The Art of a Monster: Michael Jackson’s music is a gift. What do we do with it now?

Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic:

“What the hell is wrong with Michael?” Chris Rock asked in Never Scared, which was filmed in 2004, the same year the pop star was indicted on a second child-molestation charge. “Another kid?” he asked, stunned, before summing up the situation perfectly: “We love Michael so much, we let the first kid slide.” In 1993, the parents of a boy named Jordan Chandler filed a civil suit against Jackson, which the entertainer settled for an estimated $25 million. The 2004 molestation charge against him was supported by evidence gained during a 2003 police raid on Neverland Ranch, including photographs of a hidden closetoutfitted with multiple deadbolts and a bed, life-size mannequins of children that could be bent into various positions, and enough children’s toys to fill the lair of a figure from Grimm’s Fairy Tales. In 2005, Jackson was found not guilty of the molestation charge, and other charges against him. But the photographs and their terrible implications lived on, even as Jackson’s true believers insisted he was an innocent man.

Like Hannibal Buress’s bit about Bill Cosby raping women, Leaving Neverland is what finally got many people to admit to themselves what they already believed. The testimony of the two men is so intimate, so drenched with the sorrow of ruined childhoods, that it cannot be denied.

More here.