|Michael Jackson’s Biggest Regret!|
BY OBLITEY COMMEY
If only he knew that his death would provoke such a ground swelling of global grief, may be he would not have died. Or may be he would still have died to test people’s affection for him because in the last few years of his life he seemed to be threadbare of all the affection and most of the credibility he had fully garnered all these fifty years.
Slumping from a financial credit of $350m to a deficit of $500m when it was all done, for a man of his stature and bearing will send men of weaker mettle looking for the hangman’s noose. To command so much fame, wealth and financial clout and not have a successful marriage is not the fairy tale ending either.
The story of iconoclastic Michael Jackson is the latest in a bizarre and paradoxical tale of celebrities who have been concussed by their own successes. In contemporary times you will find men like Mike Tyson, O.J Simpson, Diego Maradonna, Ben Johnson, Florence Griffith Joyner, Marion Jones and lately Bernard Madoff, perpetrator of the biggest fraud in American financial history in that league. And that is even leaving out the politicians for whom fame and ignominy are an occupational appendage. These rose to the very top of their endeavours and crumpled scandalously like a pack of cards. The natural question therefore is, was it worth all the effort getting to the top?
A man sets out in life looking for survival firstly and then on to a place in history. Normal human life is structured. You must firstly be born, trudge through infancy into childhood, teenage, adulthood and finally old age although a few others advance into sage hood. Every stage in that structure has its own characteristics for which there must be no short cut. To short circuit or leap frog in haste to reach the top is to court real trouble indeed. The physical growth draws in attendant social experiences through precepts, conventions, observations and interactions in tandem with normal human development.
The search for success at the earliest possible opportunity is a compulsive human obsession that is invidious and invasive and once you are caught in its web will not let you off until it has wrecked you. It is regretful that disillusionment should be the end of stupendous achievements.
Michael Jackson was a star before he was 5 and although he was the youngest in the family of five his natural talent made him the immediate leader. A stunning achiever at that infantile age of 5 meant that for him childhood and child’s play were over. You could not send him to buy kenkey and fish across the street without drawing huge crowds after him. He could no longer relate to other five year olds, share ideas and develop common platforms typical of that age. Marketing officers, industry practitioners and security men will be swarming all over him to protect this budding extraordinary investment. The paparazzi will hunt him down the way they did with Lady Diana. He must have enjoyed the attention and the celebrity status immensely living all his life in the full glare of the limelights. But life is not one monotonous boulevard lit by the bright and shinning stars all the time. Successes in those sorts of circumstances come by a delicate balancing act between the two extremities—light and darkness, a little bit here and a little bit there. But the showbiz world is an intensely competitive one and the professionals will not give you the time and elbowroom to evaluate your options. They will unwittingly push you to the wall and extract the financial life juice out of you.
A man’s basic needs are food, shelter and clothing and it is possible that Michael must have answered all those by the time he was 10. By 15 he must have fully answered the survival needs of his entire family. By 20 he must have laid on enough investments to ensure a successful retirement. But the successes, which were way beyond his own management, did not stop coming and he still could not live a private life of his own. In the public eye, he was a mega success but only he knew by how much he was deprived in his quieter moments. Where was the barn to store all the windfall harvests?
The avalanche of the cosy and coy life has afflicted Prince Charles, Prince of Wales as well, who remarked sometime ago that he would like to savour the life of an ordinary man. If being poor to the core is a detestable state being excessively rich is a grimy horoscope riddled with percussive flux. Neither standpoints are acceptable and one is as bad as the other.
What is the point in selling your life juice out just because you want to be able to help others? It is better to teach them to help themselves rather than strain yourself to put bread on their tables. Will it not be better to let the outgo match the income for a sensible equilibrium and balance?
To the untutored Michael may have had a dreamy life. Not so to me and that perception is also not borne out by the evidence. Godliness with contentment is great gain is what Michael’s history seems to tell us and guess he would sooner be an ordinary man than be a megastar and be consumed by its fall out.