Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson: A Memoriam

Do You Remember The Time?
Travis R. Wright
(Arts Editor – Metro Times)

First you learned to crawl , then you learned how to walk, and after that you spent the next couple decades attempting to moonwalk. That’s just the way it went for X-Geners like me. Birthdays, weddings, house parties that wound up in the kitchen — if anything from Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and even Dangerous came on, someone was going to try to bust it out. Most of us never got it down. But still, if nobody’s home and there’s a few feet of clean linoleum and a new pair of socks on my feet, you better believe I’m going to take a stab at it for the millionth time.

But Michael Jackson’s friction-defying signature move was as allusive as he was. Could you ever picture MJ shooting the breeze backstage at an awards show or appearing on a celeb-reality show? Not in a million years. He lived on the stage, and when he wasn’t performing, he was usually freaking us out. He didn’t know how to live off of the stage because nobody ever showed him how. Arrested development? The saddest, most public case there’ll ever be.

What I’ve come to realize in the days following the untimely death of one of the most iconic humans to walk this planet is that he meant more to me and to a lot of us kids of the ’80s and early-’90s than we thought he did. The jokes poured in as soon as the news hit. We weren’t laughing. The cracks came from older and younger generations, but for those of us who grew up with red pleather jackets with more zippers than stitches, this was no laughing matter. It’s hard to explain. Elvis and Lennon were dead and Jackson was in his prime. He was ours. And that’s what’s sad now: he was always only ours.

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