The A "tragic childhood" is a 4 year old in Bangladesh with retinoblastoma. A "tragic life" is a Russian teenager sold into the sex trade.
Michael Jackson did not have a tragic childhood, nor did he have a tragic life.
He had the life he chose.
To excuse his behavior as though it was simply a pre-programmed result of his years as a child performer is not just intellectually lazy, it’s an insult to every individual who has overcome true childhood hardship, deprivation and/or abuse to emerge as a functioning member of society.
Michael Jackson was no bobbing cork on the sea of circumstance – he was a multi-millionaire with the means to choose any lifestyle he wanted. "Functional adult" was one of the options. He chose otherwise.
Celebrate the music if you like, but for decency’s sake, don’t celebrate the man.
I am sorry a mothers son is dead, and he certainly added to the gaiety of nations, but his talent was never to my taste.