Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson

It's funny on facebook how everyone is so divided on this. You have half the people saluting the one time king of pop while the other half is saying good riddance to a presumed pedophile and creepy fellow.

As for me, I was kind of stunned, more than I'd care to admit. It just seems so strange. I don't think I really cared about anything Jackson did artistically since the mid-80's but for some irrational reason I still thought a comeback might be possible. At the very least, it might have shown that the past two decades of weirdness was somehow worth it. Of course, this stopped being a hollywood type story years ago so I guess there was never any chance of a hollywood ending.

In a lot of ways I am more forgiving than some of the people on facebook. At the very least, I can find some way to divide the art from the artist. I still love On the Road while accepting that Kerouac had a homophobic streak a mile wide. I can still get a thrill out of Jerry Lee Lewis doing Crazy Arms while accepting that the killer was a creep. Bobby Fischer, Hemingway, Ezra Pound - all creators of great art while being less than stellar human beings (Fischer's chess in it's prime was a work of art). You know it's a bad crowd when Hem starts looking like the well adjusted one.

Thriller was one of the first albums I ever owned. I was ten at the time. Over twenty years later, I still probably know most of the songs by heart, not that I've ever been quick to admit it. For all the madness - the rumours, the innuendo and whatever the reality may be - you have to give him that. In his prime, he created great music.


Allison said...

He did create great music. I believe Thriller is still the highest selling record of all time?

Sad day in music.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yeah you have to separate the music from the personality. I've never owned any of his music but I admit his importance in modern music.

John Mutford said...

I'm able to separate the music from the personality. Like your point with Jerry Lee Lewis, I'd say there'd be a lot of music stripped from my collection if I had to like the person behind the songs (James Brown, Guns N' Roses, and so on and so on). They sang and sometimes wrote the songs, but it doesn't belong to them once it's out there. But, with Michael Jackson, I just feel like the talent and perhaps even the humanity had died in him long ago, so why mourn him now? Shouldn't we have shed our tears back in the mid-90s?