Although 99% of the service was a tribute to Jackson's extraordinary talents as a creative writer, producer, choreographer, singer and dancer . . . "the greatest entertainer in history" as one speaker put it . . . there were two times when his humanity showed through with great power. First, when one speaker (I cannot remember who and I cannot remember his exact words) mentioned "the difficult times" that Jackson had to go through and "the sometimes wrong? decisions" that he had made. The second moment was the closing comments made by Jackson's 11 year-old daughter. She spoke of how he had been a wonderful Daddy to her and that she loved him. It was hard to hear her sobbing these words as she spoke them in the past tense.
How sad that we all too often turn mere human beings into "idols" and "stars"--as if they were truly heavenly luminaries! Jackson, like the tragic tale of Elvis Presley who preceded him in celebrity catastrophy, was a mere mortal like the rest of us. I beleive that the world expected too much from Jackson and that he did everything that he could to live up to the world's expectations. He did well . . . but no one could have been everything that was demanded and expected of this man who was, by nature, one who needed to please others as well as to love and be loved by them.
I am quite possibly wrong in my personal opinion that Jackson was innocent of molesting anyone. Jackson was the most a-sexual person I have ever seen. His love of children was profound and he invested much of his considerable fortune in creating a world where some of them could enjoy a respite from the hardships and disappointments of troubled neighborhoods and disfunctional families. I believe that the thought of sexually abusing one of these children would have been unthinkable and perhaps even unimaginable to Jackson. I take Jackson at his word when he said that he shared a warm glass of milk, tucked children in bed and shared the bed with them in a way that, in his own words, he described as being "sweet."
This is not behavior that we should condone as appropriate but it does not necessarily follow that Jackson's motives and behavior were anything less than well-intentioned and, in his own mind, honorable.
While I have not been a big fan of Jackson I have always been in awe of his considerable talent. His career acheived most of the greatness that was celebrated at today's public memorial.
In the end, however, the "King of Pop" must indeed bow before the "King of kings." In this he is no different from you or me. Yet we made him out to be somehow different from us, perhaps even thinking of him as being immortal. His death reminds us that we were wrong. Today, as we gazed at his casket on the stage of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, we saw ourselves in the mirror.