When it comes to Michael Jackson, I don't need to hem and haw and tell you I have all sorts of mixed feelings; I don't. I never knew him, and while there have been some of his songs that I like, I think that there has been a prounounced overestimation of his impact on modern pop. His rise was meteoric, and he fell just as fast.
In the last 16 years, Jackson's behavior raised a lot of questions that were never satisfactorily answered, as far as I'm concerned, and the monetary settlement with his accuser in 1994 raises even more questions in my mind.
Isn't it possible that Michael Jackson could have simply been damaged goods? He performed for 46 of his 50 years and spent most of his life -- his entire life -- as a feted celebrity. Many pundits and journalists alike point out the fact that "he never had a childhood" as if it were an excuse for his oddness. I'd go so far as to call it a tragedy.
The most important thing to remember in all this is the same lesson we should draw from anytime a famous person is accused of wrongdoing: Murder, molestation, and other forms of mayhem are no more or less tragic when they make news headlines, and the truth we arrive at in our opinions is sometimes more reliable than jury verdict.
I believe that Michael Jackson's legacy will be tainted forever by allegations that were levelled against him twice, his numerous gross and unacknowledged plastic surgeries, and his utter-and-complete lack of any life outside of showbiz (quite literally). I know that Jackson died with a lot of unfinished business, which may be a tragedy to some, but I can not mourn his loss, since I know I didn't lose anything. I'll leave the mourning to his friends, family, toadies, and other assorted hangers-on. They can keep him.