I know this is REALLY late but I had to say it. I got the news of The King of Pop‘s death on the drive up to Utah. Sam, my friend Michael, and myself headed up to the LDS state for the wedding of two of our closest friends. As we made it 98% of the way and finally got to an area where there was a large enough population to have a radio signal, we switched of the CD player and found a station. As the front passenger I had most of the rights to the radio station choice so I stopped on Alien Ant Farms cover of “Smooth Criminal.” Definitely not the best rendition of the song but still worth a listen. As that song finished, the following song was another cover of a Jackson hit but this time with Fall Out Boy. We were so confused. What is up with all the Michael Jackson covers? My boyfriend even made the joke– Is Michael dead? — not knowing that this eould end up being the truth. As we got to our destination (the grocery store to pick up some stuff to stock our rental home with food) Mike got a text from his sister. It was true, the King of Pop had passed. Tragedy.
What follows is a blog post that my brother put on Facebook. It describes my feelings best. I am tired of all the shit talking after such a massively tragic day. Please try to separate the art from personal life of the artist.
The following is by Mike Funk. I think it is truly thought provoking and speaks to my heart. And yes, my older brother is, well, a genius. 😀
I’m sure I’ll get deleted by some of you for posting this but seeing some pretty hateful stuff about Michael Jackson in and outside of FB for the past 24 hours has gotten to me a little — and I’m not even that much of an MJ fan (yup big surprise: Off The Wall and Thriller).
As of late I’ve noticed people focusing way more on the personal lives of public figures instead of the good work that they do as entertainers, athletes, or politicians. Are Perez Hilton and TMZ to blame? Granted when anyone breaks the law, famous or not, it affects everybody and MJ is not excluded. But what disturbs me is the idea that negating the great musician and dancer that MJ was is justified because of the horrible things that he did to himself and others. Is George W. Bush really a better president than Clinton because Bill convinced a young intern to give him oral sex in the Oval Office?
So in defense of Michael Jackson, here’s another random list of things on FB:
– Do you reduce the social importance of the film “The Pianist” because its director Roman Polanski had sex with a minor?
– Do you disregard the beauty of Sam Cooke’s voice because he violently assaulted a woman shortly before his death?
– Do you ignore the subtle brilliance of “Alison” and “Shipbuilding” because its songwriter Elvis Costello called Ray Charles a “blind, ignorant n!gger”?
– Do you disagree that James Brown was “the Godfather of Soul” because he beat his wife?
– Do you downgrade Public Enemy’s large influence on rap and hip-hop because Flavor Flav failed to pay child support?
– Do you run screaming from sporting events when Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” is playing since he was convicted of owning child pornography?
– Do you stop watching the pinnacle of American cinema that is “Annie Hall” and “Manhattan” because the films’ director Woody Allen married his ex-girlfriend’s daughter?
– Do you crush your Ozzy Osbourne records because he nearly strangled his wife Sharon to death?
– Do you deny Siouxsie Sioux as one of the most influential women in rock because she wore a swastika armband early in her career?
– Do you reject the visceral power of Led Zeppelin because they allegedly beat a groupie senseless with a mud shark?
– Do you stop listening to “Space Oddity”, “Young Americans”, “Heroes”, “Ashes to Ashes” and “Let’s Dance” because their creator David Bowie once said, “Britain could benefit from a Fascist leader” and he owned Nazi paraphernalia?
– Do you dispute Oscar Wilde’s literary influence for the past 150 years because he frequented male prostitutes?
– Do you burn the countless poems by Anne Sexton because she had an incestuous relationship with her daughter?
– Do you disagree that Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall and Thriller are culturally-important albums and deny his huge influence on pop music because he was (allegedly–Steph added that) a child molester?
R.I.P Michael Jackson…you are truly missed.
And now for a few classics MJ songs…
Above is the full length of “Thriller“, which is 13+ minutes. Gotta love it!!!
…the list goes on and on but I’ll stop there…
PS– by no means were those videos in order of my favorites. In fact, I am sure that a few of the ones closest to my heart may not even be there. But watch a few. I spent a few hours watching VH1’s tribute to Jackson only to fall that much more for his true musical genius. The man was a great musician and performer AND had the sickets videos!!!!