25 June 2009


What a day!

As was true for a lot of people, one of my roommates had THE Farah Fawcett poster up on the wall. Of course I watched Charlie's Angels like everybody else, and had a favorite who was NOT Farah, but you couldn't get away from how wonderful and instantly iconic that poster was. Perhaps more impressive about Fawcett was how she made attempts to prove that she was more than just a pin-up, with The Burning Bed and Extremities, moves echoed by Charlize Theron and other actresses, who know in the mad jungle of Hollywood that they have to 'prove' that they have talent.

I also want to say that how wonderful it was that she and Ryan O'Neal were together in a 'non-traditional' relationship for many, many years, and only got married earlier this week.

And then, this evening, the loss of Michael Jackson.

I'm still processing this, but I do want to say that I believe that Michael's music will survive beyond the crazyness of his later years. Watching his videos now (MTV is showing his videos -- an amazing development in and of itself) I'm struck again by his talents as a dancer and showman, by how many references to classic entertainers of the past he incorporated in his work througout his career (Fred Astaire, Bob Fosse, Al Green, Sammy Davis Jr....), and how his work was the Ur-Text for music videos.
Many of us watched Michael grow up before our eyes, then grow strange. He lived so much of his life in the camera's eye: that fact alone had to have had a warping effect on him. I'm also one of those people who thinks that some of the 'blame' for his later apparent discomfort with his body and looks can be placed directly at the feet of his father, Joe.

But more important than all that, we will always have his music, and the images of him performing on stage, perhaps the only place where he ever felt entirely comfortable.

Huffington Post Top Video choices

Roger Ebert on MJ, The Boy Who Never Grew Up

Time Magazine's (Sort of) Celebrating Michael's 50th Birthday by Josh Tyrangiel

Andrew Sullivan, who's penultimate line sums up what a lot of us feel: "I hope he has the peace now he never had in his life."

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