Saturday, July 3, 2010
michael, may you now be at peace: a reflection (no. 58)
"i'm still awake".
i'm listening to the radio right now, and one of the interviewees stated this at the beginning of an interview about the state of print newspapers. we each share the same 24 hours, no matter where on the globe we are. thinking about it, it is possible that the only time we may truly be ourselves is when we are not 'awake', because we are not constantly subjected to desensitizing materials.
at what point does true consciousness occur? a friend of mine had to catch me as she made a distinction between 'sleep' and 'rest'. a conscious person never sleeps, so when one goes to bed they 'rest'. and even outside of the physical plane there is much work to be done (as you know), so even if your body has taken on a state of eternal rest, your soul enters a period of work and protection.
i speak of this because it appears in many ways... we are culturally asleep, to the point where once-thriving industries are struggling how to work within a framework of changing technologies (whether or not they have the funds to do so). and we as individuals make the conscious decision to not take advantage of the facilities we are given. we have access to so much information and then we don't use it. we scream about the possibility of it being taken away from us but we don't utilize it to its full capacity, in positive ways.
and so we allow these industries to make the decisions for us; influencing our decisions on what to buy, and when to buy (into) it.
i think specifically about a couple of different situations... i think of the time when you were at the world music awards in monaco, and the notion of piracy was mentioned. you giggled at the word 'pirate', amused at how the traditional concept of a pirate (of the caribbean, no less!) could be associated with affecting a music industry. and then you caught on, and straightened up your posture. i found that charming, your slight naiveté of the concerns of an industry where you still sold millions of units, particularly outside of the states. your fans and supporters have been loyal to you, thereby deeming you relatively unaffected by the failing state of the industry... after all, you revived a slumping industry in 1982- and then again in 2009. i'll get back to this in a bit. but you never heard anybody exclaim, "yo! i got the latest MJ bootleg!!!"
and more recently i think about how performers like lady gaga are peddled to us.
lady gaga happens to be one of those performers where, when i hear her my eyes roll in the back of my head as if i am being possessed by some evil energy. i see her, and i become bit ill. i am not joking. it has nothing to do with how she's dressed really, or even the songs themselves. granted i don't really like the songs; but there are many bad songs out there and i don't feel possessed when i hear those. i just happen to see and hear this very evil energy radiating from her. it's as if they found her, and she was bred, 'manchurian candidate' style, to take on a pivotal role in a more modern form of desensitization.
i think the huge difference between what she does and what others do who PURPOSELY perform through a means of evil energy, is just that. though what they all do is intentional, what gaga does is set up to be 'shocking'. her image constantly changes in a painstaking attempt for unguarded fluidity. nothing is sacred in this world, especially not relationships (with ourselves, our environment or others). and we allow this space in our lives to be dictated to. because relationships are of least importance. our senses are so overloaded with imagery and sound that we begin to ignore the gift of vibration.
it troubles me when i see these children (and elders- i mean, people in their 80s) dancing to lady gaga. because these children are being indoctrinated early on. and the elders become internet sensations. we become so consumed with instantaneous desire, and even though she's not the only one to promote this, gaga contributes to it. that she is being lauded by publications for being 'original' and wielding a whole lot of influence (financial and cultural) is troubling to me, as this is a perpetuation of the idea(l) of individual wealth as being financial. and you obtain this wealth by staging yourself as a symbol of hedonism.
and so i return to 1982. you by comparison, despite being the most famous person in the whole world were actually one of the least hedonistic figures in popular culture. i can't help but think though that as you were bred for the life you entered since you were a child, there was a goal by management and label executives to market you as being a thriving recipient of this instantaneous culture... there were the dolls, the commercials, the concerts. still you could see an open battle with that life, as you shied away from interviews, or you made quick appearances then left, hiding your face and whispering how embarrassed you were. you created your little enclave inside, as opposed to displaying any sort of excesses outside.
even 'thriller', the album which still stands to this day as the greatest-selling of all time, was an album which claimed moral codes. 'wanna be startin' somethin'' indicated self-pride and familial responsibility; 'lady in my life' represented an intimate moment between two committed people, and 'beat it' was a lesson in just walking away from violence. even the titular track, despite it's dark theme, had a playful side to it; it was all about protecting someone from a horror film.
the funny thing is, this was the era in which you scared me. ultimately, whether or not you chose that energy, there was a DARK energy around you. and it resulted in the infamous 'victory tour', the 'pepsi burn' incident, and so much more. it seemed that when you decided to free yourself from much of your immediate surroundings at that time, creatively you became freer. HOWEVER, this was the period when the reception towards you became less and less positive.
those who choose to speak truth will ultimately be physically destroyed. this is the perception. but really, we all must physically leave this world. the most important thing is that truth remains. as long as we live in this world we are going to be encouraged to never question anything but ourselves. but if, in our physical existence we have obtained a bit of truth, then i think we have succeeded in some way.
and just by even reaching one person, i think you have succeeded very well. i'm still awake, michael. and i know you certainly are.