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Michael Jackson: the News Insanity & the Beauty

June 28th, 2009 by Celeste Fremon


Michael Jackson – Black Or White (Official Music Video)Watch more funny videos here

I realize I haven’t said anything about the death of Michal Jackson.
For one thing, I have been traveling the past few days, but mostly I have been silent because I found it more than a bit vexing that the news of Jackson’s early and saddening death drove ALL OTHER NEWS OFF THE NETWORKS.

Iran suddenly didn’t exist.

(Hey, I suppose we should count ourselves fortunate that Meet the Press didn’t devote it’s entire newscast to the demise of the Gloved One.)

All that said, this morning after I finally managed to get enough sleep to be a bit more reflective, I rewatched a few of Jackson’s most famous videos and was reminded of his entirely unique talent—and, well, beauty. (Even after he made his face into a science project, he couldn’t erase his innate grace.)

Beat It alone is stupendous. It is, at once, extremely theatrical, and yet grounded in an artistic and emotional authenticity that, 27 years after the fact, is still spectacular to behold.

He was a very troubled man. We know that. And the repetitive necrophilia that our sheep-like national media descends to in instances such as Jackson’s death is predictably wearisome.

Nevertheless, Michael Jackson left a musical legacy that is drenched in beauty and wonder.
The discomfiting peculiarities of his personal life, and the media’s over-the-top postmortem fawning can’t take that away.

Posted in American artists, arts, media | 15 Comments »

15 Responses

  1. Randy Paul Says:

    It’s like Elvis all over again.

  2. reg Says:

    Seeing Jesse Jackson being interviewed outside the Jackson compound about the importance of a second autopsy while Iranians were preparing to march against the regime again sort of sealed my disgust with this story.

    The first night the entire MSNBC lineup was pre-empted. The second night Ed Schultz did his show, but it was an entire hour about…Michael Jackson. I emailed Ed and he said, essentially, they made him do it and it comes with the territory if you’ve got a cable news show. This has been the worst thing I’ve seen to date in the annals of Celebrity Fever. One MSNBC bloviator this morning said that part of MJ’s importance was that he was the first black pop star embraced by the Middle East. That’s bad news for us and bad news for the Middle East if its true. Remember the interrogation scene in Syriana ?

    The funniest thing about some of the blogs back-and-forth is people who grew up with Jackson turning it into a generational thing – “old” people naysaying his musical importance on the larger scale of great black music and young people “getting” it. Most Michael Jackson fans are “old” by pop culture standards. Jackson has been an empty shell longer than Elvis was when he died, his best work is farther behind him and he’s an older corpse. Nobody in their right mind would have suggested that the folks who went nuts when Elvis died were even remotely close to being “hip.” But I guess every generation has its illusions and delusions….and of course, the music you grew up with will always have a special place nor is there any accounting for taste.

    On the plus side – Great dancer !!!!!

  3. Ahmed Says:

    “The funniest thing about some of the blogs back-and-forth is people who grew up with Jackson turning it into a generational thing – “old” people naysaying his musical importance on the larger scale of great black music and young people “getting” it.”

    Care to name some names reg? And didnt we in the end come to some sort of agreement on this. sigh

  4. Woody Says:

    Michael Jackson is dead?! When did this happen? Has it been on the news?

  5. reg Says:

    Goddammit, it was YOU Ahmed. It was YOU !!!!! And we almost came to fisticuffs before you admitted I WAS RIGHT !!!!!

    At least that’s my recollection…

  6. reg Says:

    P.S. In truth I saw more of that shit on TaNehisi’s blog.

  7. Ahmed Says:

    Sigh, where is Sergio when he is needed? I wrote on my facebook this morning how absurd it is that Sharpton and Jesse are devoting such an incredible amount of time and energy at this moment to Michael but I’ve since reconsidered. Given the fact that we all basically acknowledge the charlartan type qualities to these individials, who are blessed with good qualities too, and given the cultural impact Michael has had on black America, I’m going to cut Jesse some slack

  8. reg Says:

    I’m going to get my gloves – I don’t want to smack you barehanded.

  9. Ahmed Says:

    Plesse for the life of me do not repeat long, repetitive rants that you’ve already indulged in over at Coopers. What in a sense was remarkable about Michael was that he was in some ways the first mega star who was a black crossover senstation, gaining a mass audience while never loosing his following with black America, and yes this was made possible through MTV, which if anything harmed the quality of music coming out for decades to follow. I have not fucking said that he was better than people I too love the charles, mayfeilds, little richard and james brown….sharpton was there at his funeral too. And yes he is linked in some ways to Reagan in serving the god of american capatalism in all irts nasty, indulgent excesses. But he was brilliant too and I loved him maybe because I grew up in the eighties and used to watch his videos nonj stop and practice the moonwlak. He was the height of pop music at that time and a genius for what he was doing. Let Jesse who sadly has become more of a carricature if himself rep for people who are sad. Please no long, borinjg rant

  10. reg Says:

    “he is linked in some ways to Reagan in serving the god of american capitalism in all its nasty, indulgent excesses. But he was brilliant too and I loved him”

    You have now descended into the same netherworld as Christopher Hitchens. Possibly even joined the ranks of David Horowitz. Shame.

    (kidding – except I’ll second this: ” Please for the life of me do not repeat long, repetitive rants that you’ve already indulged in over at Coopers.”

  11. Kevin Says:

    Sharpton and (Jesse) Jackson are doing this to get their own names in the news.

  12. Rob Thomas Says:

    I’m going to miss Michael shakin that sexy ass!!!

  13. reg Says:

    Ahmed – I responded to a comment of yours with some long rants that, IMHO, break some new ground on the outrage meter. Nothing personal – just so sick of this self-indulgent circus and all of the clowns.

  14. reg Says:

    Should have added “over at Marc’s”

  15. Caxcan Says:

    Is that the same Rob Thomas from L.A Eastside. You’re pretty sick guy.

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