Can Joe Jackson Get “The Big Piece Of Chicken?!?!”
Iconic comedienne Chris rock has a hilarious set from 1999’s critically acclaimed “Bigger and Blacker” about fathers getting rewarded for all their hard work with the “big piece of chicken.” (Click link -7:19 mark-to laugh hysterically-not suitable for work). The setup is that fathers receive little to no credit for raising children in their households in comparison to mothers. The joke transcribed:
C.R.: What does daddy get for his hard work? The big piece of chicken at dinner! My mamma would kill us if one of us ate the big piece of chicken by accident!
[Pretending to be his mamma]
C.R.: What the… you ate the big piece of chicken! Oh, lord no! Now I gotta sew up some chicken! Give me two wings and a pork chop, daddy won’t know the difference! DAMN!! Can daddy get the BIG PIECE OF CHICKEN??!! All he wants is the BIG PIECE OF CHICKEN!!!
Joseph Jackson re-defined the American Dream by pushing all of his talented children to unparalleled worldwide success and fame. A former steam mill worker from Gary, Indiana’s lowest levels of poverty, birthed, raised and guided successful entertainment careers of 9 children to worldwide fame. Not only did he spawn the King of Pop (and arguably music in general) Michael Jackson, but a legendary boy band (Jackson 5), the definition of a female pop star (Janet), and even Rebbie (the lesser-known Jackson) hit with “Centipede” in 1984. LaToya never really…well…continued prayer for LaToya. Eight out of the nine children have gold records to their names. Joe’s public/media persona however, is often reduced to a crazed-abusive-corrupt-greedy-stage-parent, while he’s still struggling with the loss of his son, is recently divorced (60 years though?? WHY Katherine?), and constant tabloid ridicule for his efforts to expand the Joe Jackson brand. In a recent interview (shot by Katherine Jackson for her soon-to-be-released film with producer Howard Mann and splayed on TMZ.com), Joe was asked the reasoning behind his strict parenting skills and if he had any regrets, specifically about Michael who is on record stating that he lived in fear of his father. Joe responded,
“I had to be like that because when raising him, in those days, so many gangs out there getting into trouble, going to jail. Most of them are dead now. He didn’t have to worry about that.”
“(Regret) for what? No!”
The media does have a tendency to twist the truth and promote overblown instances in order to create sensational stories, and what great parent wishes failure or a life of crime on their child? Perhaps MJ and siblings were in fear of their father, but is that always such a bad thing? Often the way of the strict parent yields the best results (compare Joseph to Dina Lohan for example). Millions of prominent adults are fearful, either spoken or unspoken, of their parents’ reactions, disapproval, or possibility of brining shame. This fear (arguably healthy), drives many towards success as evidenced by the world-class achievers that give credit to their stern upbringings and moral structure learned in their homes, enforced by their parents. There is no official guide to raising children, but many specialists and experts agree that stricter parenting often leads to more independent and goal oriented children. In the least, a strict parent can prevent an adolescence filled with crime (not all but many). In the Jackson family, several children may speak out against Joe’s techniques, but all agree that they were loved, have love for and respect “Joseph,” and each have a slice of the “Jackson Empire” their parents created.
No parents in history have been able to duplicate the success of the Jackson’s, a combination of genetic talent, popular appeal, hard work, and a borderline psychotic attention to showmanship and musicianship. Every family has a particular level of dysfunction as no one is perfect and growth is filled with mistakes. Joe Jackson deserves a level of respect and gratitude for not only providing the basic necessities for his family as a father and head of a household should, but drilling in every child that mediocrity would not suffice. Excellence in entertainment was mandatory and expected in their household and created the Jackson brand. His parenting skills resulted in nine symbols of music royalty across the globe. It is high time that Joe Jackson get the “big piece of chicken” he so clearly deserves. Eat up Joe. Eat up.
**Personal Note: I coined the phrase “WhattheJoeJacksonHell” in Joseph’s honor and am seeking to get it trademarked. I believe that more families should aim to his level of committed excellence in spite of their odds. Go head’ and marinate on that for a min.**