Geroge Best once said "I spent most my money on women and cars. The rest, I squandered". Now that MJ's dead, I can't remember him for his contributions to music (of which I don't know much about) but for the decline of his life and lifestyle. He went from making millions a year, not only popularity and adulation but a crazy love of his fans, being a milestone in cultural history to financial bankruptcy, being reviled by the mainstream and an object of constant jokes for late-night comedians. For many of his fans he was long dead and the child molestation trials were only a walking ghost.
One of my friends said that he would make an interesting psychological study - he's been in front of the camera since he was 5 and practically lived most of his life chased by paparazzi. In a TV show aired sometime in 2002 he rents a grocery store for a night so that he could push the cart and buy stuff like bread and coke - just to see how if feels to walk the aisles of a store like a common man. That moment was heavy and I felt very sad for him. To be able to walk in a park without attracting attention might have been a sanity booster to him, but that day never came. (It is in light of MJ that I find celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe great; the kid made millions of pounds before he was 18 but still has a cool head and talks sense).
I've never really seen or listened to MJ. There was a brief phase in my early years when he was all the rage, just to fit myself into a coterie I listened to most of his tracks. Given my music appreciation background (grew up listening to Ilayaraja) I wasn't impressed. After his death I looked up one of his live performaces in Youtube. His pelvic gyrations, robotic movements, moonwalks, I liked. But mostly I'm impressed at the way he controlled just parts of his legs - it felt like a meeting point of kinesthetics and dance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a terrific musician, dancer and entertainer he was! It was unfortunate that his life turned out the way it did.