Michael Jackson undoubtedly was one of the most talented individuals to ever grace the stage.
He was also weird, strange and a curiosity.
He never got over his childhood engineered by his father, Joe, who was determined to take his children out of Gary, Indiana, where, as Black boys their future might have suggested steel mill laborers.
Joe Jackson disciplined his boys, "The Jackson Five", with extremeness, which contributed to Michael's greatness. He was the youngest and the most talented. He was most affected from the whippings, the extensive travel and the constant stage rehearsals.
In return, the discipline produced millions of dollars and gave him a bizarre life.
He grew up to be "Peter Pan" (a fictional character living in "Neverland", where children never grew up). He lived in a land of make believe, a land that money controlled. He missed the normalcy of childhood and his riches created his own "Neverland", where he and his kid pals could play all day with exotic animals on the merry-go round and other Disney-like toys and rides.
He lived in a constant denial as he said he "changed."
He changed his appearance from brown skin to white and said he had a skin disease. His hair went from kinky to straight with no explanation. Ultimately, altering himself, making him appear more white than black.
His nose went from broad to straight and narrow. He admitted to two surgeries, clearly there were many more. He said the narrow nasal passage allowed him to sing better, because he could hold the notes longer via breathing. He was sensitive about his nose because his father teased him about it.
He had three beautiful children that he wanted to raise as a single parent. He said the women, the birth mothers, gave him the children as the ultimate gift.
All of this to say he claimed and bought his world, as few ever can. He departed reality. His world became make believe. He was that rich, that he could dream and produce it, to his liking. He was in control with multiple millions of dollars and plenty hired hands. The "help" followed his wishes, they were well paid and it was clear, what Jackson wanted, he made it happen and they were hushed.
But I wonder, where was the friend to this man named Michael? Who loved this precious, generous, disturbed soul? Who was close enough to tell him the truth? How did he distance himself from a loving family? Who cared about the person absent from the money?
As we now watch the trial and hear of his last day, Dr. Conrad Murray is on trial for manslaughter. He, like many others, treated Michael's money rather than Michael's life.
Dr. Conrad Murray might go to jail for Michael's death, but in all actuality Michael killed himself. Who would take such a powerful drug, for a good night's sleep? He was extreme. He was out of control as he fought middle age. The drugs overtook his delicate body. He was looking for the ultimate performance and he probably would have given it.
We will listen to his marvelous music for years to come. He is historical. He was magic on the stage that he lived for.
But I wish with all the money, all the luxury, all the make belief, he could have had an authentic friend that could have given him a cold dose of reality and said, 'Mike, stop!'
He paid a dear price for his greatness. Jackson should be on trial for his life and death.