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America lost the self-proclaimed “King of Pop” on June 25, and suddenly people rushed out to mourn him. In Los Angeles, fans circled around a star on Hollywood Boulevard with the name Michael Jackson on it, to sing Michael Jackson songs; even though that particular star belonged to a radio personality with the same name (and was no relation).

Just a couple months ago, Michael Jackson was a pariah. He was a likely child predator, with a creepy gingerbread amusement park, where no little girls were allowed. He was a narcissist who grotesquely mutilated himself to indulge his obsession with plastic surgery, leaving a hole in his face where his proud African nose originally stood. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better gothic horror script. Yet upon his death, all seems forgiven. iTunes scored record sales for Michael Jackson tracks for the first time since it went into existence. He hadn’t sold music in years, and his descent from fame had left him close to half a billion dollars in debt.

I think it’s important to remind everyone what he really was. It was the obsession with his star status that led to his problems in the first place. No loving parents would ever drop their kids off with a middle-aged man in a sequined Nazi uniform who carried a monkey around and talked like a 5-year-old girl, but because it was Michael Jackson, parents didn’t think twice about leaving their kids overnight.

Enjoy his music if you must, but don’t ever forget that the man was a monster, and the world is a better place now that he’s gone.

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