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Saturday, July 11, 2009

After a few hours of living with that last entry about Michael Jackson ... .

as a way of doing penance I forced myself to sit before my television set -- tuned to MTV -- and watched a full hour of his videos. I then watched "Living With Michael Jackson" (BBC). What a sad experience! This was an artist of and for my children's generation. I felt shame for sitting in judgment of this vulnerable artist, though I was left even more conflicted than before.

His talent and charisma cannot be overstated. I could feel the years peel back as I watched his magic unfold. Incredible!

Among the selections presented was one with Lisa Marie Presley called, "You are not alone," and there it was; the exhibitionism of the baring of his body just as I remembered. The discomfort that I'd felt returned as sharply as before. Wanting to look away ... embarrassed for him in some weird way. I was struck with how long those impressions and images remain in the subconscious to be called up with all of the affect originally experienced. How many years ago was, that, anyway?

Strange.

What an amazing performer was this fragile genius!

He is called the ultimate showman. Transcendent! Legendary. And now, I, too, am a believer.

... but I came away also convinced that he may have been as damaged by his early life experiences as was my Dorian by irreversible birth trauma. Emotionally, he may not have matured much more than she has over the years. Watching him being interviewed evoked empathy usually reserved for the "wounded" who make up her world. I could feel myself mentally lowering expectations and making the necessary allowances ... (this is familiar territory).

Perhaps he was precisely what he needed to be in order to survive his extraordinary fame.

I couldn't help but suspect that -- had Dorian approached with the opening statement, "...tomorrow is my cat's birthday," Michael without hesitation would have asked -- "... and how old will she be?"

Sleep well, Peter Pan... .

Comments:
Thank you for these essays on Michael. You were braver than I. I couldn't watch the memorial.
 
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