the boys are lying AND Michael Jackson paid $50 million in payouts for no reason.
But these facts are not new facts. Tabloids were reporting these things a quarter of a century ago. The documentary is re-reporting old news in a more streamlined and easier to digest fashion. Yeah, the Jackson Estate is claiming Michael isn't around to defend himself. Guess what? Michael had his say when he was interviewed by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. If I was committing felony level sexual assault, I'd want the media to leave me alone, too.
What Michael Jackson should have done is gone on the offensive in 1996 and covered the Tool song Hooker with a Penis.
All you know about me is what I've sold you, dumb f-ck
I sold out long before you'd ever even heard my name
I sold my soul to make a record, dipshit, then you bought one
All you read and wear or see and hear on TV is a product waiting for your fatass dirty dollar
So, shut up and buy, buy, buy my new record
Buy, buy, buy,
Send more money
F-ck you, buddy
Just because Jackson didn't molest Maculay Culkin or Corey Feldman or Blanket doesn't mean he didn't molest other kids.
I'm tired of hearing about the problematic nature of Michael Jackson in a #metoo era. Michael Jackson should have been problematic for you in 1993. Now that it's unpopular to like Jackson, people are piling on. Too late now, Micheal Jackson hasn't changed one bit it the 10 years since he's been dead.
The herd mentality protected Jackson when he was alive, and now the mob has turned on him and wants his music banned. But you can't dig him up and place his corpse in a jail cell, and we don't have any proof he was breaking any laws during his Thriller years. Really you can't do anything to him now.
Michael Jackson was always selling you something, he wasn't giving his music away for free.
Don't worry, Brandon Giggs is here to tell us that it's okay not to like Michael Jackson in 2019. In a post-Finding Neverland world, he's just letting us know maybe it's just too hurtful to listen to "Beat It"
Giggs should have been doing some investigative reporting on Jackson 20 years ago. Listen, I don't care if you listen to Michael Jackson or you don't. As a free speech site, our position is "go listen to Michael until your ears bleed."
My official position is, as a consumer of news, don't tell me that it was okay to listen to Jackson in 1993 but not today. The time to actually do something was a quarter of a century ago.
Editor's Note: Updated June 25, 2019
What the F#CK is wrong with this country? Another CNN article about Michael Jackson?
- CNN Senior Writer Lisa Respers France
Her article was actually WORSE than Giggs' story. "Even if you don't believe the men's accusations, the stories of Jackson's isolated existence and childlike demeanor stoke a sense of disturbing sadness."
People just do not get it, Michael Jackson was a bad, bad man, whether he made good pop music or not is immaterial. Michael Jackson is Exhibit A that you can do ANYTHING you want in America if you have the money.
I am going to turn off the computer, walk over to that wall over there, and pound my head on it.