Looking At The Man In The Mirror

It would be too easy to see this as an attempt to gain traffic.  An early morning post that is built specifically to grab a few stray Michael Jackson is dead searches… an unfortunate sign of the times.  I hope you do not see it this way.  This site has as much to do with celebs as TMZ have to do with gardening… so if I’m posting something of this nature, you have to understand the weight of this situation… and believe that, if James has put a post up regarding the death of MJ – he must have something to say.

I didn’t have a glove, although I wanted one.  I remember putting on this white glove (it was probably a mitten leftover from winter), and having that feeling of being him for just a second.  I had to have been 5 or 6 from what I can remember.  Michael was this superstar that was beyond dreams or even imagination at that point… and for that second of spinning around and pointing (and probably slight crotch-grabbing)… I was that superstar.

I never wanted to be a singer.  Never wanted to be a dancer… but that is the funny thing about MJ, he could make a normal everyday person lose their shit when one of his songs came on.  I would put the amount of money in my pocket right now on the fact that you (the reader) at some point did the triller dance.  Or at least the hands part of it… you know what I’m talking about.  And don’t try to be all cool and act like you haven’t either… because we all know you did.  At that reception… at that party in high school… that dance recital… the list goes on and on.

That’s the thing though… his scope was broad.  His fan base crossed generations, races, nations, creeds… and that is the most amazing part about the King of Pop.  It truly didn’t matter if you were “black or white”; his music and charisma were remarkable.  Being a white kid, growing up in a heavily Mexican influenced town (Texas is like that)… where the oil business meant more to people that Jesus at times – MJ still had an effect on me.

Seriously… what kind of artist can do that? 

One would think that here in Texas, West Texas to be exact… we would be listening to some country music (which we did too), or maybe some Tejano/Norteno… and there I was, pumping out Billy Jean and wishing that the sidewalk lit up as I walked to school.  Like I said before, I didn’t want to be a pop star.  I didn’t want to dance my way into the hearts of the world.  I just simply wanted to enjoy music and enjoy it the way Michael did.  Enjoy it the way so many folks did, when they listened to his music.

Lots of you can go back a step further, to the Jackson 5 era.  I do not have those memories.  I was born in 1979 – so the Michael I remember is a different one.  That does not mean I do not appreciate the Jackson 5, hell I have all their albums – I love a lot of that music as well.  I respect it for what it is, a different type of music.  Michael was truly amazing to listen to, no matter what age he was when he was doing it.  He gave you that chill when you listened… that chill that very few artists are able to do.  Maybe Whitney did it that time with the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.  Or perhaps Elton John.  Elvis… you know who does & doesn’t have that effect.

Michael was odd, I’m sure you have heard a ton of jokes since his passing.  Some super crude, some borderline and some just plain stupid.  We all saw him change.  We all read the stories, saw the interviews… news coverage – we all made our minds up on him based on the few facts we really knew.  The trials, the circus… the monkeys.

I am one that has to give someone a benefit of a doubt.  If he did indeed molest children, then that is for him and his maker to sort out.  He was never convicted of anything, and I know (so spare me the soapbox talk) – money can free anyone… but being a scientist… I must rely on facts.  And those facts are that he was never convicted of a crime.  So we will leave it at that.

Michael was a special man.  A man that was robbed of his childhood.  I feel he spent his whole life trying to get that childhood back.  I can’t fault him for that.  If you were given the opportunity (financially) to recreate those carefree times of life that were stolen from… wouldn’t you want to give it a try?  If you could play all day, wouldn’t you?  I would.

As crazy as it sounds, that part of Michael is the part I remember most.  Of course I remember his music, his dancing… his videos… his scandals… but the part that made the biggest impact is the kid in him that he never let die.  Call it the Peter Pan complex, but regardless… he made sure he played everyday… sometimes he bought things that he shouldn’t have (but I be he played with & loved those things)… but I bet he didn’t have regrets.  Being grown up doesn’t have to be bills, jobs, mortgages & depression, and Michael showed us that.

I don’t know about you.  You might hate the man.  That is your opinion.  I will not fight with you; try to change your view.  If you think his contribution to music was no different than the next musician… that is your point of view.  I hope you have respect for him, but I will not fight.  Michael Jackson influenced this white kid from West Texas.  Like it or not.  He will never die.
I would like to say farewell to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.  An icon that influenced generations with his music & persona, an icon that will do the same for generations to come.

4 thoughts on “Looking At The Man In The Mirror”

  1. Didn’t know the man, but I knew his work. Despite whatever else, he was truly a musical – and maybe even a visual – genius. MTV may have come along before Michael was making videos, but he was certainly instrumental at shaping what music videos would forever look like.

    For me, it may be most sad that Michael never had a chance to stage a comeback. I’d read that he was collaborating with a host of talented artists and the result would’ve been interesting at the very least. I hope some of that work may still surface, although if it does, it’ll probably be for all the wrong reasons. I’m sure the Jackson family will be angling to cash in on his name & notoriety for decades to come.

  2. Great post. I was a child of the 70’s and graduated high school in early 80’s. I loved dance music so I was a big fan of MJ. I loved his music in those days. Even as far back as ‘ABC’ with the Jackson 5. I had photos of the Jackson 5 and the Osmond’s on my wall. We were a pretty poor family, but I would save my money to get Tiger Beat Magazine so I could collect more photos. We didn’t have a good record player, so I wasn’t able to buy albums or 45’s UNTIL we got a good one. I have both “Off The Wall” and “Thriller” LPs. A white poor girl loved MJ. As he got older and weirder, my praise of him was reluctant. But I’ll always be a fan of the Michael from the 70’s and 80’s. He was a superstar and crossed so many barriers at the time. I hope his children can stay together and lead some kind of normal life…although I have to believe they HAVEN’T had any kind of what we would consider a normal life yet. I was sad when I heard he wanted to have the comeback so his children could see him in concert. It’s a shame they weren’t able to experience the kind of frenzy he obviously still produces after this many years. And I’m also said it’s starting look and sound more and more like an Anna Nichole story. Either way…he was too young to go. I hope he’s at peace now.

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