Wacko Jacko: The Importance of Being Michael

_mj gloveTalk to the glove.

I was never a fan of Michaell Jackson.

First, you couldn’t tell whether his music was soul or pop or disco. You couldn’t tell whether he was a child or man. Soon, you couldn’t tell whether he was black or white. Then, you couldn’t tell whether he was a boy or a girl. Finally, you couldn’t tell whether he was a human being or an alien from outer space.

And that was precisely what was important about him–he transgressed all those bounds. He blurred, even erased the lines we all draw around those catagories, lighting up squares as he danced.

People forget how strange and out there Jackson was, even when, still an attractive, relatively normal looking young man, he first broke out as a solo act and conquered MTV. The way he dressed, the way he danced, the way he spoke and behaved, nobody had ever seen anything like him before–nobody in the mainstream, white culture bubble, anyway.

Suddenly teenyboppers, gradeschoolers, and even kindergardeners all over America and the world were bopping and moonwalking (sort of) like Michael Jackson. If it was ok to be like Michael Jackson, then it was ok to be weird.

That is what Wacko Jacko did. He made the world a little bit safer for weird people, a little bit safer to be different. He created cultural space for the free range odd. Going into the Age of Reagan, he bent gender when gender was begging to be bent. That all this arose not only out of his talent but his pathology, and seems to have destroyed him personally matters not at all in terms of the seismic shift of social mores his advent helped set in motion.

As tired as I am of hearing endless replays of his greatest hits everywhere I go, I have to give him a tip of my papal tiara for that.

Requiescat in pace.

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5 responses to “Wacko Jacko: The Importance of Being Michael

  1. Pingback: tinydoctor's status on Saturday, 27-Jun-09 16:29:06 UTC - Identi.ca

  2. Good perspective, Doc.

    I admit to wandering affection/dismay over his artistic talent/strangeness through the years.

  3. Saw the link on Deb’s facebook account, so here I am. I loved his talent and artistry, and I suppose he did make the world OK to be different, and that’s all good. But the weirdness with young boys, that’s the only part I can’t get over.

  4. “Suddenly teenyboppers, gradeschoolers, and even kindergardeners all ” — yes, that is the essence of what Jackson did, move the pop marketing machine from ten year olds down to five year olds, and kept it there for decades. He was also the answer to numerous questions that didn’t need to be asked: oh, what ever are we going to do for music now that disco is dieing its well-deserved death in 1981? oh, how do we make modern dance into a one-man solipcism, regardless of how many bodies are on stage ? oh PeterPan, wherefore art thou Peter ? oh, if only someone would buy up the Beatle’s songbook and put it in a lockbox ? oh, why does no one ever reward parents who abuse the bejeebers out of their infants ? oh, why can’t the music octopus industry of Southern California just stifle the aspirations of two generations of upcoming musicians by focusing all eyes on some irresistable unitary president of all pop ? oh, however can we stifle the sheer vitality of the most important music of the Sixties, MoTown?

    Michael Jackson was as Dr. Estes notes on TMJ a victim. Let us resolve to prevent such victimization by society in future by ignoring the subject, no matter what he does. When Shirley Temple’s equally fantastic childhood career as song and dance girl was over at about age 17, the nation proceeded mostly to ignore her. She then grew up to be a right wing politico/ambassador for the Raygun. Not what I would call salvation or maturity. One never gets over childhood abuse, especially that of the celebritizing kind, one only survives it if one is lucky.

  5. He deffinately paid $$$$$ for many indiscretions? his problems oh yeah he liked them young needed penis removed. hush hush .. money ,,,

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