Thursday, July 9, 2009

Memories of Michael

Before I do Thursday's Tidbits, I going to take a moment to pay my own respects to Michael Jackson. I'm late blogging about his death due to a death in my own family that same week.

First, I just want to say that the memorial on Tuesday was such a stunningly beautiful and heartfelt tribute. Especially touching were Brooke Shields' tearful remembrances of her & Michael as teenage friends, the songs by Stevie Wonder & Usher, and the many memories of Michael by Berry Gordy, Magic Johnson, and Smokey Robinson. And of course, the most touching remembrance of all, will always be daughter Paris Jackson's poignant farewell to her father. That was truly heartbreaking.

Going back down memory lane, I can recall watching reruns of The Jackson Five's cartoon show (forgot what it was called) on Saturday mornings in the mid-70s. I think that's really where I first heard "ABC" and "The Love You Save." By the time I was about ten (1978), I really knew who they were. By this time, The Jacksons' (having already left Motown by this time) big hits were "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and "Blame it on the Boogie." Anyone remember those? They were rockin'! Another fave of mine around this time period was Heartbreak Hotel (I still LOVE that song to this day). Then came OFF THE WALL. Wow. What a great debut for him as a solo artist! My faves: Rock with You, Off the Wall, Working Day and Night, & Don't Stop Til You Get Enough. When I turned 15, the THRILLER album had just hit big and I had huge posters of Michael, as Tee Brown said in one of her posts, "wallpapered" to my bedroom walls. What can I say about THRILLER? An album where practically every single on it was a hit and got frequent airplay? For me, it's the best album ever made. Michael was at his musical best here.

In later years, there were only a few singles I liked from albums that came out after THRILLER. And some of the things he did and said, I didn't totally agree with. But who am I or anyone else to judge? No matter what anyone says about Michael, he was a true musical genius, with talent that could only be a gift from God. So let God be the judge. As Marlon stated at the memorial, "Maybe now they will leave you alone."

Rest in peace, Michael.


Tess said...

Ok, I don't want to be irreverent and I know I may be flogged, but, I also know you are a good blogging friend and hope you'll not be mad when I say:

Michael hurt children. How come no one remembers that? The boy could identify a certain birthmark in a certain place that no child should know about.

Was he a musical talent? yes. Was he part of so many of our youths? yes. Did he live an impossibly difficult life? For sure.

But, I struggle with the dichotomy of the situation. Am I alone in that struggle?

I'll not judge him for the surgeries, drug abuse, mental issues...honestly, that is/was his journey. But, there is a big elephant in the room that everone is overlooking.


ok *steps off soapbox* I'm done.

Sorry! I'm not really a controversial person, but this one strikes a chord with me.

I'm scared to push the 'publish comment' I go....*wincing*

Tess said...

Ok, now I'm sitting here heaped w/ guilt for being so mouthy.

Sorry again.

Tee Brown said...

He was acquitted of all charges.


Maybe the people who have convicted (and continue to convict) Michael Jackson in the court of public opinion have access to information and evidence the 12 jurors seated in his case did not.


Then don't judge someone based on skewed, selective and sensational media reports. As writers, we're thinkers. We should know better.

Okay. Off my soapbox now, too...

Crystal said...

Sorry to get back to this so late, everyone!

Tess--I read your comment earlier and wanted to comment back but I was at work and couldn't take the time I wanted to comment.

Okay, that said, I really didn't mean for this post upset anyone, but with all the controversy surrounding Michael I guess I should have known better. And no, I am certainly NOT mad at you, Tess, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That's what makes this country so great. And no, you weren't being mouthy, Tess, just honest. And I appreciate that.

Michael Jackson was indeed, I think, a troubled soul with many, many issues stemming way back from childhood. But that, of course, is still no excuse to inflict any kind of abuse upon a child. I did a little hunting around the internet to refresh my memory on the case & there was a lot of conflicting testimony against Michael, who was subsequently acquitted, as Tee stated above. And we all know the child in question was awarded $20 million out of court.

But what I wonder is this: if you, as a parent, really believe that your child has been/is being abused, wouldn't you do everything in your power to put the abuser behind bars, instead of just accepting a payout? If someone abused my child & I knew about it, I'd want the abuser put UNDER THE JAIL. A payout just seems a bit too easy, as if the parents perhaps had some ulterior motive. Just my thoughts . . .

Tee--Thanks for chiming in! I welcome all perspectives! Yes, as wriers, we do have to keep an open mind . . .

Okay, now I'm the one afraid to push the "Publish Comment" button . . . Please don't hold my musings against me, friends!

Corey Schwartz said...

Hi Crystal,

Clicked through from Tess's blog. Sorry about your father-in-law. I too live in NJ and have in-laws in CT.

Crystal said...

Hi Corey!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Thanks for your condolences. And glad to meet a fellow New Jerseyan!
And in-laws in CT, too. Small world we live in! :)

Trish said...

Well, I'm not afraid to push the 'Publish comment' button. I totally agree with Crystal. What mother in her right mind would accept all that money if her child was really sexually abused. I guess a cruel one could, but if he was abusing children, why haven't other parents or children come forward.

He was found innocent by the jury and unless I'm given proof otherwise, I won't believe a word of it. It doesn't add up to me.

I agree with the freedom of speech, but no one so far has convinced me that he was guilty.

I've always loved his music from the first time I saw him as a child. And I adore his song, Ben. Then again I love rats and write about them in my children's stories. But I think his music and dancing was fantastic.

I think all the stress that he’d been through the last few years, added to his use of prescription medications.

It will be interesting to see what the boy that he was supposed to have abused has to say when he grows up.

We watched the memorial here in Australia too. I thought it was wonderful, but sad. I honestly can't believe that all those great people would actually be his friends if they thought Michael was a child molester. What does that say for them?

He'd dead now and hopefully he's at peace.

I don't know about anyone else, but I've always believed that our eyes are windows through to our souls. Michael Jackson had gentle soft and haunting eyes, not the eyes of a scheming pedophile.

I'll get of my soap box now, but I'm quite happy to press that button and I’ll happily jump back on it.

I'm sad. There will be no more new Michael Jackson songs and videos, but at least he left so much behind for us fans to enjoy.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I loved his OFF THE WALL album. In fact, I still need to download a few of those songs on my Ipod.