I'm a white musician a year younger than Jacko. Just laying it on the table.
Originally posted by Zaydie
It really confuses me as to how any African American could be a fan of
It doesn't amaze me. Michael Jackson's art was steeped in black musical traditions. He wasn't black the way, say, George Clinton is black - all
lyrics are written from an unmistakably black perspective - but his music and dancing have clear antecedents.
not only did he not want to look like a black man, he did not want to look like a man at all.
Does not that statement suggest to you that in that case it wasn't racism that motivated him? There were rumours that he wanted to look like Liz
Taylor and this speculation is certainly not at odds with what he did to himself.
As for the vitiligo thing, I never went for that. A (white) friend of mine has it and it's really
patchy and blobby. I do go along with
those who say he dyed his skin to make it white - but I don't know if he wanted to be a white guy or Liz Taylor. Ultimately I don't think it's
...it really becomes a puzzle to me as to why they embraced and idolized him.
I think by the time the molestation accusations came out, his eccentricity was already on display, the whole "wacko Jacko" thing was in full effect.
By that time he'd already established himself as a phenomenal talent.
But, over the last few days I have watched countless interviews with black celebrities who gushed over him and told of how he "opened doors"
for other black performers.
Which he did. MTV woudn't play black music, remember? He was the first (and probably the only one in a strong enough financial position to get it
done) black performer to get his videos on MTV - and his record company had to threaten to pull all
their product from the MTV schedule.
Did his talent and worldwide celebrity cancel out all the negatives in their eyes?
Michael Jackson's talent is a separate issue from the kiddie-fiddling
for many people. I think people can enjoy the art without thinking
about the other stuff, if they want to.
Or, was it that they are only going by the influence he had when he was younger before he embarked on a quest to change his
That doesn't seem implausible for someone of roughly my generation: the younger people must have seen his decline but still liked the music and
But take a look at this video
you'll see how MJ fits into the dance tradition. Btw, people are saying that the moonwalk was invented by the guy out of Shalamar, or by Bill
Bailey: my mother, who was a huge fan of tap, reckoned it might go back as far as the Mills Brothers. We also argued about MJ when I said he'd
started to look too weird. My mum's answer was that he was a STAR and was entitled to make himself look as different as he wanted.
But the main point is his talent. Yes, he was a tragic figure, abused by his father and growing odder and odder with age: but even if he wasn't an
innovator in terms of dance, he was still probably the finest dancer ever in that style. His sense of rhythm was absolutely impeccable and
underpinned everything he did, even those vocal tics like "yeeee-heee!" and "mah!", which might have been annoying after a while, but expressed
the groove brilliantly.
For myself, although it's difficult to forget that he was probably The World's Most Famous Pederast, I can still look at his art as a separate
thing. And I do feel a sense of sadness looking over his life, particularly when I see footage of MJ, pre-teen, singing a James Brown song with
unbelievable gusto and funkiness.