Sunday, June 28, 2009

MJ: Miscellaneous Jackson

This is the dumping ground for all my Michael Jackson-related thoughts that didn't deserve their own post. Please bear with me and this somewhat cluttered format:

There's never been a more talented child singer than Michael Jackson. I consider this to be an inarguable fact. ... One thing all the people running around calling Michael Jackson a pedophile seem to forget is that he was never convicted of a crime in a court of law. So, no, he's not a pedophile. And I think it's distressing that people insist upon resorting to that terrible slur. ... And no, I don't think he ever intentionally touched a kid inappropriately. ... I'll never forget that my mama started crying a bit when Michael was acquitted of those child sex abuse charges in 2005. You've never met anyone more loyal than my mama. ... But I do wish Michael had refrained from sleeping in the same bed with children. It just wasn't a good look. I knew from jump, when I saw him holding hands with that kid (his later accuser) in that Martin Bashir documentary that it was going to be trouble again. ... MJ fans really don't seem to like Bashir. Or maybe that's just my mama. Either way, I don't understand this because Bashir was simply doing his job. Too bad if people mistook that for something other than what it was. ...

... I actually was fortunate enough to catch the Bad tour when it swung through Houston in the fall of '88. The concert was held at The Summit, then home to the Houston Rockets. It was awesome. Much props to my parents for making that happen. ... Few musical artists - from the U.S., at least - had the fascination with Africa that Michael Jackson did. "Remember the Time" video, "Liberian Girl" and putting together "We Are the World." I think that's pretty cool. ... Speaking of which, I had no idea there was a video for "Liberian Girl" ... Wouldn't the girl from "The Way You Make Me Feel" video - Tatiana Thumbtzen - be the most famous video girl in history? ... It should go without saying that I had a huge crush on Tatiana growing up. ...

... Actually, on second thought, maybe Ola Ray from "Thriller" is the most famous video girl. ... Does anyone really know the lyrics to "Jam"? ... I've gotta think more cocaine was snorted to Thriller than any other album in history. ... Not to hate or anything, but Michael Jackson was also part of a lot of bad music. I'm thinking in particular of "Torture" and all his albums after Bad. ... After re-watching the "Remember the Time" video, I still can't believe that Michael died before Magic Johnson. I'm telling you: Magic is going to outlive us all. ... Is it me, or did Michael's videos often have nothing to do with the song? That said, no one understood the influence or importance of music videos more than Michael. ... My favorite MJ video is "Rock With You." By far. Maybe it's because he seemed so happy. I was absolutely entranced by that video as a kid. The First Lady says it may be because kids are attracted to sparkly things. Maybe. ...

... Speaking of music videos, there was absolutely no chemistry between him and Naomi Campbell in the "Keep It In The Closet" video. None. ... The nonstop coverage of Michael's death over the past few days has shown that Ave was right. ... Btw, TMZ owned the story from the very start. We might as well deal with it. ... Was I the only one made to dance to songs from Thriller for their family members? Certainly my '80s babies feel me on this one. ... In the end, Michael Jackson just seemed like the kindest, warmest, most gentle soul that has ever been a bonafide celebrity. I don't know how to explain it. He didn't make all those friends and touch all these people the world over by accident. But more than anything, I just felt sorry for him. In a way, I'm glad that he's finally found the peace that seemed to elude him for much of his life.

Also - because it's always about me here at False Hustle - I feel that I should mention that it was "Off the Wall" that might have brought the First Lady and I together.

When we worked together in Shreveport, months after we had become friends and months before I summoned the courage to make a move, I learned during one of our hours-long e-mail conversations that she didn't own a copy of the album. This was odd to me because it was one of her favorites.

I never said anything else about it. In fact, I let the conversation pass for a couple weeks.

And then, without any warning, I dropped a freshly burned CD of "Off the Wall" on her desk and walked over to my cubicle. I wrote to her: "now don't tell anyone. I don't want people thinking that I like you or anything." Sad to say, I might have ended that message with an emoticon.

But she grinned back at me.

To this day, she says that's when she knew that I had my nose open a little. And it didn't cost me more than an unused CD and a couple minutes on my laptop.


Jack T. said...

BI, I'm feelin' this post. I always loved "Rock With You" - the song & the video.

My mom used to make us (my cousins and me) dance to "Billie Jean" when we were kids so she and her friends could laugh and point. I still feel sore about this issue.

My least favorite Michael moment is still the "You Are Not Alone" video, which was when he had lapsed into self-parody.

My favorite late era Michael moment was "Scream" with his sister. Good song, good video, no weirdness. I'm sure I have more to say about this, but I'm still processing this mess of a situation.

Bougie Applebum said...

I'm with your mama - I absolutely loathe Martin Bashir. I know Martin was just doing his job, but dang MJ was off limits. lol. I love the Rock With You video and the song. Guess it's like you said, MJ just appeared to be so happy and carefree. He will definitely be missed. But at least his soul is at peace. Kind of a shame all of the MJ love, fans and tributes roll out now - when he's gone.

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KST said...

Great post! I'm still sad, but I'm starting to revive my extreme disgust for Joe Jackson. I want to smack him - really really hard, and then drop kick him in the n... Sorry, got a little carried away there.

@Jack: I agree, the video sucked, but the song is really nice.

@Blackink: What about "Heal the World" or "Will you be there?" I love those two.

And no one had to force me to sing to Billie Jean. I did it every chance I could - til my big brother took my pink hairbrush, popped me upside the head and told me to knock it off. : )

G.D. said...

That's beautiful.

blackink said...

@Jack: Thanks, fam. And eh, I was always lukewarm about "Scream." The idea was great. The execution, to me, wasn't so much.

@Bougie: I know, I know, I know, it's tough for folks to get over Martin Bashir's doc. But man, it ain't like we learned some stuff that we didn't already suspect. It was merely a confirmation, to me.

@Sports: Thanks for stopping by.

@KST: Joe Jackson. SMH. I imagine that he and Ike Turner would be fast friends. They have that same, slickster vibe to me.

@G.D.: Aw, thanks fam.