The life and times of an ethnically ambiguous little lady.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Missing the Man in the Mirror

I woke up this morning, remembered that Michael Jackson is gone, and was struck by sadness. And I was surprised. When Princess Diana died, I barely gave it a second thought. Heath Ledger? Bummer. Farrah Fawcett? She fought the good fight. But Michael Jackson hasn’t been relevant for me in years. I’ve watched with horror and sadness at what a convoluted mess his life has become. I’ve watched with more horror and sadness as stars like Usher and Chris Brown have stolen MJ’s mojo.

But watching countless videos from his career last night, I remembered why he’s so special to me: Michael Jackson’s music is my childhood.

I still remember when my parents bought me Thriller. I remember opening the record and choreographing dance routines with my brother all over our house. The first concert I ever attended, at the ripe old age of 8, was Michael Jackson on his Bad tour. My dad took me and we sat in the noseblood seats of the arena behind a couple of teenage girls that were screaming their heads off and holding up a sign with their Jackson devotion. As I was only about a foot tall, it completely blocked my view, so my dad politely asked them to move their sign. He was greeted with a tirade of curses, some of which I had never heard before. Between the concert and my newfound words, it was a night for the record books.

Several years ago, I was on a cruise ship in China on the Yangtze River and there was a karaoke night. My brother and I dusted off our old dance moves and sang “Thriller,” (which is entirely too long to perform without backup dancers).

I would say that he’s too young to die, that Michael Jackson had more to accomplish, but I don’t know if I feel that way. He left us a hell of a legacy. It’s amazing to me that someone who delighted so many people with his music and positivity would seem to be such a sad, lonely, conflicted person. I just hope he can find some peace in that big Neverland Ranch in the sky.


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Blogger Peter Matthes said...

I think you nailed it, Emily.

I had held off writing anything on MJ's death because, like you, for years I have wondered "what the fuck is this guy thinking"?

I felt sad to hear that he had died, but also guilty.

For over 15 years I have felt that the real Michael Jackson has been dying off. Matt Sears posted the video of "Liberian Girl" on his blog, and to see him then only reinforced those feelings.

In the mid eighties, when my cassette of "Thriller" lived in my pocket, that guy had everything.

He was young, strong and good looking. He was unbelievably talented and he had his whole life ahead of him to get even better.

Where did the train come off the rails?

11:30 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Peter Matthes

The moment he decided to tell the world that he liked to sleep with young boys. Look, I understand that he was a talent, and was much loved....but in his own words directly from his own mouth, he told the world that he would have children sleep in his bed. Whether he was guilty of any abuse is besides the point. He admitted that he hosted sleepovers with young boys (and this was from a 30 some year old man -maybe 40). You know what would happen an ordonary36 year old man if he admitted to hosting sleepovers with children? You're fucking right - Jail. He was a sick individual and luck enough to be able to buy his way out of his troubles. Was he a great singer and entertainer - certainly. Was he a good father - debatable, but probably true. Was he a criminal - yes, but not a smooth one.

11:32 AM


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