A lot of people are not going to like this....
Michael Jackson's music is flying off the shelves, off the download sites and off the internet at rates not seen in 25 years. Happens a lot at certain times in life -- like at its end. As Salvador Dali once said "a man becomes 10-thousand times greater when he dies." As was true of Dali, and is true of Jacko, 10 thousand times greater really means the sellers of stuff get to sell 10 thousand times more stuff for awhile after he dies.
But there are politically and musically incorrect among you who never had use for the guy or his music. Cute kid, sure. In the same way Chris Evert was a cute kid with a "stage parent" who seemed to force her to widespread recognition. There's a difference. Chrissy had talent.
This is not going to be a tirade about Jackson's private life. There's no need to go into details of his days in court, his money troubles and the little kiddies in his bed -- we know all about that. What we don't seem to realize is that his "art" such as it was, wasn't art and his music wasn't musical. Those dance moves? Not terrible. But you can see as good on streetcorners far and wide. Some critics called him the latter day Fred Astaire. Nope.
The voice? He sounded like a teenage girl, but one who wouldn't make it into the eighth grade chorus in middle school. Without the name and the publicity machinery, who'd listen to someone like that.
Those wonderfully surreal videos WERE art. But Jacko didn't have a whole lot to do with that.
A pal from the 'hood says he ruined R&B. No such thing. R&B music has ruined itself and Jacko wasn't nearly influential enough, especially lately, to accomplish anything that big. It's the musical, pop culture equivalent of saying Reagan brought down the Soviet Union. A carefully crafted myth.
Which Michael Jackson song will still be with us 50 years from now?
Ah! You can't think of one, either.
Jacko was a circus and an open sewer or a highway fender bender. People just couldn't pass by without looking, even if they feared clowns, worked in the cesspool cleaning or auto body repair industries.
It's too bad he died young. But c'mon... let's not turn him into Beethoven or even into Fats Domino.
--Billy Mays will liven up things in heaven. The king of cheap bellowed TV commercials dead at the age of 50, will bring his Oxy Clean stuff to the man upstairs and brighten up the dull walls and bathroom fixtures. But he'll have to learn not to shout and that won't be easy.
--Quote from a "friend" on Facebook, and used without permission. "I gave up smoking, drinking and men. It was the hardest 15 minutes of my life."
--This kid has potential. Maybe the next Henny Youngman. If the quote was original, of which there's some doubt.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®