Wednesday, September 19 , 2018, 2:14 am | Fair 62º

 
 
 
 

Commentary: Jackson Leaves Legacy of a Star

The King of Pop is guilty only of creating some of the best music ever

There were the stories. There were the trials — one civil, one criminal. There were plastic surgeries, so many that only the physician or physicians who performed them kept count. He altered his skin color from that of a black man to the ghastly shadow of a white man.

Above all of that grief, however, stood Michael Jackson, King of Pop. His earliest songs made American pop music what it is today.

Jackson once said he felt safer on a stage than around people. Others described him as an intellectual, loving, well-read. He also was described as “wacko,” painfully insecure and, finally, shattered by the allegations of child abuse.

Jackson the superstar was born into a family of performers, and soon his talents surpassed them all. For decades, his career flourished; the other members of the Jackson Five faded from public view. Only his sister, Janet, has enjoyed a portion of the limelight in which Jackson lived. And died.

In offices, coffeehouses and on the Web, there seems to be a split between those who think Jackson was a pedophile and deserved to be punished for his crimes, and those who think he reigned as a global superstar who could do no wrong.

The likelier scenario is that Jackson was both of those people. If he wasn’t guilty of criminal activity, he certainly was guilty of using poor judgment when it came to charges that he allowed gullible youngsters to share his bed.

He was, in life and now death, a star at songwriting, music and dance. He inspired generations of youngsters who now are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. People who, like myself, drifted off to sleep last night with “Thriller,” “Billie Jean” or “Ben” echoing in their heads.

Was he guilty of molestation? Did he fool a jury of his peers? Does it really matter, now? No.

In my mind, Jackson’s guilty only of creating some of the best dance music this world has ever known.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >