Friday, June 26, 2009

never can say goodbye


Do you remember the time when Michael was a pop icon rather than tabloid fodder?

At the end he was more bogeyman than boogie-man, more monster than hero, more goat than G.O.A.T, more caricature than role model but there was a time when Michael apparently was a cool inspiration to black folks and loved by everyone worldwide. But that was a while back wasn't it?

My wife reminded me this morning that when the Thriller album came out Michael made it cool to be black in North America. He made black music commercially viable and gave it MTV appeal. I also hold him personally responsible for the horror that was the jeri curl era but in some parts of the world Michael Jackson was the first black person that anyone had ever seen ever. You see those suburban white kids imitating today's rappers? Well the original cross-over appeal artist was Michael, white glove and all. Everyone loved Michael (even Prince fans).

Without Michael there would be no Puffy, no Jay Z, no Chris Brownes, no Ushers.

And man could he dance!

Now Michael is known as much for his antics as for his music. Its all very plain to see in the nickname he was given "Wacko Jacko". For every Beat it, there is a but the dude had a zoo at Neverland story, for every Black or White there is a he walked around in a SARs mask for years rebuttal and lets not even go into the Michael and Bubbles and Michael and little children stories or the dangling small child off balcony acts, the bankruptcy rumours and the crazy marriages etc.

Dude became one of those stories you shook your head at. A walking tragedy, someone to be pitied. Poor Michael, all that talent, all that fame, still crazy as ass. What happened to that cat? Some blamed his dad, some said he never grew up, some said he was taken advantage of or was just missing some screws up top. Who knows!

What I can say is that a lot of the boo hoo hoo I miss him stories that will circulate in the coming days are a bunch of crap and highly hypocritical and come from the people who two days ago were more than likely dissing or laughing at ol boy.

Come on now, dude had become a caricature. Forget the don't speak ill of the dead credo and admit it. You know it, I know it. In fact when last did you make a Michael duz trouble lil children crack or passed around a Michael now looks like a white woman email or dissed his ever changing nose? Exactly! This is what Michael had become of late so don't try to cover it up.

It is what it is. But it just goes to show you that opinions and life can change in a matter of minutes. The same ones dissing him yesterday are now the ones showering him with praise today. Guess you cant get all your props til you're gone.

He was great, his recording legacy may stand the test of time, he was definitely a trailblazer, one of the greatest dancers and entertainers and he was the King of Pop, but like many prodigies and icons over the years Michael got old and somewhat irrelevant music wise and his eccentricities became his hallmark later in life. (Apparently the lucky ones die young. Imagine if Tupac and Biggie or Bob Marley had lived past their primes?)

Michael went from the King of Pop to King of Weird. He's gone now and some will feel guilty and realize dude regardless of his eccentricities was one of a kind and we will miss him now. But who will be remembered: 1982 Michael, cocky, vibrant, inspirational leaving us all welled up with pride or 2009 Michael peeping out from behind a mask, dodging creditors and crazy rumours, leaving us feeling sorry for him.

Rappers and comedians will have to find a new celebrity for fodder as will we.

Rest in Peace Michael may you be less troubled now than in life.

ps: For anyone interested Smoking Section has a nice DJ Jaycee mix of some the older MJ tunes from the Jackson five era available for free download here.

18 comments: said...

Jdid, everything you say is true. Michael had become tabloid fodder, but he was carrying a lot of psychic weight.
How many brothers and sisters are still bleaching and doing all kinds of things to their minds and bodies because of racism--Lauryn Hill come to mind?
And he was at the forefront.

Yeah, we know him for his antics, but the things he DID and the opportunities he created will outlive him even after the wounds have been healed.

The questions he leaves us with: are we erasing the scars of racism in our lifetime?
are we creating opportunities or closing the door on others?
are we following our bliss, honing our gifts to near perfection as he had done?

GC (God's Child) said...

I said the same things yesterday that I said the day before
what does a grown a** man have in common with a little boy? NOTHING. Little boys don't belong in a grown man's bed. said...

what does a grown a** man have in common with a little boy?
Like War said, "Absolutely nothin'!"

what does a grown a** man have in common with a little girl? "Absolutely nothin'!"

What kind of parent would allow an unsupervised sleepover?

And if it had been my child, there would have been a lot of xplaining.

These unequal relationships have to do with abuse of power and enablers and he had a lot of both.

I am not condoning his alleged behavior with minors.

Ruthibelle said...

and alleged is the word.. cause the charges were dropped after an out-of court settlement, and even if it looks suspect, fact is... wait, that's it... WE AIN'T GOT NO FACTS.

So mum I shall remain.

"are we creating opportunities or closing the door on others?
are we following our bliss, honing our gifts to near perfection as he had done?"

Poignant comments, Geoffrey.

Jdid said...

I agree with geoffrey that they were enablers here cause the parents really should never have put their kids in that spot and michael's people should have used some judgement if he couldnt but still Michael has to bear some responsibility for his actions and ya dun kno big man sleeping in same bed as likkle yout like that is both highly lawless and irresponsible on his part.

if we say nuttin a happen fine but it still gives a real questionable appearance.

Abeni said...

J,the thing is most of us had a love/hate/disdain/baffled rship with MJ.However, I think it is possible to separate the man from the music and so we can fondly remember the music and the man's feats. True there is some hypocrisy but that's life for you

Dao of Photography said...

I for one think that Michael was a talented and troubled soul and may he find peace - finally! All of the accusations etc only lend credence to the fact that he was always struggling with inner demons. Many of the most brilliant minds are tormented. I give him credit for surviving the family life that is so much a part of the story of the Jacksons. A hard and vicious father; a complacent mother; enabling users who were his care givers - MJ didn't have a chance. Through it all he managed to create some of the most beautiful music. He was a weirdo but I believe that the world was better because he was here. RIP!

Empath said...

All I can say is may he rest in peace. When were kids my brother and I had a Michael Jackson cassette player and we thought that we were on top of the world. I actually still have mine. Death is inevitable, but somehow his such a shock.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I used to feel sorry for what the media used to do to him.

They couldn't even get it right, what his brother Jermaine said: May Allah be with you always, Michael. said...

& here's the thing, no one wants to name the demons, racism and abuse, that drove Michael to hate himself so much... the greater demon being racism.
Deepak and everyone else ar just skirting the issue--racism led to his deep self-loathing.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hmm, yes, I do remember laughing at some joke that someone had made about the skin thing...until I found out about vitiligo. I know someone who has it. That and other events in my life, made me take stock of things...

Guyana-Gyal said...

I mean the skin whitening part, Geoffery, in case you say it was 'racism' :-)

Will said...

and so, even in death, we debate what was going on in michael jackson's head... when in reality, not one of us knows...

his music broke barriers and was a part of many people's personal soundtracks... that is all we know... everything else is speculation...

Campfyah said...

Betta late wid muh comments than never. Man or mangoose, Michael Music was the greatest. We all jump on the MJ skin/nose/hair/lil boy jokes, but no once can dispute the mastery of his music. He broke down more barriers than any other musician out there. The new kids on the block in the music arena can never touch him or his music.

Crankyputz said...

Ahh Mickey,

Growing up far, far away from North America, Mickey was our American icon, his impact on music and people all over the world is undeniable.

Yet all the strangeness you mention caused people to jump off the bang wagon years ago, and now with his sudden death, it seems like the circus is just beginning. From his strange father, giving odd press conferences, to news that his children had nothing really to do with him to his debt. I don't think MJ's name is going to find any peace for the next year.


R.I.P. Michael. Your music lives on!!

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sarah said...

My wife reminded me this morning

HA! ur wife, how old are you. i dont like you, can u do something to remove ur self from me i have nothing to do with you or the females who create u or the females u create with.

do me a favor dont let ur growing talent reach australia i got enough of it already from tom cruise, britney spares. & michael jackson was the reason i trash my tv.

peter owes me a lot & so far im not being taken care of.