Art immitating life, or life immitating art? (or does it even matter?)
|Peter Pan’s Statue @ Carl Schurz Park|
After watching part of the interview Micheal Jackson gave Martin Bashir, “Living with Micheal Jackson”, where he made that infamous statement about sharing your bed with kids being “the most loving thing to do”, I decided to google “Peter Pan”. [Whose story I came across and got hooked on in the movie “Hook”, and watched (under the pretense of renting it for my pre-teen kins) over and over until the video cassette no longer works. Maybe there is a child in all of us that never grows up. And maybe there should be a child in all of us that never grows up. How else can we credit stories of flowery heavens, brim-stoned hells and ideas like “true” and “unconditional love”].
I googled, then Binged, Peter Pan (just to see what the big deal was; found none) and learned he was a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie:
“..a mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up … spending his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland, as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with mermaids, Indians, fairies and pirates, and from time to time meeting ordinary children from the world outside.”
The fact that J.M. Barrie shared the first two alphabets of his name with the late “King of Pop” — M.J., interested me. I decided to read a bit more about him. How he came up with the idea and what people’s reaction to it was. I was in for a major surprise & a more interesting read than the story I first set out to — you know — read. In that the biography of this … Barrie dude has a striking resemblance to that of Humbert Humbert’s, the middle aged protagonist of Nabokov’s “Lolita” [who “becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze”]. Right from the caged childhood, to the befriending of a parent to get to a minor, to the loathing of the marriage bed [“Greatest horror” he once wrote “—dream I am married—wake up shrieking”], right down to the faking of wills & screwing up of a child’s future.
Maybe Micheal wouldn’t have gushed about Peter Pan, using him as an excuse for misconduct, it seems, so freely if he knew what a creepy midget the man who conceived him was. Or realized the very words used to describe the latter’s freakish dispositions [“asexual” when it comes to women, “impotent” when it comes to his unconsummated marriage, and “loving to play with other people’s kids” when it comes to his fellowship preference] would one day be used to describe …him–self. Or……. did he know, and tried to take advantage of “the naughtiness and evil passions with which [kids] go to bed with” before they “wake in the morning with [their] beautifully aired.. spread out … prettier thoughts, ready for [them] to put on.”?!
[One can only wonder!]
For those who haven’t read the original book, here is a free copy of Peter Pan: The Boy Who Would Never *Grow Up To Be A Man*.
* Prisoners of Love: The New Michael Jackson Tribute.