M. SCOTT MORRIS: Jackson’s legacy provides plenty for us to ponder

Whatever people thought about his music or his behavior, we’re going to remember the late Michael Jackson.

By “we,” I mean humanity. During the 50 years he spent on this blue and green Earth, Jackson lived a life that will resonate for decades, if not centuries.

– “Lies run sprints, but the truth runs marathons. The truth will win this marathon in court.” – Michael Jackson.

The man was a colossal talent, who could control thousands of people with the quality of the voice, the movements of his body.
In concert films, his fans’ screaming cheers increased in volume after a single gesture. That’s not an overstatement: A tip of the hat and people went crazy. I’ve never controlled that kind of power. No offense, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t, either.

– “And my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance.” – Michael Jackson.

His talent is far from the only story. If the public heard about Jackson in the last years of his life, it was mostly due to legal issues.
He was acquitted of sexual abuse allegations, but questions about his guilt or innocence remained. All we know for sure is he kept putting himself in awkward positions with children, then blasted those who questioned his actions.

– “People write negatives things, ‘cause they feel that’s what sells. Good news to them, doesn’t sell.” – Michael Jackson.

He also represents our spendthrift age. Jackson made hundreds of millions of dollars, and some estimate that he incurred hundreds of millions in debt.
In that way, he was an extreme version of anyone who ever bought a house or a car they couldn’t afford. He made our mistakes, only much bigger.

– “I’m just like anyone. I cut and I bleed. And I embarrass easily.” – Michael Jackson.

We know this bigger-than-life persona was partially formed during his childhood, or his lack of one. Imagine all the kids who envied young Michael when he performed on stage or screen. Imagine all the kids young Michael envied.

– “I was a veteran before I was a teenager.” – Michael Jackson.

For a time, the King of Pop was the most popular man in the world, but he couldn’t look in the mirror without seeing something to change.
We have plenty to learn from the life and times of Michael Jackson. The myth will get bigger from here.

– “I’m never pleased with anything. I’m a perfectionist. It’s part of who I am.” – Michael Jackson.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

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