Originally posted on June 26th, 2009:
Yeah, that’s right. I like to kick ’em when they’re down…
This morning when I woke up, I couldn’t help but notice that the grass was a little greener, and the sky was a little bluer. Everything smelled and tasted better. It felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Why, you ask? Because Michael Jackson is DEAD!!! WOOOOOOOOOO!!! Put on ‘Thriller’, I’m ready to dance!
If I were to say something like: “Michael Jackson represents the complete failure of Western Society, and that his popularity and success is a depressingly poignant reminder of the depths of human stupidity, and the failure of Freedom, Capitalism, and Democracy,” you might think I was being a little melodramatic.
But consider this: When I was a child in the 1980’s, Michael Jackson RAPED ME (with bad music). Can you imagine what it would be like to NOT be a Michael Jackson fan in the 80’s? I was utterly screwed. That shit was everywhere. You couldn’t NOT listen to it. There was no escape from the bad taste of millions of people. I remember when, in some misguided attempt to make school relevant to 80’s youth, THEY MADE US SING AND DANCE TO CRAPPY MICHAEL JACKSON MUSIC AGAINST OUR WILL! AND FILMED IT!!! (thank Jesus that those video tapes were all destroyed in Hurricane Ivan). Seriously though, forcing a child who hates Michael Jackson to sing and dance to his terrible music is probably a far worse crime than forcing an Athiest child to say “one nation under God” while reciting the Pledge of Allegience. Sadly, the Supreme Court did not get involved in my case.
Because of the prevalence of “artists” like Michael Jackson, my first impression of what humans call “music” was not a positive one. Truly, Pop is the NewSpeak of music. Suppress the good music and relentlessly promote the bad music, and soon people will forget that music can be anything other than synthesized theatrically contrived meaningless drivel. It wasn’t until 1992, when Nirvana broke through the suburban barrier, that I realized that music didn’t have to be over-produced, meaningless, false-idol worship.
By 1996, if you asked someone what kind of music they liked, and they responded “Michael Jackson”, you knew that there was something seriously wrong with that person. MJ was such a symbol of the 80’s, Reaganomics, the Cold War: he truly was the embodiment of one of the most tasteless, opulent, destructively decadent time periods in American culture. He had no credibility in the 90’s.
But even when I moved on to better tunes, the threat of Michael’s music was still ubiquitous. Relatives from the backwoods, who thought it was still the 80’s would send me his CD’s every Christmas and birthday. “Here you go little J”, they said,”Here’s some of that dang ol Michael Jackson. You should listen to this with all your friends. You’ll be gettin all the girls with these jams.”
Thank God for CD Warehouse, where I would trade this crap in for $5 a CD, so I could go around the corner and buy smack cut with Tylenol PM, which I felt was very effective in helping me escape from a cruel world where Michael Jackson can get away with raping an entire generation.
But Michael, being the liscense whore that he is, expanded his product lines into everything. At one point I was even given (or maybe I earned it with Pepsi points) the Michael Jackson Moonwalker video game, which bordeom and a sense of camp value caused me to play all the way through.
In this video game, MJ’s job is to rescue little kids from an evil crime boss, but in hindsight it was probably the evil crime boss doing the rescuing. To anyone who is wondering how the hell Michael Jackson could possibly beat up a whole nightclub full of gangsters, well, it turns out the MJ is himself a gangster: A magical gangster who draws his power from shooting stars. Using his special ability forced all the other gangsters on the screen to start dancing like Jackson, then at the end of the song they all die for some reason. This is much like the way I was forced to dance like MJ in my youth, except unfortunately I didn’t die when the song ended. Also, I remember if you got the right powerups in the right order, MJ would turn into a Robot that could shoot lasers from his eyes. Then, he would turn into a spaceship for the final battle with Mr Big piloting a robo-mecha-spider. yes, apparently Michael Jackson possesses the ability to turn into a spaceship.
And I’m tired of hearing all this crap about how Jackson was good for race relations because he had “crossover” appeal. Let me tell you something: white people were perfectly capable of enjoying black music before Michael Jackson. Actually, I find some of Jackson’s videos in the 80’s to be purely blaxploitive. “Smooth Criminal”, “Beat It”, “Bad”, “Dangerous” all featured Jackson acting like a gangster, though i suspect that child star Michael had never even been within a mile of a gangster. All of these videos depicted and promoted the most negative black stereotypes, all for the benefit of Jackson’s precious image. This man literally sold out his culture for his own glory and wealth. And then in the 90’s he tried to redeem himself by smashing up that car in that superbowl video, then morphing into a black panther and leaping away. WTF was that? Even my pro-MJ hillbilly relatives were scared and confused by that performance.
Michael Jackson’s success and popularity have seriously shaken my faith in Freedom, Democracy, and Capitalism. Let me just say, that if people were intelligent and had good taste, Capitalism, Freedom, and Democracy might just work. But people are stupid and have horrible taste, and thus, they will EAT SHIT and LIKE IT as long as it is marketed to them correctly. The scary thing is, this applies to politicians just as much as it does to musicians. Jackson’s life is also a great example of how everything is for sale in America. You too can get away with molesting little boys… for the right price you pay to their fathers out of court.
One reporter lamented that Michael Jackson’s death meant the Death of Pop Music. God, I hope he’s right. I’m so happy that, for once in my lifetime, the CRAPPY musical Artists (BackStreet Boys, Lindsay Lohan, etc…) have lost one of their Idols. Hopefully this loss will demoralize them to the point where they can no longer put out their crappy music. It is a serious cosmic injustice to me that we lost Cobain, Morrison, Lane Staley, Lennon, Tupac, Hendrix, Biggie, and a whole bunch of other great musicians at such a young age, but we had to wade through 50 years of paparazzi tabloid filth to see Michael Jackson die. My question is simply this: How much brilliant talent has gone overlooked and unappreciated by the unified corporate media system so that Michael Jackson could hog the spotlioght for 30 uneccesary years?
But I must say, though I am enjoying the media circus surrounding his death, particularly the emergence of conspiracy theories and speculation about how long it will take his face to decay (plastic lasts 1,000 years, right?), what I’m really anticipating is the time coming in the very near future where I will no longer have to hear ANYTHING about Michael Jackson. I won’t have to hear his crappy music, I won’t have to hear about his sham marriages, botched plastic surgeries, child molestation and abuse, bubbles the chimp, or any of that shit EVER AGAIN. There will only be silence, blessed silence. Because Michael Jackson is one of those musicians who makes the value of silence go through the roof.
So if you see me on 6th Street tonight, I will be wasted and singing Michael Jackson songs, giving the man’s work one last hoorah before I gleefully close the door on this terrible moment in American culture FOREVER. I just wish I could moonwalk on his grave.
PS: To all my black friends… We’re still cool, right? What, too soon?