Michael Jackson farewell
Ever since Michael Jackson died last month, it’s been Michael coverage non-stop. As much as I want to complain about all the talk, I’m also sort of fascinated by it.
The day he died, Tamir sent me a text that read, “Mama say mama sa ma ma kusa.” That was followed by texts about his alleged child molestation. Like most people who watched MJ through the years, I got creepy feelings about him when all those allegations came out, as well as that Martin Basheer documentary… but I was also a fan of his music. So I was torn.
The day of MJ’s funeral, I was at work. We watched some of it at work. There were tributes being held all over the world, and since I worked in the evening, I went out to the one in front of the (now closed) Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia where Michael Jackson performed with the Jackson 5 in 1969. There were people everywhere celebrating his music, telling me about their memories of him 40 years ago as a kid, and later in the 1980′s when he returned to Philly on his Victory tour. The day of his funeral wasn’t sad though. What was sad to me was how this pop star had changed through the years. Anyway, the Philly tribute was all about his music and it was sort of wild. I shot some video of it:
Fans came out and they had photos of them with MJ back in the day, or photos of themselves dressed up like MJ.
I guess for me, the thing about Michael Jackson is that his music takes me back to my childhood. I remember dancing to Billy Jean in a skit in front of my 3rd grade class, or when the white sequined glove was the elementary school fashion statement. I remember dancing to Thriller in my childhood dance class, and my dance teacher was not sure if the music was too “scary” for a class of elementary school girls.
Later, there was “Bad” and also Wierd Al’s version, “Fat.” I was in Israel that summer and everyone went wild over him.
And of course there was all the wierdness about him. The rumours, the cosmetic surgery, stories about the elephant man, his mysterious relationships, kids — and when everyone watched him turn white.
A few days ago, I took a dance class at Society Hill Dance Academy where I met a choreographer named Frank (who I’m determined I will be working out with him a lot this summer, when I can wrangle him into carving out some dancing time with me!) Anyway, it was more of a dance “showcase” and so we went into the next studio to do some choerography of our own. At the end of it, Frank put together a short little number to “The way you make me feel.” I guess it’s kind of fitting, since MJ makes me feel creepy and good all at the same time. RIP, Michael. Here’s our dance: