June 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm (By Miles Lascaux)

Arguably THE icons of the 1970s and the 1980s, respectively, within 24 hours.


  1. Ennui said,

    Arguably THE icons of the 1970s and the 1980s, respectively, within 24 hours.

    And, not to be ugly about it, a kind of character study by juxtaposition as well.

    Nice, pretty, not particularly sophisticated girl lucks into fame and fortune, gradually develops acting skills, turns out to be pretty bright, enjoys one of the few successful Hollywood marriages, faces grinding illness with courage and dignity … vs.

    Hothoused child talent from dysfunctional showbiz family manages to make the transition to adult superstar, fame and fortune allowing him to indulge his greatests passions, body mutilation and pedophilia (both passions so disconcerting so as to draw attention away from lesser weirdnesses – hyperbaric oxygen chambers, elephant man skeleton collecting, etc.). Enjoys long period of enormous wealth and fame – in fact, becomes the most successful entertainer ever. Then, discovered to be (in the public mind if not in a legal sense) a pedophile at just about the same moment in life where his nose caved in, thus becoming the most physically and morally(?) repulsive human being in recent memory. Gives children, that may or may not have been conceived by women, funny names, dresses them in burka type outfits. Loses fortune, loses fame does God knows what for a few years. Dies just before comeback, apparently from a drug injection.

    Say what you will about Michael Jackson (not only was I not a fan, I didn’t understand his appeal at all – and I was young during the 80s), he certainly developed his individuality (paging John Stewart Mill, is this what you had in mind?).

  2. callimachus said,

    Possible Lesson #1: He makes, startling, intense, potent music, like nobody else … and then we’re surprised that he was not just a normal guy like the rest of us. If the gods give you artists, then for the gods’ sake, take their art and leave the rest of them be, if you can.

    Possible Lesson #2: People who grow up denied a childhood will make a fetish of childishness.

  3. Randy said,

    “just a normal guy like the rest of us” is not a phrase that would ever have occurred to me.

    Ennui: Well said!

  4. amba said,

    “enjoys one of the few successful Hollywood marriages” Yes, although in fact they never married. And they broke up for a while. But clearly they loved each other.

  5. amba said,

    Randy: you missed the “not.”

    Hey Ennui: you want to post here, as well as comment? We’re easy. Well, actually we’re not. :) But the velvet rope comes down for you if you want to party.

  6. Randy said,

    Thanks, amba! I sure did miss that “not.” Sometimes I wonder about my reading skills… Apologies to Cal.

  7. Ennui said,


    I’d be honored. Thanks.

  8. Rod said,

    Funny. When Randy said “just a normal guy like the rest of us” is not a phrase that would ever have occurred to me, it made perfect sense to me, despite the word “not” in the original post. I read it as Callimachus saying with some irony that people were surprised when Jackson turned out not to be just a normal guy like the rest of us, with Randy simply saying he was not at all surprised. Communication is such a slippery thing.

  9. Randy said,

    Rod: Now I’m just confused. ;-) The phrase never occurred to me as being within the realm of possibility to describe Jackson. Maybe I should have left my first impression alone.

  10. Callimachus said,

    “Like the rest of us” was meant half ironically, though I didn’t project that. I bet I’m as wacky as Jacko was, in my different ways. I just didn’t have the pressure cooker childhood to anneal the weirdness, and the obscene wealth required to project my oddness onto the big screen of life.

    He had the wealth because he found a way to channel his inner warping into wildly popular art.

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