I have to admit I am a little relieved Michael Jackson is dead. He was messed up beyond all measure, but he was too famous and powerful to ever be helped by anyone. He only ever made the news when he did something appalling, and come on, he was never actually going to make that comeback or make another good piece of music, so all the "how ironic that he died just as he was about to reclaim his status" stuff is bullshit, and we all know it.
He was the quintessential imploding star, yes, although he took that paradigm to a stupefying level. He was incapable of distinguishing reality from the narrative that he paid people to perpetuate. Whatever it was that had scarred him, he was so frightened of it that he retreated from the responsibilities of adulthood entirely, and that's beyond sad. It's sickening.
He was used by everyone around him, from his parents, to his siblings, to his stunt wife Lisa Marie, who I think took off as soon as she figured out she couldn't secure a nice paycheck for Scientology. The failures of those who purported to care about him were colossal.
I find it hard to even be sad for his devoted fans, because they seem so deluded. He wasn't "innocent," he's not "the prince" anymore, and he only seemed to care about his fans to the extent that they reinforced his self-aggrandizing and self-damaging world view.
When I watch one of his old videos, back before he Frankensteined himself, I just feel sad. What a waste of talent. What a waste of a fortune. What a big fucking waste.