Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gary Indiana Is Beautiful At Night

I'm drawn to stories of violent self-transformation, the kind of thing that makes you both cringe and admire in the same breath, but I'm even more drawn to stories about people who cannot escape themselves, the ones whose identities are set early and morph as they may over time, never really change. This thought came to mind the other day as I was listening to the Jackson Five singing "Merry Christmas, Baby," Michael's voice the truest in every sense, more adult than an adult, more child than any child, and I could see his dismal future forecast over time, the heart-wrenching abuse he suffered at the hands of his father, his adoration by white people whom he did not threaten, the betrayal he experienced at those same hands, the probably all true accusations about the ill-conceived Neverland and his special friends, and finally his self-imposed exile. I suppose these thoughts seem grim with given the happy nature of the song, but the song itself is sad, holiday wishes from an insular family with a tyrant at the helm, and I liked the song more for its depth and did not change the channel as I am wont to do with Christmas music, except for any Karen Carpenter Christmas tune (same reason), and "Feed the World." (I cannot help it; I am a child of the eighties as much as it pains me to admit this fact.)

Of course, the nature of hell is to perpetuate itself, to keep you drawn in and reciting the same script, each act played out with the talent of a high school drama club, but alas played out all the same. Once I was considering something stupid (ha -- I could start every story with that line), and my friend Hank asked me if I really enjoyed being a cliche or did I think I could surprise myself with something else. I'd already experienced a fair degree of shame over the thought and now I was also a cliche?! If nothing else, this snapped me back into what I considered a more prudent course of action. I once saw a tape of Michael Jackson rehearsing as a young boy -- he looked like and had the moves of Al Green. In the background, his father was screaming at him to do it one more time, to get it right. I suppose, that, like most nights, was a long one.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"This is hell,/ but I planned it, I sawed it,/ I nailed it, and I/ will live in it until it kills me." Alan Dugan, "Love Song: I and Thou"

Cocktail Hour

Drinking music suggestion: Shinebox The Gourds

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy snowy Thursday!


Gweneth Paltrow said...

"Put it in me."

Anonymous said...

Oh yes....identities set early. I see it as a mother watching young innocent children grow up under awful circumstances and then the paths they continue very sad.
Now, instead of seeing a happy, innocent child playing at the park and letting the moment be what it is, I have a tendency to shoot out into the future and wonder which one of them will survive this world and which will chose a destructive path due to personal experience...the outcome, the sadness.

Michael Jackson said...

Sorry I missed yesterday's post, Michelle, but I just wanted to say that I've never liked sleeping alone.

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson is proof that only in America can a poor black boy grow up to be a rich white woman.

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

Your writing is wonderful as usual. ;)

(P.S. I am doing my first half-nekkid Thursday today ... totally in the buff. Not than anyone would be interested! ;))

Number 3239874199 said...

I like your blog and I may be coming often. Now to start that marvelous identity paper...

Laura said...

Tragic, what happens when children are brought up in an abusive atmosphere.

Paul said...

O Mighty Isis those are some rockin leather pants
R2 C2! Shazammmmmmmmm!

The Walking Man said...

Did Michael Jackson create his own hell as the money and freedom from Joe came around or was his hell created for him by his fame and father as a six year old...People get stopped from growing and maturing at a certain age when there is abuse involved, whatever age the abuse starts but this kid grew into a man worth more than a billion by his own admission; did he ever seek therapy to unlock the gate of his growth?

Or did he just keep on believing that boys in his bed was normal sleep over garbage, whether there was fondling or not. His hell now is to live the rest of his life as he now is, knowing that people think of him as another OJ that bought his way out of trouble.

But unlike the nature of hell isn't the true nature of life to continue to cycle and rebirth anew while still in this body? To stand against what is not right, The iraq invasion, a parent beating their child or screaming mercilessly at them in public, defending them who have no defense but the compassion of another, speaking honestly when that is what you know and truthfully when you are certain that what you speak is the truth.

Why be drawn to Freddie Krugar Movies when there are movies like A River Runs Through it? All of these things affect our determination to either break free of the gravity of hell and begin a new cycle of change.

For me, hell can go to hell; I will go on my own way, walking as I have always walked since i became an man living out from under others thoughts of what I should be.

Peace first, for from it ALL good things grow.


Tim said...

It is fitting that you mentioned Karen Carpenter when writing about self-transformation. I loved her for all the energy she put into her music and for her terrific voice. Her decline and death was, for me, the saddest celebrity passing of my time.
Michael's story is equally as sad when you see what the pressures of his father and his celebrity status have turned him into.
Great post, as usual!

AP said...

Hats off to the courageous men and women who gave their lives for the United States this day on Dec. 7, l941.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, interesting outfit and very charming. I enjoyed today's whole post in all its aspects as alway. A champagne toast to your dear dear loveliness. Bravo!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Some parents really know how to damage a child, and it doesn't matter how successful they become.

Anonymous said...

brings up a nature vs nurture question. it is sad though seeing someone go down the path to darkness.

Unseen but existent said...

Hey, lovely Christmas-writer-teacher lady, who do you think you are with those leather pants, UP? Unlike you, he doesn't believe in God, you know.