Of course, for some years now Jackson had been making of himself his own double, his own man in the (cracked, distorted) mirror. Like Victor Frankenstein, Jackson sought to make of himself a modern Prometheus (the sheer fire in his voice and in his feet in the 70's and 80's can only have been stolen from the gods), and build a perfect human out of his own Oedipal fantasies (his growing resemblance to Diana Ross, his first mentor, the Good Mother gifted him by showbusiness that normal family life had denied him), replacing, like Robocop, those body parts he deemed deficient with new flesh, synthetic body armour against the bombardment of the press and the public (of whom Jackson was clearly very physically afraid). K-Punk is absolutely right to refer to Jackson's trademark vocalisations as partial objects, "inhuman asignifying hiccups and yelps, as if he is gasping for air, or learning to speak English again after some aphasic episode." (cf. Shelley's description of her monster's first 'inarticulate' noises). It is precisely these vocalisations that remained the locus of any jouissance in Jackson's music after Bad, practically the only thing still recognisably him (that, and the dance moves, of course, the importance of which is picked up both by Mark K-Punk and Germaine Greer - strange bedfellows if ever there were). They lacked the gruff force or animal sexuality of the grunts and groans of a James Brown or Edwin Starr, transgendered and deracinated long before his body was, a pure punctum, foreign to any studium or any possibility of decipherment, a little piece of the Real, bursting uncontrollably forth like the chest-bursting monster in Alien.
After the collective mourning, a collective sense of guilt on the part of a public that had been increasingly disgusted by Michael Jackson's body (and all that it entailed) and demanded of him that he transcend it and become a pure phatic image. Now, as news reports spiral out to reveal the cost on Jackson's own body of this attempted transubstantiation - the drugs, the anorexia, the stomach pumps, the scars - it is with physical death that his body truly returns. Like in Jonathan Horowitz's work, The Body Song (1997), which plays the video to 'Earth Song' backwards, making of Jackson's scream a force of environmental destruction rather than spontaneous regeneration, "My reversal of his video returns the focus to its repressed content, which is Michael and his body."