Friday, June 26, 2009

Pain Is Thunder

An album I bought when I was 11.

Everyone's sharing their Michael Jackson memories, so in the spirit of emotional and cultural conformity, here's mine.

I loved the Jackson 5. Still do. Have all their hits. "ABC," "I Want You Back," and "Never Can Say Goodbye" remain among the great Motown tunes.

I liked some of MJ's solo stuff, "The Way You Make Me Feel" particularly. The first time you heard that song, you knew it was a hit. Fucker had the touch.

That's about it, really. I never got caught up in the Jacko maelstrom, though I appreciated how easy he made it for comedians, especially during the child molestation years. If a white comic created Jackson from scratch and sent him through the same motions, he or she would be tagged as racist. Guess that says something about American culture, though what exactly I'm not quite sure.

Friend Jon Schwarz has an idea, taken from the film "Three Kings." Makes a certain amount of sense to me.

Oh yeah. An old family friend owned a very successful antique shop in Indianapolis. One day, in walks Michael Jackson, entourage in tow. MJ strolls through the store, pointing to certain items while an assistant jots notes. He's extremely quiet, whispering what he wants to buy. After about 10-15 minutes, Jackson finishes shopping, dropping some forty grand in the process.

Ginny and her employee are shocked that this is happening. It seems unreal. Being older and conservative, they weren't Michael Jackson fans, but they knew who he was. If anyone else looked and acted like MJ, they would probably make fun of him. But this guy's the biggest celeb on the planet. So they ask for pictures and autographs, and later speak of Jackson in reverent tones.

Jackson was in town during the Ryan White AIDS period. Otherwise, his sudden appearance in Ginny's store would seem even more bizarre.

Brother Jim Buck was more into MJ than I. Go read him, and make a habit of it. Jim's new blog is fairly exploding.

AND: Pal Louis Proyect offers his fine thoughts.