Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remember the Time...

Being this is a political blog, I tend to not want to talk about celebrities.

Today, I'll make an exception.

The death of Michael Jackson has me thinking about how a piece of my childhood has slipped away. Echoing Ta-Nehisi Coates, I remember staying up late on Friday nights to catch Friday Night Videos, where I watched Michael singing Billy Jean and Thriller. I remember trying,emphasis on the word trying, to moonwalk, as was probably every kid in America circa 1984.

Even before his superstardom in the 80s, I remember hearing old Jackson 5 tunes and when I was very young, watching the old Jackson 5 cartoon show. In the early 70s to see a bunch of black kids on TV was groundbreaking.

In later years, the genius of Jackson would show a dark side; the allegations of child abuse, the bleaching of his skin and the many nose jobs, and other odd and sad things. Andrew Sullivan is probably correct in that in some ways he was abused; never able to be a normal person.

But he could sing. And dance. He gave African Americans a belief that anything really was possible.

I hope now he is able to find some peace.

1 comment:

ChristianProgressive said...

I remember, as a young teen, seeing Michael sing with his older brothers: the famous Jackson Five. He always had an enormous amount of energy on stage. As a white male born at mid-century, I too admired Michael's talent, but I became unnerved by the evidence of his arrested development through the years of abuse as a child whose childhood was taken by his father's greed to have his sons bring him wealth and success. Michael tried to deny who he was and he tried to go back and have the childhood he could never have, pretending to perpetually live in Neverland. His story of stolen innocence is an archetype for these times. We need to protect the children of today, and allow them to dream big dreams and then play in and live out those dreams.