The Man Who Wanted to Be King

Beyond Pop?

A year ago, the world was dealing with the shocking death of music superstar Michael Jackson. As much as people remembered him for his incredible talents as a performer, they also remembered him for his reclusive and eccentric life.

His philanthropy is another legacy, the work he did and money he donated reflected his desire to make the world a better place. Much of his music also brought these themes; Man In The Mirror, Black or White, and Heal The World for example. But where did this desire come from?

I think one clue may have come from, of all things, his attire. Michael Jackson often made appearances in outfits that looked downright martial, and often was photographed leading crowds like a general, or a king.

I think, at some level, Michael Jackson wanted to be more than the 'King of Pop'; he wanted to try and make the world in some grand benevolent image, with him as one of the leaders. When the reality set in that he couldn't accomplish this, he may have decided to try and build a world of his own, with himself as the king.

And what would a king be without subjects, and perhaps because Michael never was properly socialized, having been in the business almost all his life, children became his subjects. Much like Peter Pan, he reigned over Neverland.

This possible lack of social development may have led to what will be an issue that will dog Michael's legacy for years to come. The rumors of sexual abuse of children; an on-line friend referred to him as a "gentle giant", one whose actions may not have been so much out of power or fear, but out of an innocent lack of social taboos.

Michael Jackson was a great performer, but perhaps like so many other artists, he had his issues too. Perhaps in the end one of his songs summed up what he wanted best--Leave me Alone.

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