The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Michael Jackson


So, I was sitting here at work listening to Lola (my iPod). I have it set to *Shuffle* and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson started to play. I stopped and listened and it was so damned good. So, I switched to play the eleven Michael Jackson songs I currently have loaded. Right now I'm listening to "The Way You Make Me Feel" from the late 80s - the "Bad" album - and it is really, really good.

What happened to him? If you think back through his career he was (is?) amazing! The variety of music, the quality, hell the sheer quantity of music is staggering. First with his brothers, then his solo career "Off the Wall" and then "Thriller" came out and he exploded - he was huge! Who doesn't remember his electric appearance on
Motown 25 – Yesterday, Today, Forever when he performed "Billie Jean". He followed "Thriller" with "Bad" and had another bunch of hits.

And then he started to unravel before the cruel public eye. What went wrong? Was it damage that lay dormant since his childhood that just blew up under the pressure of being the iconic figure of 80s music?

I don't really want to delve into the whole issue with kids as it is too disturbing to deal with, but I can't help but wonder if it stems - at least in part - because he's looking for the childhood he never had. It may be wishful thinking, but personally I don't think he has any malicious intent towards children, I just think he is so disconnected from reality that he doesn't realize how his actions are perceived.

Thankfully we have his music forever. I can't help but think what is left of his life will be a sad, lonely existence and that we've seen the last of his talent. I find that to be horribly sad.

Although he's still alive I already mourn the beautiful little boy who sang "ABC", the handsome young man who floated through "Billie Jean" and the man - growing stranger and stranger - who gave us the awesome "Black or White" and "Man in the Mirror".

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1 Comments:

Blogger Muffy St. Bernard said...

Again, leaving aside the "children" thing, I think Jackson's decline was due to three things: backlash, self-caricature, and overreaching.

First, it's inevitable that somebody that critically acclaimed and popular is going to be sniped at; people love underdogs, but they'll only tolerate "superstars" for so long.

Next, after "Bad," he became more and more of a caricature of himself. His videos became more self-aggrandizing, his appearance became more cartoony, controlled, and slick. And as the "style before substance" '80s petered out, a guy who inexplicably wore a single glove on his right hand seemed awfully trite next to Kurt Cobain.

Finally, either Jackson or his handlers decided that, rather than move with the times, they'd take the keys to Jackson's previous successes -- big audio production, long and hugely expensive videos full of special effects -- and reach further and further. Videos can only become so long and expensive before the returns diminish.

Personally, though, what finally killed Jackson for me was his messianistic appearance (was it on the MTV music awards) where he appeared to be blessing a horde of small children. Despite being creepy, I thought what most people thought: "who the heck does he think he IS?!?"

9:24 AM  

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