In perhaps the greatest PR drop in history, Janet Jackson debuted her memoir just two days after the Super Bowl. Call us a little nostalgic for halftime shows past, but we at Crooked Copy welcomed our preview, which we used to smash our television set after Fergie started singing without autotune.
Jackson’s 272 page tome, titled–we’re not making this up–“True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself,” is a revealing, in-your-face look into her life in the spotlight, digging beneath the surface, only to get stuck in a putty-like mess of medical waste and self-pity. The only solid conclusion the reader leaves with is that Jackson’s mental health has probably not improved by book’s end.
For one, she used to bang her head against the wall because she was unhappy with her looks. Janet mentions this in every interview on her book tour.
“I still have issues with it. I don’t bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments. And I think it’ll probably continue but at least I know how to deal with it now. And I’m in a much better space,” she told the Today Show when they asked why baby bumpers were placed on every piece of furniture in the Betty Ford Clinic.
We find that brother Michael used to call her names like pig and cow. A pity, sure; except didn’t you come from frigging Gary, Indiana, the world capital of racial unrest during the 1960’s? You were only made fun of for your weight–by a gentlemen who spent his adult life trying to look like you? Countee Cullen, she is not.
Every celebrity memoir is about two things: butchering the English language and lamenting your lot in life, even if that lot is 200 acres of beachfront property. Jackson, if the title “True You: You Don’t Have a Clue, But Wouldn’t You be Blue if I Were Anything Like You, Too,” accomplishes both these tasks with surprising ease.
Jackson spent most of her life just outside Hollywood, a town with high school diplomas, doctorates in psychology and little in between, save high thetan levels.
When you have this gulf of knowledge and pretend-knowledge, what you get is a lot of pop-psychology and self-diagnosis. It is a world in which everyone WebMd’s their ailments and walks away thinking “it’s obviously throat cancer, thanks greedy oil companies,” rather than, “it’s a sore throat, maybe I should stop smoking two packs a day.”
Imagine if you re-examined your whole life with this mindset. Of course you’d think it’s a wreck. You could even convince yourself your daycare center was some S&M Torture Chamber, if the right shrink gets his hands on you. And back in the 1980’s, child psychologists in California did just that, discovering that every pre-school teacher in America was a Satanic pedophile. The revelation came after mental health professionals pointed to the private parts of dolls and asked 3-year-olds if they could do the same. The easily led children complied, leading to a lot of false arrests and ruined reputations.
Our celebrities are the same way. Much like children, they live for the approval of others. So when we say “hey, Charlie/Andre/Tom/Janet/Mel, you’re pretty messed up, how’d you get like that?,” they point where we tell them to: alcohol, drugs, their not-so private parts. But that’s nothing compared to the beating dad takes.
Much like our neighbor’s children, we blame parents for whatever it is the kiddies are doing wrong these days. Celebrities take this too far.
Janet and ghost-writer David Ritz, famous for co-writing “Sexual Healing,” bitched for 827 pages about how Joe Jackson belittled her, pushed her too hard and personally exposed her nipple during the half-time show. The Jackson family patriarch has been noticeably quiet during his daughter’s book tour, but only because his memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” is doing so well right now.
Of course, Jackson didn’t write about dad’s hard work in making a talentless hack like herself a star. But she wants to be a victim, pure and simple. Hollywood is a population of victims, mostly by circumstance–circumstance which generally involves doing an entire speedball in a Motel 6, then going back home and destroying the Ritz.
We can only hope Janet does some growing up between this and her next memoir, however unlikely that may be. At the very least, we hope her assistant remembers to wrap, “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself Because It’s All About You, Isn’t It; I should Have Slept with a Better Ghostwriter,” in a baby bumper; it really took a toll on our television–it almost sounded like Will.I.Am harmonized with the Asian/Native American? one for a second and then the tv exploded.