Michael Jackson was the biggest name in the world. He would've made Donald Trump blush with his popularity. First things first, MJ was a musical genius, even going back to his young years with the Jackson Five. He turned into a mega-superstar when he went solo. He earned millions on top of millions on top of millions of dollars throughout his professional career. However, through the lens of numerous media outlets, we, as fans, wanted to live vicariously through Michael Jackson's life, until the truth was uncovered.
A new 3-minute video has surfaced showing the initial raid into Jackson's Neverland Ranch in 2003. (WARNING: Viewer/reader discretion is advised) Sheriffs, district attorney representatives, and others discovered many different pornographic items as well as items related to, but not limited to, S&M and animal gore. Taking this video and evidence that was found at face value, I'm truly even more disgusted by the acts of Michael Jackson from when he was alive. I'm not trying take swings at a dead man. I really feel that more explanation is necessary but we won't be able to get it because he's no longer with us.
This is more of a swing at the countless platforms of media that chose to constantly follow every step of this man's life. Yes, he was a public figure and deserved to be because of his profession and celebrity status. I get it. Do we deserve to know everything about him? I think we should to an extent, as we should with just about any other public figure. How the law determines who's a public figure and who's a private citizen could take days to litigate, but I'm going to steer clear of that.
We know that Jackson invited numerous boys and girls over the years to his ranch. We know that these children were so excited to see an amazing spectacle in the Neverland Ranch. It was an opportunity for kids to meet their idol, only to find out in the end that allegations of sexual misconduct and pedophilia engagement rose to the top of everyone's news feed and the image of one Michael Jackson began to diminish over the years. Does this latest video and its corresponding evidence found at the scene help Jackson? Not really. Everyone who had, in a sense, a blind bias of the man is going to yell at the top of their lungs and claims, "HAHA, I knew it! I knew he was guilty the entire time!"
The depravity that allegedly went on at the ranch should make you feel disgusted. If you were a parent of one of the kids who was sent to the ranch for whatever reason it might have been, this news will probably make you even more sick than you could possibly imagine. The depravity, obscenity and deviance that could've possibly went on without your knowledge will likely give you nightmares for nights on end. However, will we ever really know the truth? Yes, Michael had a lot of personal issues. He was involved in legal battles more than I can count. He was even declared innocent in a court of law in 2005 after he was charged on seven felony counts of child molestation as well as two felony counts of providing an intoxicant to a minor under the age of 14 in order to seduce him. Many will claim, "Just because he was ruled innocent doesn't mean he's 100% innocent," or, "Who's the next to charge MJ on such allegations?"
Is it terrible that sometimes within the legal system, people will concoct evidence in hopes of finding defendants guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Absolutely. You don't have to look any further than three examples: OJ Simpson, the Duke lacrosse teammates, and Steven Avery (if you're unfamiliar with Avery, he's in the Netflix series entitled "Making a Murderer"). Do we constantly debate about those three legal debates? Yes, but in varying degrees. I only bring up the Duke lacrosse one because I recently familiarized myself with it in the incredible ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, "Fantastic Lies." Granted, Avery and the Duke lacrosse players were private citizens and weren't in the public eye much prior to their legal battles. However, I think OJ Simpson can parallel MJ, but not to the extent that you may think. I still think OJ killed Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman 20 years after the fact, but that's based on all the evidence. He was acquitted by a jury of his peers. MJ was acquitted by a jury of his peers, and yet we all want OJ and MJ to go away for all eternity (if MJ was still alive).
This is not my point of view, but did we as private citizens hope someone like Jackson would let his own unconscionable personal history would bury him into a pit of despair? Perhaps, but why do we do that to ourselves? I know that pedophilia and messing around with underage boys and girls in that nature is something that should make our entire skin crawl, and that's valid. It just surprises me sometimes that we get so wrapped up in a celebrity's lifestyle rather than focus on what's more important in life. Should the parents of these children be reprimanded and figuratively lashed and disparaged as much as Michael Jackson has been over the years? Not as much, but they deserve some questioning.
All in all, what I look to take from this is the following: I'm not claiming Michael Jackson's innocence, but I stand firm in believing that we'll never know the full truth of how this guy was when he was alive, despite countless testimonies both for and against him. Was he "sketchy?" Sure, but what good does that do us in the end? I think unless we know the person well enough to evaluate him/her, we shouldn't judge until hard evidence is presented to us. Also, I know I'm using this as a media outlet, but we deserve to move on with our lives rather focus on evidence that surfaces from 10-15 years ago. Paparazzi and people of the like will continue to be paid to follow celebrities and hammer out issues and issues of tabloid magazines for the latest scoops. However, once we get right with ourselves and our own lives will we truly understand what it means to live a full life and not worry about the lives of others, especially when we don't have a dog in the fight.