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Can you imagine how hurt Michael Jackson must have been by how readily we all accepted the suggestion that he was a child molester? It was as if we were happy to hear it. A collective so THAT’S what it is! seemed to ring out from within us as because we knew all along that something was wrong, we just didn’t know exactly what it was. He butchered his face, he paled his skin, he collected animals. He was the greatest recording artist in the history of music, the greatest dancer ever caught on film and the best live performer anyone living has ever seen. There had to be an explanation. A dark, deep secret. And if there wasn’t one, we needed one created-and quickly. Only martyrs are allowed to be perfect.

We’re all quite funny with the people that we love; especially the people that we love and we don’t know personally. Gossip sites, blogspots, radios and tv shows all keep us abreast of every break and blunder (and oh, how we love the blunders!) of the people we’ve come to feel as if we know, but have never even seen in person. It’s a big industry. Hell, I’m doing it right now. And I’m guilty too! I’ve got blood on my hands. Sickened by dude and his white-girl marrying and what I perceived as self-loathing, I had tried to trade him off to my man Gos for Manny Ramirez in a little mock racial trade. Gos wouldn’t take him. How lucky I was.

And it was only recently again that I started hearing the music; not as oldies to tune out whenever they came on, but as if they were new-a reminder or even a sledgehammer against the current trash. Want a rush? Let those first three drumbeats of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” hit you.

And I know that we needed him to be human. That was what the whole thing was about. Well, that and extortion. I know that “creepy looking” wouldn’t do enough for our bloodlust. We needed more! We needed him to be a deviant of some sort. Now tell me; what is the grand-slam homerun of deviancy?

Then we all became fanatics: telltale fanatics. If faced with superior contrary logic, we invented our own new realities. Both marriages were shams and all the children were either adopted or birthed through artificial insemination. Hell, we knew what this guy was! Why was he trying to fool us?

And it sucks now cause I can’t personally apologize, nor can I demand that certain singers (that I won’t name) set up college funds for his kids using some of the money they made by jacking the swagger he had before both “jacking” and “swagger” were part of the popular nomenclature.

It sucks cause I can’t demand that certain comedians (that I won’t name) get down on their knees and pray to God that they’re forgiven for what they suggested about this man.

What sucks most of all though is that what he died of, if you strip it of its complicated medical terminology, was quite simply a broken heart.

RIP, Mike.

I’m sorry I didn’t have the guts to defend you while you were here.

RKB

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