i have been doing a well-needed cleaning of my room since around 3 pm, and of course knowing me, there are diversions... i go to clean out this one box, and i come to find out all of the contents are essentially from 2005. 2005 was a very pivotal year for me; i ended a very abusive relationship, and that was also the year i met lumbia, my favourite person in the whole world (i think she's happy i am finally cleaning the room; she was getting stressed). the funny thing is, i was playing some music, and she was nowhere to be found... but when i put on michael she somehow was there. i'm serious, ya'll, she won't tolerate anyone else except michael. it's so funny.
speaking of... one of the things i found was an old issue of a paper i rarely read in the first place when i moved to portland, and a publication i read even less now- the portland mercury. its constant ode to irony and cynicism (as well as a condescending writing style when it comes to serious issues regarding 'people of color') gets old very fast. however, this particular issue i found was quite interesting, because on the cover it read: 'the fan in the mirror- outside the courthouse with the fans of michael jackson'. i had to laugh to myself, because i was not even following the man at that point, and i remember nothing about the particular case that was going on in 2005.
i am going to come out here and make a confession- i am not a fan of michael jackson. the last time i could sincerely say i was a fan was in 1982. and then the man scared me to death, with that damn thriller film. i was never the same. the 'can you feel it' piece scared me as well. everything he did was so bombastic. in the long run, conceptually, it was amazing. but to this 6-year old, all i could do was have nightmares for days. my mother played michael and his brothers' music since the day i came out of the womb. and even though my mother continued to listen to his music after 1982, he continued to scare me. i mean, i thought 'smooth criminal' was about my mother!!! (her middle name is ann). i was like, WHAT!!! my mother is okay, MI-kal!!!
i still liked his music, but he scared me too much for me to process anything about him.
and... as i mentioned in another piece here on this blog page, it was not until 2007 where i really examined michael's role in our world. and i became an advocate. for myself, i find this to be of more significance than my being a fan, because to me, fandom requires a suspension of belief that the object of your adoration is a human. OF COURSE fandom means different things to different people; i am just stating what it means for myself. i refuse to believe that michael is god, or A god. i consider myself to be an advocate, because michael is a composite of what each of us deals with as humans, times 100. he has taken on a lot of responsibilities to represent himself as one who takes on the joys and pains of us; but he has also had much of that dumped on him. if i had to give one reason as to why i appreciate him, i would say that his love of life and his will to live are inspiring.
this love of life is translated into the brilliant music he makes. perhaps this is why lumbia is tolerant of him. why she does not like STEVIE, i don't know why... his arrangements are impeccable, and his ability to create an inimitable identity for himself and his art (even if people attempt to rip him off, in my opinion) is to his credit. i mean, who else could make an album like invincible? no one else, as far as i am concerned. i mean, who could make an album like any of his? the absolute brilliance of his narrative ability is best shown in 1995's 'HIStory'; where he essentially takes us to the first part of his post-motown career- sure, they are songs we've all heard before- but then he's like 'aiight, i'ma REALLY tell ya'll how i am FEELING!' the condescending tone of 'D.S', the outright anger of 'scream', the solemn tone of 'little susie'... and the best narrative of all to describe his feelings surrounding the initial court case and the isolation of someone of his stature-'stranger in moscow'. if michael did not state his case with the album defining his human-ness, i don't know what to tell you. it was his most honest work, in my opinion.
the article (by david schmader) describes experiences with who schmader calls 'the faithful', or 'true believers'. like schmader, for me it is not difficult to make connections between jackson's childhood and the possibility of him being a pedophile. if we are to be fair and look at him as a human, why should he be excused from this line of thinking when most other people who display the same or similar behaviours would be deemed harmful to children? in his conversations with the 'true believers', schmader came to this conclusion: "to believe in michael jackson's innocence is to believe in a world of extraordinary purity and simplicity, a world with clear boundaries between good and evil."
the thing is, i question pretty much everything. i don't believe in a world where there is a line drawn in the sand between 'good' and 'evil'. i cannot believe that, if i am to respectfully humanize mr. jackson. and in my questioning this whole situation (of both trials) i have come to a conclusion as well- HE WAS CORRECTLY CLEARED OF ALL THE CHARGES HE WAS ACCUSED OF (in the second trial). as far as the settlement that existed in the first, no one knows what he was going through (except for those close to him). considering how sensitive michael is, if any of us were in his shoes, would we have done the same thing (particularly if advised to do so)? i read the transcripts, documents and conversations with the accusers of both trials, and to me, there was clearly enough evidence to prove jackson's innocence. with all of the information out there (which the public has access to) i am not sure why people are still calling him a pedophile.
and if, knowing what i know now, if the MJ were to go through a similar trial today LIKE THE LAST TWO, i'd be out there like 'FREE MICHAEL!'
michael is far from god, but i still maintain that his imperfection is a symbol of all of our imperfections. we just have yet to admit it. everyone exists here for a reason, and i do believe he was sent here to teach us about love.
which is the reason i am writing this blog... because someone stopped me the other day and thanked me for putting an event on that i did in honor of the MJ's 50th birthday. it was a benefit for two non-profit organizations. she told me it was a lot of fun.. but what touched me was that she said that her association with michael was essentially his music she heard when she was growing up. but she realized throughout the night that what he was doing was really about love.
which is one of my points in my advocacy for the MJ- to show that what he does is about love.
and as i clean my room, i realize there is SO much more house cleaning to be done, IF you know what i mean...