Thursday, July 16, 2009

Michael Jackson is dead and why I even care

I am a fan of Michael Jackson. And I'm devastated that he's dead.

If you've seen the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus" in the scene where the lead character finds out over the radio that John Lennon of the Beatles had been shot - that's exactly how I felt like when I found out about MJ.
"...the King of Pop, his heart has stopped..."
I found out through a text message from Liz, and I actually thought it was another one of those so-and-so-is-dead-hoax things, but when I checked, it was all over the news. On all news websites, on Twitter, on Facebook, on all TV channels, on all radio stations, they were talking about nothing else: "the King of Pop, his heart has stopped". Yes folks, the Jacko is dead.

Everywhere you go they were playing Michael Jackson songs, you could even listen to "Thriller" in the mall in broad daylight. They've stopped playing David Cook's version and opted for 80's style "Billy Jean". In my car you'd hear "The Way You Make Me Feel", one of my all time favorite MJ songs.

There were numerous tributes on MTV, Channel V, even the local Myx channel. Variety shows had all these celebrities singing and dancing to MJ songs. Michael Jackson was ubiquitous again, at least for the moment.
"...I respect him as an artist... "
Now, I am not a HUGE Michael Jackson fan: I do not have any of his albums, nor do I have any posters or souvenirs; I have never seen his concerts or saw him performing live, (although I wanted to when he visited the Philippines almost 10 years ago, too bad it was my final exams at the time!), I do not know all the lyrics to his songs, or his life story or anything like that... some fan, right?

But I still do consider myself a Michael Jackson fan.

I am a fan because despite all the media frenzy about his molestation charges, his weird behavior, his disappearing melanin, his disintegrating nose...I say: I may not understand his person, but I understand his talent. He is a very talented man and I respect him as an artist...
"...did he really defy gravity..."
I grew up in the 80's, this I guess, influenced much of how I perceived Michael Jackson. I distinctly remember hearing myths about him, stories about him never needing to sing lipsynch, seeing his concerts full of people screaming and crying like crazy just to see him, I grew up listening to his amazingly high songs (hee hee! go on girl!), his uber amazing videos, his amazing dancing (he floats!)...I mean who was this man who commanded the attention of the world so easily? Can he really float over the stage, did he really just stand on his toes? (must be the shoes). Did he really defy gravity in Smooth Criminal (yeah, it's gotta be the shoes, gotta get me those shoes!).

Sure, some of his latter songs or albums did not sell as massively as the earlier ones, but MJ still commanded the attention of the world. I was actually excited when I heard that he was recording new material for an album, collaborating with today's hottest artists. I was interested to see how his style will re-emerge seeing how relevant his old songs still sound even though they are a few decades old already. I was looking forward to buying my first Michael Jackson album...

But now I'd have to settle for one of his catalogue albums which are not at all less compelling to buy, especially now. I'm thinking of getting "History". What do you think?

Michael Jackson: His talent, his uniqueness, and his passion for performance has captured the imagination of the whole world, including mine. Thank you for the inspiration!

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