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Musical genius

26 June 2009

I didn’t intend to blog about the death of Michael Jackson, I really didn’t. After all, a zillion other people are probably blogging about him today — why should I add to the cacophony?

But then there was this dude on the TV, saying that Michael Jackson was the greatest musical genius of the 20th century. Bigger than Elvis, bigger than the Beatles, bigger even than Frank Sinatra. Several dudes actually, but they all said similar things.


I can’t think of a single song of Michael Jackson’s. I may have heard some on the radio, but if I have, I’ve never associated them with him. Perhaps that’s because I couldn’t bear to watch him on TV, so I never saw him singing them. His plastic face gave me the willies, and I switched the TV channels, just as I do with female tennis players, because I can’t stand their asinine braying.

But thinking about it, he wasn’t even the greatest musical genius of his decade, the 1980s, when his popularity was at his height. That was also the decade of Queen, and their musical genius was really something worth talking about. I can remember their songs, and can name many of them, and we’ve got most of their records which we must put on DVD soon before you can’t get turntables to play them 0n.

I’m sorry for Michael Jackson, and think he must have had a sad life. No one who does that to his face can be said to have had a happy life.

If one wants to remember Michael Jackson, and his musical and cultural significance, then I think Bishop Alan has captured the essence of it on his blog. Read it, it’s really worth reading: Bishop Alan’s Blog: Michael Jackson Dead:

Driven by a desperate need to be loved, combined with an inability to grow up, Garland’s Law still applies, in good ways and bad: “Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else” Jackson’s ability and inability to do that, musically and personally, were the rub. It’ll make a hell of a movie, someday.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 26 June 2009 11:20 pm

    This morning on my way to work, the CBC inadvertantly cast the greatest judgement against MJ by stating that he “single-handedly launched the MTV generation”. That is a high crime against culture, almost a crime against humanity. I’m not joking..

    But on a personal level, I think that these deaths are incredibly tragic. Had they but known the gifts of forgiveness and cleansing – presuming, of course, that there was no deathbed intrigue. If only…

    • 27 June 2009 4:00 am

      I had to ask what MTV was.

      When I saw references to it in posts on newsgroups I thought the cellphone provider MTN might have gone into TV.

  2. 27 June 2009 5:09 pm

    I regret the loss of the King of Pop Michael Jackson! Jacko is a legend. Its my idol – I miss u. I hope he gets where he is now, finally in peace.
    Leave also your last greeting at Michael Jackson on our site, thanks.
    a big and now sad fan

  3. 29 June 2009 3:53 am

    I suspect that Jackson’s legacy is invisible because of its omnipresence. Some say elements of Jackson’s sound are present in every pop artist since his heyday.

    It’s rather like finding Debussy ordinary because we’ve heard the music on a hundred sea movies; without Debussy, they would never have come to be.

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