Michael Jackson and His Lost Childhood

Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic remembers the King of Pop —  his promise, his pop perfection, his pain.

Young Michael Jackson I loved his music. His young voice was almost a miracle, his poise in retrospect eery, his joy, tempered by pain, often unbearably uplifting. He made the greatest music video of all time; and he made some of the greatest records of all time. He was everything our culture worships; and yet he was obviously desperately unhappy, tortured, afraid and alone. I grieve for him; but I also grieve for the culture that created and destroyed him. That culture is ours’ and it is a lethal and brutal one: with fame and celebrity as its core values, with money as its sole motive, it chewed this child up and spat him out.

And Michael was such a beautiful child…

Ultimately, while I mourn the  loss of Michael Jackson the entertainer, composer, and human being — and the loss of a childhood icon — I am so ticked. Jackson was denied what he should have had in his too-short, too-stressed time on Earth… a life.

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