Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson

So, Michael Jackson died a few days ago. He was 50 years old.

Like many people, I have mixed emotions about MJ. In countless ways he defined the music of my generation. He almost singlehandedly made MTV the success it became in the 80s. And his vision, talent, and showmanship were unmatched. Additionally, he was a huge-hearted and admirable philanthropist. At the same time he was indescribably strange. Obsessed with surgical alteration, larger than life surroundings, and the company of children. Plagued by lawsuits and accusations of unthinkable offenses.

Most disturbing are the charges of child molestation, all of which he vehemently denied and were settled out of court. I'm not saying he's innocent, because I really don't know either way. But I always found it suspicious. If someone molested my child, I'd want their sick ass in jail, end of story. But these people accepted a buy-off. Was there a chance it was really about money and not molestation? Just wondering.

Those who know me know I'm not a bleedingheart. But after watching several interviews over the years, I truly think Michael suffered from an extreme stunting of his emotional growth. The combination of superstardom at such a young age and the abuse he received in his younger years stripped him of any semblance of a childhood ... resulting in a completely dysfunctional adult. He spent his adulthood desperately trying to recapture the childhood he missed. Had he been an average Joe, I'm confident he'd have been categorized with some sort of severe and tragic mental illness. Perhaps his fans were his saving grace up to this point. I always felt bad for him in a way - I think he tried to be a good person. He just couldn't seem to function properly.

I hope he finds the peace in death that eluded him in his life.

Friday, June 05, 2009


My Mom hasn't been doing well for a few years. She's suffered debilitating migraines and has been becoming progressively more disoriented. She sometimes has lost motor functions temporarily and her equilibrium has been off kilter. She's seen doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, and endured test after test. She's been checked for brain tumors, strokes, diabetes, lyme disease, and everything in between. Meanwhile, her physical and emotional wellbeing has deteriorated considerably.

Finally, a conclusion has been reached. My Mom has Parkinson's Disease.

In some ways it's a relief to know. I mean at least we know SOMETHING now. And while there is no cure for Parkinson's, it can be slowed down and somewhat managed with medication therapy and nutrition. But it's also a devastating pill to swallow.

My Dad was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer a few years ago. During surgery, his doctor found the cancer had spread to his liver and gall bladder. The prognosis was concerning. But after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, my Dad has since received nothing but clean scans. It seems he's beating the odds. But while it's highly likely she will enjoy many more fulfilling years, my Mom has a degenerative brain disease from which she will never recover.

It's a very surreal experience to watch your parents grow old.