Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
It would be dishonest of me to use the word “mourn” with regards to Michael Jackson. For me, Michael had been dying slowly for a very long time, although not in any biological sense, not as in cell death and organ failure. As I saw it, Michael Jackson had been fading from fact into fiction for years, had seemed unable to halt his momentum into diaphanous myth.
So his death today seems only the official seal on what had been clear for some time–Michael Jackson, a man whose life had been crafted, and then reinvented, and then remastered, and ultimately the man himself reconstructed, was no longer part of the human race at all. Whether his transformation was also transcending is in the eye of the beholder. He was the King of Pop long after pop had stopped sounding like Michael Jackson. He was surrounded by friends and seemed incapable of relating to people. He was a child who you could no longer leave with your children.
We never knew Michael Jackson. He was designed to be unknowable. We designed him that way. He designed himself that way. It is hard for me to mourn somebody I didn’t know, somebody I couldn’t know.
Below is one of my favorite videos of his, Remember The Time, from his mid-90s career resurgence. In it, he plays a magical being in ancient Egypt capable of crumbling to golden dust and floating away on the desert breeze. In it, as in many of his videos, as would later occur in his official video game Moonwalker, his gifts of dance and charisma save him from dire situations that might otherwise spell his doom.
In his music, Michael Jackson was more than King of Pop. He was Lord of All Creation.
In the real world, we needed more than his dance and charisma. I’m not sure he ever figured out how to give us more than that, because in some ways that was all he knew how to be.