♣ Why Are The Great Ones Often The Most Tortured Souls? ♣
“The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.”
— Michael Jackson
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — I was sitting on my bedroom floor looking at the website for the Los Angeles Times last Thursday when it announced the passing of Michael Jackson. I was just a stunned, shocked, and numb as anyone else. He was the first celebrity that I was a legit fan of.
For those of you who were born after 1987, Michael Jackson was, simply, the Baddest man on the planet. For a five year span between 1982 and 1987, he was the biggest celebrity on Earth. Bigger than Elvis, The Beatles, anyone other than Jesus. His videos not only debuted on MTV (which until Thriller, never played Black music), they debuted on Network TV, including all three majors NBC, CBS, and ABC. A lot of seminal moments in the first half of my life have been connected to Michael Jackson in one way or another.
Thriller was the first album I can remember. The first three videos I can remember seeing were Beat It, Billie Jean, and Thriller. Thriller was the first music video to scare the crap out of me. Mike turning into the werewolf freaked me out…I was 4…screw you! As a Christmas gift in 1983, I got the Michael Jackson doll (yes, there are pictures, and No you can’t see them!). That same year I saw the Billie Jean video where his feet were lighting up the pavement as he walked. In May 1983, during the Motown 25 show, Michael broke off the illest moonwalk of All-Time and I immediately thought that dude was a Super Hero!
Looking at the span of my life from the mid-1980s to now, there are many points where that man’s music can immediately remind me of a specific time in my life that it’s damn near scary. Case in point, after Thriller, came…
Before I end this, I will address the gigantic, smelly Rhino in the middle of the room, a Rhino that a lot of BLACK people in this country had a lot of fun riding the last 20 years until last Thursday. Michael Jackson was a bonafide weirdo. It was always there. The older I got, the more evident it became that the man was a very large piece of strange fruit. The fixation on Peter Pan, the Neverland Ranch, the animals, the plastic surgery, the skin color change (which has been recently been attributed to Lupus, not Vitiligo), the numerous young kids that he associated himself with, his rather improper relationship with Emmanuel “Webster” Lewis…remember those pictures of him cradling and holding Webster in the 80s…you do know that he was a friggin Teenager at the time, right!? Mike was an oddball who put himself in some terrible positions! He did himself no favors by paying the family of that boy upwards of $20 Million in 1993 to make the molestation lawsuit “go away.” Guaranteed, if I’m innocent, and I know I’m innocent, I’m not paying you shit!
No one will doubt that he wasn’t the single greatest entertainer of the last 100 years. His appeal stretches out worldwide. And while a lot of people would rather forget all the unpleasant crap associated with him for most of the last 20 years, it has to be said that all the controversy will leave a huge mark on his legacy. Just like it’s wrong to harp on all of his issues, it’s just as ridiculous to act as if they never happened in the first place. The man is a legend and his music will be his greatest legacy, and I will always be able to listen to his music and, if nothing else, think of a simpler time in my life when his music was right on point with what was going on.
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. (ΦΒΣ/ΖΦΒ)!
Like Michael Curry, I’m Out!
Until Next Time…I’ll Be Looking At The Man In The Mirror.