Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Michael Jackson Tapes

NBC aired a Dateline episode last night titled, "The Michael Jackson Tapes," featuring audio recordings of conversations between Jackson and (self-proclaimed) "America's Rabbi" Shmuley Boteach made nine years ago. I was pretty skeptical going in. But some of it was genuinely fascinating.
At one point, Jackson discusses being repulsed upon seeing a photograph of his own face. "I saw it on the computer. It made me sick when I saw it. I look like a lizard, I look like, it's horrible. I don't like it. I never liked it." While that blunt self-loathing is startling, many of the snippets played during the show portrayed Michael Jackson as "typical" celebrity narcissist who'd come to believe all the adulation heaped on him over the years, in a seemingly delusional way. At one point, Jackson suggests that he has been endowed by God with almost messianic healing powers. Separately, he also asserts, "Going to my shows, it's like a religious experience because you come out, you go in one person, you come out a different person."
Embedded below is a 2 minute clip from the show that contains another interesting snippet, in which Jackson blames the bad press he received over the years on a racist reaction by "the white press" to his then-unprecedented allure to white girls.

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