Just last night, we mentioned that West Seattle writer Georgie Bright Kunkel is planning another presentation involving her group of local “Rosie the Riveters.” Tonight – Georgie just sent something she wrote after the news of Michael Jackson‘s death (which hasn’t been WSB main-page fodder till now, but is being discussed in the WSB Forums and on the WSB Facebook page along with millions of other places on- and offline). Read on for Georgie’s unique remembrance (which explains the photo above):
When the Dark Side Overshadowed Fame
By Georgie Bright Kunkel
When I was 71 years old, my daughter and I, like Thelma and Louise, drove together to California and back as she was to attend her business conference there. While she was trapped in the four walls of the meeting room, I was walking up the main drag past the upscale shops, including Nordstrom’s dazzling new store and ending at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Camera in hand I was introduced to art that was abstract in the extreme except for one almost life-size ceramic sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles. Michael’s whitened face and gold leaf trappings were accented by bright red lip color, matching that of Bubbles whom he was holding close.
A young attendant was standing guard so I asked her to take my picture with Michael and Bubbles. It was an impulse, which was two-sided. Such a famous celebrity in this form beckoned to me but at the same time I wasn’t sure I totally approved of the subject matter. After all, the restructuring of one’s facial features and posing for a ceramic statue with a chimpanzee, seemingly Michael’s closest friend, might reflect a serious character defect on Michael’s part. Later he would be accused of molesting a youth that he had entertained at his ranch.
For those with such worldwide fame, a dark side had better not outweigh talent and brilliance. Hadn’t Michael given up his childhood for the extreme demands of the stage at the urging, and some would say demand, of his parents? With this loss of childhood and the chance to mature as other less famous youngsters do, Michael might have been trapped in the body of an adult but with a child’s psyche. When a star’s character flaws finally are revealed, the young concert goers may be quick to bring a famous person down. An adoring fan doesn’t want to see an idol as real flesh and blood, especially facing a court trial for child molestation.
As a former counselor, I had sympathy for Michael. That is why I have worked to bring awareness to the public about educating children to become all that they can be. Otherwise young people without adequate education or the brilliance and talent that Michael had, may feel they must live vicariously through their media idols whom they have put on pedestals. As every star knows, the higher the pedestal, the farther the fall when fame ends.
Now that Michael is gone we can look back on his brilliance and talent and forget the dark years of his lost stardom.