Michael Jackson is the greatest entertainer in the history of entertainment. He has no equal. Millions of us across the world saw Mike in concert at some point in our lives and I’ll bet my check that none of us will forget the experience. The joy he brought to the world through his art was immeasurable as was his influence as a pop culture icon. Mike was one of God’s gifts to the world and he is still giving us thrills years after he left it.
And none of it would have happened without his father. Over the years, Joe Jackson has been the subject of quite a bit of unflattering news reporting and social media savagery. Some of it is probably deserved. But let’s be clear about one thing: Had this man not had the vision, determination, conviction and love for the children that he brought into this world, we never would have been swept away by a ten year old belting out Smokey Robinson’s Who’s Loving You or blown away by Mike in his prime reinventing the music video as a commercial art form. Joe Jackson’s vision of a bunch of little kids in a tiny house in Gary, Indiana exploded into a multi-billion dollar enterprise that has circled the globe a hundred times and is still going.
So criticize Joe for being too hard or strict on his kids. Lampoon him for being unrefined in a world of polished parasites. Castigate him for poor business acumen. But don’t ever, ever, ever question his weight as a father and a leader. Of course when everyone was independent enough in their own right they moved on from him. But that’s ok. That means he positioned them well enough to move on in strength and stability. He followed the Denzel Washington rule before Denzel Washington was the greatest actor in the world: Joe Jackson did what he had to do. And all of his people flourished because of it.
The ultimate judge of a man’s value as a father is what the world would be like if there were a million other men following his exact example. Setting aside fame and fortune for a moment and consider the quality of life that many of our youth would have if they had the “burden” of a father who had TOO high expectations for them, believed in them too hard, and invested in them too much. And while many of us today are not fans of corporal punishment, it is worth noting that Joe was famous for whipping ass and none of his kids ever got into any trouble whatsoever- and they were all child stars.
So The Progressive Pugilists are taking a pause to praise Joe Jackson for being the visionary father and leader that he was. For the time that I have left to father young children, I for one will be channeling Joe- minus the ass-whippings of course.
∞ Thanks for checking in- Do your thing today and I’ll see you tomorrow π