The saddest thing about Jackson was not just that his fame ruined him, it's that it continued ruining him even after he was essentially finished as an artist. In the last decade of his life he was no longer a great singer or a talented composer or a brilliant choreographer; he was someone who had once been all those things and was now Michael Jackson. Here was a guy whose entire existence from early childhood had been wrapped up with what happened when he did things that made other people happy and excited. And that was unavailable to him. He still could make people happy and excited by showing up and having his picture taken, but that's all he had left.Some thoughts on Michael Jackson (via Making Light)
Someone on the WELL used a word about Jackson's probable history as a child molester that made me stop and think: "unforgiveable." It strikes me that it never even occurred to me whether or not to forgive Michael Jackson. In my mind, he was so far away from normative that the question of forgiveness seems totally irrelevant. Not that his no longer really being human in any meaningful sense justified his actions, or mitigated the harm he did, but that it makes no more sense to judge the morality of his actions than it would to judge Henry Darger's. Their creepiness, sure. But this was a man (it's a mark of how profoundly damaged Michael Jackson was that it feels strange to call him "a man", just as it feels strange to recognize that when he died he was older than the President of the United States) who spent every day of his life embedded in a matrix of perverse incentives. The terrain of his personal landscape was unrecognizable. I can understand the choices that my cat makes more deeply than I could understand the ones Jackson made.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.