Friday, June 26, 2009
When I was sick this Christmas, I listened to a lot of Jackson Five songs. They made me feel much better, especially ABC. I thought a lot about the young Michael for some reason, trapped and exhausted in Gary, Indiana, being put through grueling dance routines by his father, thought about his days at Motown where he became a star. When you tour the Motown Museum, you always hear at least one Michael story or see his famous glove -- once stolen, it had been returned intact. I watched the endless television biopic about the Jacksons in my recovery bed, looking at the cold sad sky of his youth turn into the overexposed brightness of LA. I cried a lot during the whole long show for reasons I couldn't understand -- perhaps it was the percocet, or not being able to forget how it felt to have a tube rammed down my throat, breathing for me, or feeling connected to the suffering of the world in a more real way by my new scar. But a lot of it was Michael, an adorable boy forced to perform in a slightly unwholesome sexualized way for other's entertainment, to support his family, to become a star.
A child of the eighties, I remember Michael at his best times during his solo career, before things took the turn. His childhood couldn't be tamped down anymore so he set about recreating it with Neverland, with animals, by changing his appearance, a severe form of self-vandalism. Even so, people still wanted him to win, to make a comeback, to write another Thriller. I could still see him in the cold, dark places he had started: Gary, Detroit. When his life had been hard, but he had not been broken yet. Before the bright light had started to eat at his soul. Like stars do, he burned out, becoming ash, because that's what stars do.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Because I think every child star suffers through this period because you're not the cute and charming child that you were. You start to grow, and they want to keep you little forever." Michael Jackson
Drinking movie suggestion: Away We Go
Bendictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday! Rest in peace to Ed, Farrah, and Michael! Everyone stay healthy, okay?!