San Francisco Supes Reflect on Life of Michael Jackson

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in Arts/Entertainment, News, Politics

Published on July 07, 2009 with 9 Comments

By Luke Thomas

July 7, 2009

On the day of Michael Jackson’s memorial in Los Angeles, members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors today couldn’t resist an opportunity to reflect on the life of the legendary King of Pop.

“I can’t get him out of my head,” said Supervisor John Avalos, recalling his younger days when he couldn’t overcome the temptation to dance to a Jackson tune.

“Don’t ask me to do the Moonwalk,” said a smiling Supervisor David Campos, causing an involuntary chuckle in the press box.

And just as meeting attendees were beginning to think each of the Supervisors would continue to wax poetically, Supervisor Bevan Dufty dropped an unexpected bomb.

Michael Jackson “was the child of an abusive household who then went on to use wealth and privilege to do questionable things, and to basically purchase children,” Dufty intoned.

Purchase children? (You could have heard a pin drop).

“Sorry,” Dufty continued, “I can’t absent myself from that responsibility. I’m sad for his passing. I am sad for the tortured life that he led, but I have to acknowledge that I think some very unfortunate things were done and were excused based on wealth and privilege.”

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for San Francisco Supes Reflect on Life of Michael Jackson are now closed.

  1. ABC News Has Just Reported This:

    “As investigators determine whether prescription drugs played a role in Michael Jackson’s death, sources close to the singer said his family and friends had long known of his drug abuse and twice attempted interventions in the past four years.

    A source close to the Jackson family says it attempted interventions.

    Police have confirmed a laundry list of drugs were found inside the Los Angeles rental home where Jackson died June 25, revealing to the public what his family has known for years — Michael Jackson was a drug addict.

    A source close to the Jackson family told ABC News that they attempted at least two interventions in the last four years.”

  2. CNN has just made this report:

    “Singer Michael Jackson took more than 10 Xanax pills a night, asking his employees to get the prescription sleep medicine under their names and also personally traveling to doctor’s offices in other states to obtain them …”

    In addition, the LA Times has just reported that authorities have issued sweeping subpoenas to scores of doctors, nurses, and others, in regard to medications used by Jackson.

    If doctors and associates of Jackson enabled his addiction with drugs that were not medically necessary, and if he died from an overdose from these drugs, they have a committed a crime.

    This is serious business, folks. Wishful thinking will not make it go away.

  3. From where I’m sitting, I think we could use more Michael Jacksons, not less. I find it’s pretty easy to be judgemental about other people, but it’s not always clear whether your judgements are accurate, and in this case it seems unlikely they would be based on close personal knowledge of the situation.

    As far as drug addiction goes, “Dr. Drew” considers regular marijuana use to be a sign of severe drug addiction just as serious as a meth or heroin habit, which makes large parts of the city and perhaps even some readers of this blog raving addicts. Good luck to you all in getting treatment.

  4. From The Times of London:

    “Police want to question 30 doctors, nurses and chemists who may have helped to supply Michael Jackson with prescription drugs as his family argue over the final details for his memorial service, which is to be held on Tuesday. …

    Drew Pinsky, a Los Angeles doctor who has treated hundreds of drug addicts, including many showbusiness celebrities, said it was known that Jackson was addicted to painkillers such as demerol.”

  5. drug addict?…cute?…white wannabe?
    how ’bout a human being? immensely talented in his ability to synthesize music, dance, video and make it his own, so much so that he electrified the world.
    Yes–he suffered–and Lord knows our culture needs to shift from one where we’re told to take a pill for every little thing instead of learning to heed our pain and build our own ressources–so it seems he was a victim of that.
    But the man gave so much. And did so much for humanity, some of which I’m still discovering as the days pass.
    None of us know what went down at his ranch, and last i heard, you are indeed innocent until proven guilty.
    And none of us know the exact circumstances of his death.
    I, for one, choose to give the guy his due and his dignity, and wanna thank him for the smiles and the thrills, and his caring.
    All too human. We’ll miss you, Michael.

  6. I confess that I am not a Michael Jackson fan. Yes, he was a cute member of the Jackson 5, but I never quite understood his later popularity. He had a pleasant falsetto voice and could dance up a storm, but it was the addition of his Mad Hatter persona, which perversely, made him the “KIng of Pop” to his fans. In my opinion, his music, unlike the Beatles music for example, will not be long remembered, but his bizarre life will. To me he was just a tragic, pill popping, white wannabe with an unnatural interest in children. Watching his life unfold was like pausing at an auto accident — both fascinating and repellant. May he rest in peace.

  7. Michael Jackson’s death at a young age was a tragedy. His family, friends, and fans are all entitled to their grief, and to expressions of consolation.

    However, we should not overlook the fact that Michael Jackson was a billionaire drug addict. His addiction caused disastrous consequences to himself and those around him. It will continue to do so after his death, especially in the case of his children.

    I see people like Michael Jackson every day, flopped out on the sidewalk where I live. The difference is that they don’t have a billion dollars to indulge their fantasies and to shield themselves from public scrutiny.

    Addiction (including alcoholism) is one of the great plagues of our time, a true epidemic. It affects people from every economic class.

    Addiction injures addicts themselves and everyone who is subject to their influence. The effect of addiction is like the alien presence in the movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

    No one has yet come up with a credible strategy of how to deal with this epidemic. The first step to recovery is to frankly acknowledge this lack.

  8. For once Dufty is right.

    Called home too soon.
    Rest easy Michael.
    All your trials
    Now are over. are the world.