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Terrible influences

By Donu Kogbara

DR. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician, has just been convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a tense, drama-filled trial during which he was often depicted as an irresponsible caregiver who administered a lethal dose of a powerful anaesthetic (Propofol) that killed his star patient.

Murray’s is a truly tragic tale of a talented man brought down by his own fatal flaws. He grew up in a poverty-stricken, rat-infested slum in Trinidad, escaped from this miserable existence by working hard and eventually established himself as a distinguished cardiologist in the United States – where he acquired a good reputation (many of his former patients have spoken very highly of him).

Common criminal

He clearly did not intend to harm Michael Jackson but is now being widely condemned as a grossly negligent “quack” and will spend the next few years languishing in jail. Everything he has achieved has turned to dust. And I felt very sorry when I saw him being led away from the courtroom in handcuffs like a common criminal as soon as the judge announced the verdict.

However, I feel even sorrier for Michael Jackson…another immensely accomplished individual who was destroyed by his own fatal flaws.

There is no doubt that Jackson was the architect of most of his misfortunes and partly responsible for his death. He found it impossible to live normally. He launched his brilliant career as the lead singer in The Jackson Five, a wonderful band that included his brothers and was managed by his father. But he wound up distancing himself from his family and becoming The Jackson One.

He isolated himself in a heavily guarded mansion where he was, 99 percent of the time, surrounded by pets and servants rather than by relatives or friends. He bleached his skin, subjected his nose to endless surgical procedures and straightened his hair until he looked more white than black.

He wore cosmetics, even when he was not on stage performing, had a high-pitched voice and looked and sounded more like a girl than a guy.

After a very brief marriage to Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa, he gave up on women. He preferred to socialise with children rather than adults and was disgraced when some of these children accused him of sexually abusing them.

Michael Jackson was a childhood hero of mine. When he visited London in the l970s, my sister and I joined hundreds of other fans who gathered outside his hotel, desperately hoping to catch a glimpse of the King of Pop; and I never quit respecting and enjoying his phenomenal musical talent and dancing skills, but I became increasingly concerned about and disillusioned by his oddness.

As he grew older (as well as paler and more effeminate), he started to come across as a complete weirdo and irredeemable neurotic. And I wasn’t surprised when I heard that he had become addicted to prescription drugs.

Murray, who should have flatly refused to pander to Jackson’s weaknesses, allowed greed, cowardice and recklessness to lure him into taking stupid risks.

Ultimately, he and Jackson were terrible influences on each other. They weakened each other instead of making each other stronger. What a sad waste!

Readers’ responses

2348060804471 Ifeka Okonkwo
DONU, the award of National Honours has been bastardised, as they are awarded to our ex -military rulers and their civilian counterparts who never enhanced the growth of our country or brought honour and glory to her, but only succeeded in milking her to death and bringing her down on her knees through greed. Is it not foolish to award our national honours to people who are still serving our fatherland in one capacity or the other and who might by their acts of omission rubbish the honours given to them, before they leave office?

The crop of rulers we have had since the demise of the First Republic on 15/1/66 till date, do not deserve our national honours, because they came into power either through the barrel of the gun or ballot box to accumulate wealth, thereby condemning our country to underdevelopment and subjecting the masses to untold hardship in the midst of plenty.

+2348060802271  Ifeka Okonkwo
Donu, I totally agree with you that many Nigerians are fed up with PDP for their failure to tackle the infrastructural problems of our country and to uplift our lives and are equally unimpressed with the performance of Jonathan so far.
The stranglehold of PDP on the reins of power can only be broken if the opposition parties could forge a united front to defeat them in 2015 and they might give us a breath of fresh air that PDP fouled since May 29, 1999. Their failure to save us from the hands of PDP will be more years of lackluster performance and mediocre leadership, period!

+2348029771979 Anonymous
Donu, a merger of ACN and CPC can effectively monitor this inept PDP government led by Jonathan. My fear is that both Tinubu and Buhari will not allow such a union as it will make them lose their status as big fishes in small lakes.
ANPP lost its place as the main opposition party as a result of Buhari’s departure from the party.

+2348035374437 Anonymous
Donu, it’s better to keep quiet on matters one knows little about. CPC lost because INEC failed to let it have access to its records. Have you thought about the implication of INEC’s action in the face of FOI ACT?

+2347030420979 O C
Oh Donu, today’s write-up is one of those your masterpieces. People like me know that you are never biased on any issue, but it’s a pity that we’ ve been betrayed by GEJ. Period.



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