Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Long live the King

Jay-Z I love you, but I think you've had your dick in Beyonce's booty too long and it's cutting off blood to your brain. Claiming that Usher has the potential to fill Michael Jackson's shoes is just plain absurd. I actually like Usher and think he's really talented (The shit I shamefully admit on this blog...) Usher's songs about cheating on girls, babydaddies and videos of half naked women in bed, don't really capture the nation's heart on the same level. Usher is a great performer who can really sing and dance, bravo! But the buck stops there. I could go on and trash the comparison's for hours but there's no need to point out the obvious differences, the only thing worth saying to such a proposterous claim is...Are you fucking kidding?!
Here's a vintage LALALA I wrote just shortly after Michael died.

Ladyfag's Little LALALA'S #50
I remember the first time I cried over Michael Jackson. I must have been about 7 or 8 and me and my cousins were all wearing our matching new leather Michael Jackson pants we had gotten for Chanukkah. Not the lone silver glove our parents had promised us if we were good, but we we're still fairly pleased with how we looked and we're practicing our dancemoves in the basement for hours. None of us could come close to moonwalking so we kept mimicking his moves and as we slid on our knees with our arms in the air, we felt pretty smug that we looked nearly as cool as our hero. Unfortunately the basement floor was carpeted and the leather pants were faux. By the end of the night there was two near wholes in my pant knees and bits of what was left of that faux leather scattered throughout the carpet fibres. I was taken home crying in the car whimpering between tears to my parents that they should have bought me the glove.

His life being cut short has brought me to tears once again and this time millions of people have joined me in my grief. The worldwide outpour over the loss is remarkable. From every corner you hear his songs, his videos are played, in death he is burning up the charts with the same strength of his heyday. Like Princess Diana and Evita before her, we are witnessing a people's late realization of what we had. Just like those women, he too was royalty....The King of Pop. Not unlike, but even more than them, it was not just one nation he belonged to, but to whole world. Music is a universal language and Michael did not take that lightly, using his music to try and preach that. From the beginning he reminded us "We Are The World" then he asked us to forget if we were "Black Or White" then he persistently carried the message forth to "Heal The World" As a child the notion is beautiful and as a cynical adult his ideas seem to precious and naive to be real. In his life he transcended and blurred the lines of music, nations, race, gender, and the very notion of celebrity. Towards the end he blurred the lines of what it means to live in this world that we created. It seems now less strange than appropriate, that he retracted into his own bubble. We will never know what his life was really like, and while of course it's none of our business, even worse we somehow don't even deserve to know.

Guilt.... Our own guilt....It's a strong emotion and is probably one of the reasons why his death has hit us as hard as it has. He spent years sharing his genius with the world and then for years we mocked him, forgot about him and then relished the gossip surrounding the controversies of his strange life. I don't feel the elephants in the room need to be brought up. The shocks, doubts and to this day the unknowns hurt me to think about then, just as they do now. They are no longer relevant to me. I remember a specific time not so long ago when someone was analyzing the crazy, mysterious and twisted circus his life had seem to become and I remember going " but he's STILL MICHAEL JACKSON!" and inside I remember feeling this need to protect what he meant to me. While I am no innocent either for gossip has rolled off my tongue, inside I've always felt his heart was pure. That to me is one of the most tragic elements, that maybe he was purer than us all and we are the ones that hurt the one who loved us. Or maybe my sadness lies in not being sure of his purity, or maybe in the fact that this world is a place where we can't even fathom anyone being so pure that we made him a monster to explain his behaviour. He became "The Vicar in A Tutu" right out of a Morrisey song. As strangely as the world viewed him we now feel remorse for a tradgedy we helped create. Carelessly we forget he was human like the rest, ruefully I think of this man who had to live with his thoughts and sleep with himself at night like the rest of us. We forget his humanness because he made us forget. He was larger than life, he was an icon, who became a character, who became a product.... a money making cow who made rich many who sucked his udders dry. As a child my dad a big Elvis fan tried to explain to me that they killed Elvis by pulling him from every side and not letting their money making machine live freely. It's much easier to keep a man sedated no matter the effect. I'm sure they'd like to think they we're helping him as they helped fuel his addiction. While maybe ugly and unpoetic to bring up at a time like this I can't shake it from my mind. The comparison from the King in my Dad's life to the King of Pop in mine is repugnantly macabre.

To the very end they are doing to him in death what they did in life.The money making memorials are being churned out in every available corner. I know people need to grieve and pay him tribute, I'm just not quite sure how we can do that respectfully. Now here I am, adding one more to the millions of tributes. I don't write these words to make money, nor for promotion, nor to alleviate guilt. I write hesitantly, not knowing if sharing my thoughts are cheapening my very memory of him. I'm writing as my own personal tribute to a man who has been in my life for a long time. He asked me to help heal the world and make it a better place, and I hope the way I live helps add truth to the words that have now become part of his legacy.

So I write this as a good bye and a thank you to you Mr. Jackson. To you as a man who gave me a gift as a child. You are my first memory of crying over fashion, you made me sing, you made me dance, and you gave a little girl who thougt she was princess a King to look up to. Thank you Michael....may you rest in peace.


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