That the dawn can be as inspiring as it is painful, is something The Duke has had to grudgingly accept. Not being one for toddling off to the sleeping quarters at any reasonable hour, I’m often lying awake, staring at the DVD shelves, with morning light spilling through the window, thinking, simultaneously, I need to sleep, and also, what goods might my brain produce upon awakening?
I find myself in the unwelcome predicament of being desperately imploring a sleep of some nature to veil my caffeine riddled psyche, that I might arise afresh and continue the good work of The Duke and his grossly limited motherfucking vocabulary, yet also, so frenzied are these thoughts and musings regarding the next of mine keyboard ponderings, that the very act of contemplation keeps me saucer-eyed.
Sometimes good shit comes of this. Of the two (still unpublished) novels I’ve finished, both arrived in such unwelcome fashion, when an eye was about to shut, to remain locked and impenetrable for at least seven hours, when all of a sudden the ultimate opening sentence passes like a whisper through the skull, building and feeding until it becomes a deafening crescendo that only biro to paper can quell.
Indeed, the first nine paragraphs of my second novel, Chasing Polyhemnia, were concerned with nothing more taxing than how ill-mannered these unwelcome, yet undoubtedly amazing, ideas can be.
Robert Lewis Stephenson, following such a burst of inspiration (and also some cocaine), wrote The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde in three days straight. Amazingly, he started from scratch a day into the proceedings. Stephenson gets cursed with insomnia and imagination, and he produces a work of immortal wonder. The Duke suffers the same, and the result of his sufferings?
“Shit, man, that Michael Jackson is one anarchistic motherfucker, is what.”
I’d kill for a Jekyll And Hyde, is the crushing truth of the matter.
But no, the good Lord in His infinite wisdom has decided that for The Duke, the task at hand will be nothing more than to muse upon just how much this multi-millionaire rock-star is the very embodiment of disestablishmentarianism. A Rebel Without A Clue, if you will. A motherfucker what just don’t give a damn.
Anarchism, with the exception of middle-class types what like to discuss such ideals at length yet pray that their apartments might be spared come the revolution, is a predominantly working class notion, albeit one which was given credence via the writings of a middle-class intellectual. Such are the ironies of the “political”, don’t you know?
By existing outside of the rules of a society, one would assume, those most victimised by said society might be free to exist in a manner which they have been told since childhood is very much within reach, and yet always seems a fingers-length too far to the right.
A pillar of that same society, barring a not-inconsiderable attack of the guilt, is unlikely to want to change things terribly much.
Except, of course, for Michael Jackson.
Jackson not only retreated ever-quietly from the confines of western society, he in fact constructed his own version of such, a utopia within which Michael Jackson was answerable only to Michael Jackson. Until such times as the rest of the world, and the standards adopted by such, imposed upon him, Jackson served as the sole benefactor of civilised endeavour.
Civilisation, for him, started and ended at the gates of Neverland.
If he had felt the need to write a credible, considered manifesto for such living, instead of ever-so-intellectually-stimulating stuff like “Heal the world, make it a better place”, he may well have sparked a revolution.
If only for one tiny inconvenience.
No-one but Michael Jackson could live like Michael Jackson. Bill Gates has more money, considerably more power, but he couldn’t exist like Jackson has done and, circumstances permitting, may continue to.
Gates is the spokesperson, rightly or otherwise, for a genuine revolution, albeit one of technology rather than economy (although one informs the other).
All Jackson had to do was go into a studio and lay down some highly idiosyncratic hollers every few years, then hand it over to the people he employed to worry about such nonsense. When he toured in support of said doodlings, it was as the ambassador of some exotic, heavenly dream-land. Here was Michael, prince of pop, but also sovereign ruler of his own slab of earth, a slab impenetrable to anyone deemed unfit by him, a classless, raceless (insert plastic surgery joke if so required) utopia.
He was Castro without the guerrillas. And like the leaders of so many countries cut off from the rules, standards and impositions of the rest of the world, his downfall arrived in the form of an inquisitive visitor.
When Michael let the world inside Neverland, the world tore him apart, slowly at first, then piece by piece until the grinning loon standing before the judges looked out from every tabloid on every street-corner.
However much of a dictator Michael may have been within his own hypothetical State, he obviously inspired affection rather than disdain. It took, however, only a handful of dissidents for his leadership, or lack thereof, to be brought into serious question.
Whether or not we, as outsiders, agreed with his practices, was immaterial. As far as The Duke would hazard a guess, it would seem that Michael had lived outside of the law for so long, that he had lost track of outside morality, and any standards concerning such.
Who would admit to the things he was admitting to? Who, but someone who had no concept of the established rules of society?
Michael Jackson, during that lengthy televised interview, had the look of a man who perhaps expects that some will find his behaviour bizarre (these folks are “ignorant”, don’t you know?), but who, really, couldn’t care less. I mean, what can you folks do, away over there in Earth? I don’t tell you how to run your country, so don’t you be telling me how to run mine. That Michael Jackson was American was nothing more than a technicality. He was a citizen of Neverland, and what he deemed just, and right, was the law.
His anarchy was a particularly selfish one, and one that benefited none but he, but it was an anarchy nonetheless, one took to extremes that even Johnny Rotten couldn’t have envisioned. Mentally, physically, in action and in thought, Michael Jackson was no more a citizen of the United States than I am. (The Duke resides in the Northern Ireland, if any baffled Google-tourists might be reading)
Whether he committed a crime, even by our standards, is in the hands of the courts.
What I will say, though, is that when he claimed he hadn’t abused children in a sexual manner, I believed him. He didn’t look like a fella who felt the need to lie about anything. So removed was he from anything outside of his own bubble (as in the round thing, not the monkey, which was, I believe, granted a plural), that I feel if he had indeed done anything so disgraceful, he would have said as much, and then talked about how “ignorant” it was for us to think it was wrong.
A man so convinced of his own sovereignty need not attempt to appease outsiders, is what The Duke would guess.
I hope my hunch is right. I kinda felt sorry for him. I hope he didn’t do nothing what would cause my opinion to be sullied.
And also, he may be an anarchist, perhaps maybe even the greatest of all ever, certainly one of the most extravagant, and probably even one who knows no more of anarchic ideology than he does of the biological make-up of geese, but he is also, indisputably, mentally ill.
And sick folks need to be treated.
Lets hope the sickness never went any further than his head.
The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando