Michael Jackson Color Drawing
Michael Jackson - Born August 29, 1958 – Died June 25, 2009
From Yahoo News - Michael Jackson's Health
From October 1, 2009 Yahoo News AP article about Jackson's health at the time of his death:
Michael Jackson's arms were covered with punctures, his face and neck were scarred and he had tattooed eyebrows and lips, but he wasn't the sickly skeleton of a man portrayed by tabloids, according to his autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press.
In fact, the Los Angeles County coroner's report shows Jackson was a fairly healthy 50-year-old before he died of an overdose. His 136 pounds were in the acceptable range for a 5-foot-9 man. His heart was strong with no sign of plaque buildup. And his kidneys and most other major organs were normal
One hundred-thirty-six pounds sounds way too thin for a normal 5'9" guy, but maybe they are accounting for a thinner frame altogether?
The Media Michael Jackson
2009: The death of Michael Jackson has opened a can of worms for the world wide media. How do you simultaneously lament the passing of a popular icon who inspired people and was loved by tens of millions of people, and while extolling his life also include the man's legal problems involving young children (or, for that matter, the prescription drug problems)? The reflex in obituary writing is to push forward the achievements and to make short mention of the travails and faults, unless the person in question is accepted broadly as a villain, in which case their villainy is much of the main story. Thus far, it seems like the reporting tightrope is walked by either ignoring the source of the singer's later fame, or by going grey on what were the actual legal issues involving those kids.
2015: A problem with media reporting is you don't know if what you're reading is true, and it doesn't matter if it's a set of derogatory reports or complimentary "puffing". You read something awful, and what do you have? Doubts, because you like the object of the report, or enthusiastic surety it is all true (because you don't like the object). So where does that really leave you? You weren't there, and you don' t know anyone who was there, and all there is to distribute the truth are the loves and hatred of media bias electrified through internet, TV, radio, magazines and more. And why are you even this interested in someone else's life?
Michael Jackson Color Drawing - ink and photoshop colors
Click to enlarge.
2009: When I was a kid I received a Jackson 5 album ("Skywriter") and I tried to connect the mid-seventies pop of that album with the likable adventures of the television cartoon show that featured the Jackson Five. The 30-minute cartoons ran Saturday mornings (paired with episodes featuring the Osmonds) and featured a brief story with various Jackson-5 tunes thrown in. Michael was then just one of the "Five" and had not become the independent success story of later years. Just a kid who happily and earnestly sang the songs while the older brothers portrayed the musicians of what was a 5-man funk/soul/pop set-up.
Years later when I was a law firm messenger in Washington DC, the Michael Jackson "Thriller" album had become a pop music phenomenon, and as I walked around the city I saw many people duplicating Jackson's clothing and hair style. There were young men wearing a lone white glove like he did; some wore shiny leatherlike jackets patterned after Jackson's from the music video where Michael Jackson is surrounded by monsters. At first, since I hadn't seen the video and hadn't been paying attention to the pop hits, I didn't really know what was going: why are people wearing only one white glove? Instead of Jackson, it made me think of the one-glove wearing character "Curley" from the John Steinbeck novel Of Mice and Men.
Decades later, Jackson had become even more famous for mostly the wrong things: debt trouble, legal cases involving kids, and celebrity from being a celebrity and a victim of media appetites. His physical appearance became grotesque and something like a blinking neon sign saying a human being was trapped behind a wall made of pop culture expectations.
At his death this June, the smiling cartoon facade of Jackson from Saturday Morning cartoons seemed like a pixilated portrait of Dorian Gray.
Related in some way in the sphere of celebrity: Elvis and Nixon Together at Last