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Joe Jackson: Look at the Man in the Mirror

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It's a sign of the times. I was sitting in the doctor's office and I could hear "Thriller" blasting from someone's iPod -- so could everyone else in the room. A few people were tapping their feet.

Michael Jackson, Joe Jackson

Christina Montoya Fiedler: The day before that, I was on my way home from running errands and spotted two tipsy bar-goers maneuvering a crosswalk and shrieking the words to "Man in the Mirror." It's hard to get away from all the Michael Jackson-related hoopla these days. It's on every channel, playing in every store, being sold on every corner. Call it what you will -- a cultural phenomenon, a historic passing, or a moment in time that no one will ever forget. And, while Michael Jackson might have been the King of Pop, the Gloved One, and the World's Greatest Entertainer, he was also just a person, a son and a father.

Surprisingly, the person who should be the closest to him, his father, Joe Jackson, seems to be the one that is forgetting this the most. At all the press conferences, he has not once referred to Michael as his son, but rather as an icon or a pop superstar. And the focus has been less on mourning and more on memorializing for profit, or promotion of his new record label. As a new parent, seeing the disconnect from the reality that his son is no longer on this earth is hard for me to believe. The death of a child is one of the most devastating events a parent can go through, and the lack of emotion from Michael's father is frightening.

What's lacking here is the memory that Michael Jackson was just a man, just another person as real as you and me. Oftentimes when celebrities pass, or are in the news for one reason or another, we forget that they are just human, and we begin to immortalize them.

Calling to mind the tearful, heart-wrenching goodbye by Paris, Michael's daughter, really put the situation into perspective. To her, he was just her daddy. The best daddy she could ever have. Her words.

I'm not justifying whether Michael was a good or bad person. No one can know that about someone unless they actually know him or her. It's just the manner in which Joe Jackson speaks of his son that sheds light on the way Michael must have grown up -- under unspeakable pressure to perform and succeed.

Family dynamics have a funny way of showing themselves. They sneak up in the weirdest of situations, and I think this is one of those cases. Judging by the way Joe Jackson speaks of his son, it's easy to see why their relationship was strained. Maybe it's time for Joe Jackson to look at the "Man in the Mirror" and realize that he has lost a son, not a meal ticket.

next: Frank McCourt, Author of 'Angela's Ashes,' Dies at 78
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Vita David July 20, 2009, 3:00 PM

Nobody should be at all suprised with Joe Jackson’s lack of emotion for his son,,,or to refer to him as his son. To him Michael was a $ sign, from beginning to end. It is such an overwhelming feeling as parents to feel the loss of any child of course especially your own,,,but even those that we don’t even know. Your heart breaks and crys for the child and the parent. Now more than ever Joe Jackson will have even less emotion, since he was no where to be found in any place in Michael Jacksons will. I am just hoping that family is very smart and keeping Michaels wishes that his father stay far away from his 3 children.

He is already seeing more dollar signs when he looks at Michaels children. That is horrendous. They are griveing the loss of thier dad, living somewhere else and have to adjust to life without him,,,the last thing they need is Joe Jackson in their lives…grandfather or not!!!—I really pray that Michaels family is smart in protecting them from him…you are right maybie it is time for the Senior Jackson to look in the mirror…but I doubt that he will see anything different than what we all have seen.

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Anonymous July 21, 2009, 12:01 AM

Bravo Christina, I agree with your conclusion! Ventura MOM

Real Talk July 21, 2009, 12:04 PM

“Maybe it’s time for Joe Jackson to look at the “Man in the Mirror” and realize that he has lost a son, not a meal ticket.”

I was thinking the same thing for Debbie Rowe. Why is it that no one sees the relation?

Maybe it’s time for Debbie Rowe to look at the Woman in the Mirrow and realize that her children have lost their father, not her Debbie Rowe’s)personal meal ticket.

Real Talk July 21, 2009, 12:05 PM

I was thinking the same thing about Debbie Rowe when it came to the last line in the article.

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