Sunday, July 5, 2009

It Has Been 10 Days or So

Funny how I had forgotten how fantastic Michael Jackson was. I was in junior High when Thriller came out. My girlfriends and I were obsessed. We got a friend this nearly life-size poster of MJ for her birthday that year.
Her dad didn't like it. He didn't like a poster of a black man on his daughter's wall. We didn't understand. I think that was my first encounter with racism.

For me, until Michael Jackson, popular music was just something playing on the airwaves and Friday Night Videos. I didn't know it could be an all encompassing sensory experience until he started dancing. It was like a new language. I remember watching Thriller in music class. Even our teacher was under his spell.

Then, in high school, I moved on and dived into New Wave. It was all about listening to a prescribed set of semi-obscure bands and Michael Jackson was waaay too popular for my new mindset. After that he ended up in the margins as he got weirder and wackier. It was easy to point and laugh at the pictures and stories. But now, as I re-listen to all the music and really give a thought to his tragic trajectory I just feel so sad. Between his abusive upbringing and his isolation in a level of stardom that left everyone else far behind, did he really ever have a chance?

Matt is wondering how long this re-awakened obsession with Michael Jackson will last. The music makes me happy. I hope is lasts a long time. I hope I never forget about his brand of magic again.

One more video (I am using grainy live clips because I LOVE to hear the crowd FREAKING out!)


Sarah C. said...

I'm with you. He definitely deserves the title King of Pop. Amazing talent. It has been so sad to see him abuse himself over the last years. Sad about the racism you experienced. My neighbor (in her 80s) wouldn't watch the Cosby Show for the same reason. There is racism here, not tons, but it's shocking to come across it at all. I have to believe that with new generations it will continue to fade.

JJ said...

I totally had that poster hanging on my wall!! I LOVED Michael when I was in junior high. I would watch Thriller over and over again. I kept telling my girls that I was in love with him when I was their age and getting "ewwwww" as a response so I finally dug out my Thriller album and they said "oh, wow, he used to be kind of cute" (see your old mom wasn't completely without taste :-) It is sad what his life became. Such talent...such a waste.

ThatKateGirl said...
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ThatKateGirl said...

Thanks for posting this. Great videos! You may remember that Making of Thriller video I was obsessed with when I was a kid. I'm sure I made you and Matt watch it with me a few times. :)