Friday, June 26, 2009

Leave Me Alone

In a CBS interview with Ed Bradley, Michael Jackson said if anyone wants to know the real him they need only listen to a song he wrote. I was on the edge of my seat. Finally some answers! Straight from the horse's mouth! Would it be "Man in the Mirror"? Or the less popular but just as moving "Earth Song"? Imagine my disappointment when he named one of my least favorites he has ever written: "Childhood"

The music video alone lights him with the eery glow of an alien from Cocoon. But he said the answers are there. So dissect I must:

Michael you seem to be distracted. Are you looking for something?

Have you seen my Childhood?

I, uh, yes I'm familiar with your popularity in the Jackson 5. Oh, is this a metaphorical question?

I'm searching for the world that I come from

You're from Gary, Indiana. A factory town. Everyone knows that.

'Cause I've been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart...

Okay, now I get it. You're longing for the childhood you didn't have because you were a superstar by age 12. So the Lost and Found is a place to reclaim things, and you can't reclaim your childhood. And you're looking in your heart. So your heart has a void. Do I understand you correctly?

No one understands me

You got that right. The affected voice, the image altering, the excessive spending, the baby-dangling...

They view it as such strange eccentricities...

the masks, the chimp, the Martin Bashir interview...

'Cause I keep kidding around

Is that what serving wine to children is called?

Like a child,

I never did that as a kid.

but pardon me...

By all means. I'll help you look. Hey, are these Edward Scissorhands Gloves?

People say I'm not okay
'Cause I love such elementary things...

I don't think we begrudged you your amusement park, but just the fact that you said it was okay to share your bed with children.

It's been my fate to compensate
For the Childhood
I've never known...

Compensating with slumber parties? So overnights with your peers was out of the question?

Have you seen my Childhood?

It's gone Michael. You have kids of your own now.

I'm searching for that wonder in my youth

Aren't we all?

Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne...

Sure, I have wished I were a pirate or a king. I escape through Disney movies. Then I pay my taxes.

Before you judge me, try hard to love me

Really, the love came before the judgment. But how well can any stranger really love or judge someone they don't have a real relationship with?

Look within your heart then ask

I shouldn't. My heart is black with anger and greed and jealousy--

Have you seen my Childhood?

Oh right, we're talking about you. Can I ask why you married Lisa Marie Presley?

People say I'm strange that way
'Cause I love such elementary things,
It's been my fate to compensate
For the Childhood I've never known...

You said that already. Now I feel like you're not even listening to me. Your eyes have glossed over, and your lawyer is telling me to leave.

Have you seen my Childhood?

I'm getting the feeling it all traces back to your childhood.

I'm searching for that wonder in my youth
Like fantastical stories to share
But the dreams I would me fly...

That's nice. But you know you can't REALLY fly, right? Hello? I think you may have Peter Pan syndrome. Which really is quite weird.

Before you judge me

Okay, you're right, that was a value judgment.

try hard to love me

I can try to love. I love...Thriller. I'm sorry, I'm a fan, that's all I know.

The painful youth I've had

Wow, I think I'm starting to get it. I can't help but think of your father Joe, who made you address him as Joe, and your mother who stayed by his side after he cheated on her. The physical abuse during your formative years, and the rumors of other forms of abuse. Really, I am only piecing together what I've seen in made-for-TV movies and talk shows. But you could start fresh with your kids. Give them the care, attention, and boundaries you never had. Is there any reason you could not communicate with them in a healthy way? Speak to US in a normal way?

Have you SEEN my Childhood?



G.H. said...

hhmm.. Brilliant.



Chris said...

Awesome post Abbi!

The Living Room said...

Thanks GH and Chris! I create dialogue because I can't live with unsolved mysteries.

Mo Diggs said...


Mo Diggs said...

Fearlessly hilarious piece BTW.

crutch said...

i give you kudos for creativity, but for real, why not just focus on the good and easy to understand about mj instead of his issues with having no childhood? in reality he really was like a kid, even at 50, and his own kids were like his toys...tragic and let's not dwell on it.

Abbi Crutchfield said...

I get the feeling he was a pretty good Dad and his kids weren't like his toys. The arcade games, the amusement park rides, the soda fountain, the life-size superhero THOSE were some toys. I hope I still remember to have fun when I'm 50.