I really didn’t think I would end up posting anything about Michael Jackson, to be quite honest. I think as a midwestern boy growing up, he sort of represented in a human being all the cries of “Faggot!” that boys grow up with as well as scary city stuff, all wrapped up in a man who had two massive faces–the weirdo my mom would probably group in with David Bowie and a few others, and the genius that no one could escape.
He was one of those transcendent musicians who still trigger indiscriminate memories (seeing Alfonso pretend to be him on “Silver Spoons”) as well as memories that understandably seemed big enough at the time to still be rattling around in my 31-year-old brain (being envious yet fascinated when a classmate could dance like him; watching as my TV broke the scandal about “markings” a young boy could identify)(a story breaking, as I recall, at a time also scarred by the Magic Johnson announcement).
Is Michael Jackson what I hope to hear when I go to Soul Night? Of course. There’s no question that, now that the 80’s no longer seem so kitschy, his music still makes people put their drink down and get back to dancin’.
But really, I wanted to write a post simply because I read this over at Said the Gramophone, and it simultaneously showed the strength of that blog while also reminding me of the greatness of a man so wrapped up in so many things beyond “just” making shockingly good music. It’s a post worth sharing, and the demo of “Billie Jean” accompanying the piece will make you smile. I really hope you all will read it.