Michael Jackson joined a long list of the celebrities who had a tragic end. Ernst Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John Belushi, John Lennon and Kurt Cobain are some of the celebrities who met such an end. All of these either had health problems, or drug abuse or they had legal issues. These people have to function under tremendous pressure and feel the full brunt of highly competitive cut throat competition of the capitalist system. They always feel “Do or die” situations. If they do not remain on the top then they can fall to the bottom.
Michael got injured a few times while performing. In spite of the pain he still had to perform. That is why he needed pain medications. Did these medicines play a role in his death? There are questions about the doctor giving him Demerol injections before his death.
He really had legal issues. He had a dream that he will build a “Never land” with a zoo and this will have rides for the children. However, this dream turned sour. He was accused of exploiting these children for sexual purposes. He was never proven guilty but it drained him. He had to spend all his money in fighting these accusations paying for the out of court settlements. Some say that he went bankrupt. This is another big American tragedy that we never find out whether the motivation of these law suits is genuine or feeling of being hurt or it is done for making some easy money. Nowhere else in the World the legal system is being used to this degree for getting quick money once somebody has a reason to go after somebody who has money.
His wife, the natural mother of two of his children virtually sold her children for the money. She gave up her rights as a mother for a price. When she ran out of that money then she squeezed him for more money.
Most of the people are facing the same problems which the celebrities are facing. The American capitalism believes that people perform their best when they are insecure. This mistaken belief has lead most of the Americans to live with fear, anxiety and insecurity. The incidence of depression probably is the highest in America.
The celebrities feel the pressure more than the other people for them survival means not only to survive but to be at the top. Otherwise, they are afraid to lose everything they have. This is the main cause of suffering of these people. Michael Jackson’s tragic end should make us feel that this state of affairs should change. We can do better than this. The American capitalism has only promoted the material aspect of life. For all practical purposes it has denied the spiritual aspect of life. Unless we correct this imbalance, we cannot end our suffering.
Dr. Sawraj Singh is Chairman of Washington State Network For Human Rights, and Chairman of Central Washington Coalition For Social Justice.