If you're looking for kicks and giggles about the media orgy surrounding the death of Michael Jackson . . . if you're looking for a snark fest about the untimely end of the King of Pop (and Weird), move along.
Nothing to see -- or hear -- here.
If you're looking for a show that will help you look upon the wreckage of a prominent life as a means of feeling better about your own, this week's 3 Chords & the Truth is not your cup of tea.
YES, Michael Jackson is dead. Yes, there's a media circus under the big top. The Big Show can do nothing about either.
I take that back. We can ponder what went so horribly wrong in the life of arguably one of the greatest entertainers ever. We also can celebrate the good amid the mayhem.
It seems we owe the dead -- owe Michael -- at least that due. That we will do this week on 3 Chords & the Truth.
While we're at it, I saw this article in The Jerusalem Post by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who had tried to help the famously troubled superstar. An excerpt:
I am no prophet and it did not take a rocket scientist to see the impending doom. Michael was a man in tremendous pain and his tragedy was to medicate his pain away rather than addressing its root cause. On many occasions when I visited him he would emerge from his room woozy and clearly sedated. Who were the doctors who were giving him this stuff? Was there no one to save him from himself? Was there no one to intervene?ALL HE WANTED was to be loved. Don't we all. The trouble with Jacko was he didn't know how to get there.
By the time I met Michael in the summer of 1999, he was already one of the most famous people in the world, but he seemed lethargic, burned-out, and purposeless. He wanted to consecrate his great fame to helping children but knew he could not due to the 1993 child molestation allegations against him. He was cut off from family and was alienated from the Jehovah's Witnesses Church which had nurtured him. He could barely muster the energy to complete the album he was working on. The only thing that seemed to motivate him was his children, to whom he was exceptionally devoted.
In many ways his tragedy was to mistake attention for love. I will never forget what he said when we sat down to record 40 hours of conversations where he would finally reveal himself for a book I authored. He turned to me and said these haunting words: "I am going to say something I have never said before and this is the truth. I have no reason to lie to you and God knows I am telling the truth. I think all my success and fame, and I have wanted it, I have wanted it because I wanted to be loved. That's all. That's the real truth. I wanted people to love me, truly love me, because I never really felt loved. I said I know I have an ability. Maybe if I sharpened my craft, maybe people will love me more. I just wanted to be loved because I think it is very important to be loved and to tell people that you love them and to look in their eyes and say it." One cannot read these words without feeling a tremendous sadness for a soul that was so surrounded with hero-worship but remained so utterly alone. Because Michael substituted attention for love he got fans who loved what he did but he never had true compatriots who loved him for who he was. Perhaps this is why, when so many of his inner circle saw him destroying his life with prescription medication - something he used to treat phantom physical illnesses which were really afflictions of the soul - they allowed him to deteriorate and disintegrate rather than throwing the poison in the garbage.
God bless him, that's something we all need to be worrying about -- getting there. Getting to love. That's the point of everything . . . the point of life.
Michael Jackson had everything, yet had nothing. How?
And there but for the grace of God. . . . Lord have mercy.
That's the Cliff's Notes version of what this week's show is about. It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all.
Be there. Aloha.