Friday, June 26, 2009

LIke your family?

One of the reasons I was not a fan of Michael Jackson was that I could not, in any way, relate emotionally to the high pitched voice, the disco-flavored dance moves, etc. coordinated with the weird dress. Aesthetically, music should resonate with one, and Jackson's music did not with me. But the foregoing doesn't even begin to explain my reaction to scenes like this:

In Los Angeles, hundreds of fans — some chanting Mr. Jackson’s name, some doing the “Thriller” dance — descended on the hospital and on the hillside house where he was staying.

Jeremy Vargas, 38, hoisted his wife, Erica Renaud, 38, on his shoulders and they danced and bopped to “Man in the Mirror” playing from an onlooker’s iPod connected to external speakers — the boom boxes of Mr. Jackson’s heyday long past their day.

“I am in shock and awe,” said Ms. Renaud, who was visiting from Red Hook, Brooklyn, with her family. “He was like a family member to me.”

What are your family members like? Do you relate to them as you would a pop icon? To see them do you have to go through Ticketmaster?

Yeah, it's a phenomenon we saw with Elvis and the Beatles (and decades before with Rudolf Valentino), and there was some kind of vicarious expression of sexuality associated with them, or at least I thought there was.

But the scenes that I saw on TV reacting to Jackson's death had to do with lots of folks in their 30s. Michael Jackson in death is a sex symbol? - the guy with the nose famously lampooned in a South Park episode?

And he's like a family member?

May all beings attain wisdom.

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