The Thriller is Gone

The Thriller is Gone

The Thriller is Gone

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
June 25 2009 6:44 PM

The Thriller is Gone

There are some celebrities who are unimaginable old: James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and now Michael Jackson. Others-Liz Taylor, Marlon Brando-you almost resent for getting old, for showing us the the blowsy, disabled reality of age instead of staying forever frozen in time. Jackson and Liz Taylor were at one time good friends. They must have bonded over understanding what it was like to be pushed on stage as a child, to be the talented gold mine for your family. So now we'll never have to watch an aged Jackson on the comeback trail, showing us that with his hip replacement he can moon walk again.

Has there ever been a major celebrity who so wholly turned himself into a freak? He destroyed his face (the tabloids loved to get photos of him sans surgical mask, a prothestic tip taped to the end of his ruined nose), he was involved in endless pedophillic scandals, and it was awful to think of him as a father. What happens now to his children, who have been trapped in his mansions, forced to live out his fantasy of the childhood he never had? And don't you just wish you could reach out to the beautiful, supremely talented boy he once was and make it all go another way?

Emily Yoffe is a contributing editor at the Atlantic.