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26 June 2009 @ 07:46 pm
With due respect to ...  
... those of you who are mourning him, I am probably going to bite the next person who tells me that Michael Jackson was a revolutionary figure in the fight for equality by African Americans. I hasten to add that this has so far been three in real life and double the number of media foik: my flist has been a bastion of sanity.

Aesthetic irony aside, it belittles genuine revolutionary figures. And I am not even talking about political giants like Dr King; there were many entertainers who walked a far more difficult path earlier and with more grace and charity, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis Jnr and Nina Simone.

I'm all for people loving the heroes they choose, but I would love a bit of perspective at times like these. And perhaps a little sense of history.

Flistees who are just missing the singing and dancing, I apologise for intruding on your sad day. 
 
 
 
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
That is perfect!
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on June 26th, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
I like his stage presence. He contributed a lot to his art. Race equality ... um, not really.
I think the term "hero" is way overused these days :)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
Yes. I would just like Nobel Prize winners to expect the level of coverage a pop star receives when they die unexpectedly. Is that too much to ask?
(no subject) - rickey_a on June 26th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
acefacebloodbelieve on June 26th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC)
Wow, I actually haven't heard anything about that. I'd never even dream of referring to him that way. I'm upset because musically, to me, he was an absolute legend and influenced my life and a lot of my favourite musicians' lives. But -- revolutionary? Seriously? That's so strange.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
V Strange. Musically, I am all for people calling him important, because he was.
knic26knic26 on June 26th, 2009 11:03 am (UTC)
Equality for African Americans? Really?

Worked for aid in Africa...yeah.
Sang and danced like no one before...yeah.
Revolutionized the music video with the release of Thriller...yeah.

The only, and I mean ONLY, place where I can see equality is the fact that he was the first African American artist to have videos played on MTV, and that was because of his 'cross-over' success.

I think that media is only regarding him as a 'hero' because everyone between the ages of 20 and 40 really did grow up on his music and are more likely to feel the Elvis or John Lennon-like loss.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Was he? I did not know that!

And yeah, I think I am feeling old and crochetty and that very few pop stars are remotely heroic these days, while there are other people, and popular culture figures of the past, who were.

I'll just trot off and play some Robeson albums ...
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on June 26th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
If Michael Jackson engaged in revolutionary activity, it must have all been underground, to be revealed in declassified CIA documents years later...

He was a very talented musician, and a true eccentric. I wonder what will happen to his chidren. I suspect we'll hear some interesting revelations when they reach adulthood.
Bondeannawol on June 26th, 2009 11:18 am (UTC)
That was my first thought, I have to admit. I wonder will they go back to their mothers... It would be a shame to split them, but with the amount of debt he had, there is likely not going to be much to give them in support unless they get a percentage of royalties...
(no subject) - norton_gale on June 26th, 2009 11:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - deannawol on June 26th, 2009 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piratesmile331 on June 27th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - norton_gale on June 27th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bondeannawol on June 26th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)
How can you be responsible for helping along the plight of African Americans when you turned yourself whiter than white? He was probably a deeply troubled man judging by the severe self-image issues and the clinging to all things childish. Either way, had some good songs but wasn't the best 'black' musician by far either.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
I think he was deeply fucked over by those around him, but yes, he bought into it all ...
tnumfivetnumfive on June 26th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
Great entertainer? Definitely.

Pioneering activist? Not so much, no.

I was really upset when I heard the news. He did amazing things for the music industry. Today's artists owe a lot to Michael.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
He was good at what he did, but yes, what he did was pop music. Rosa Parks didn't get this sort of coverage, though at least she was able to die of old age and with dignity ...
rubyemerald_1 on June 26th, 2009 12:24 pm (UTC)
I'm just feeling sad for a person who had one hell of a weird life and showed us very obviously that he wasn't coping very well with it. I think he was a remarkable performer who should have said, help me.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Yes! He was very exploited throughout his life, which is tragic. There should be a Social Services for celebrities ...
Deborah Henning-Huff: HUGShogwartsvixxxen on June 26th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
I'm missing him most for his singing dancing and presence. He did do alot but so did so many others as you pointed out and Thank You for that.
*{hugs}*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
He did do some good fundraising for famine relief, which is more than other entertainers do!
It's a Deensedeensey on June 26th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
I love you <3
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Love you, too! And Ella ...
emansil_08 on June 26th, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
Yep, I agree.

Michael was a great entertainer, but that was all. Like us all he had his weirdness and idiosicracies. I see nothing to idolize him over. I think we should all remember his music, and should then let the man move on in peace.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Oh well, at least most normal people are focussing on rational things.
parallel parking prodigyempress_jae on June 26th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
for a man who did everything to become as physically "white" as possible, um...i'd have to go with a no. he certainly wasn't revolutionary in regards to race equality in the eyes of this black girl. ;)

revolutionary musical and entertaining genius? yes. that's what i'll miss. i grew up with him, so i feel like a tiiiiny part of my childhood has been taken away.

...

i'm sorry, i'm stuck on this, but who in the HELL said that MJ was a revolutionary figure in the fight for equality by black people??
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Mostly mad talking heads (including the one who came up with 'Before Oprah and Obama, there was Michael'), but also the Washington Post, sigh.

I never understood his appearance changes. He was a very good looking young man who became a freaky-looking middle-aged one. And PAID for it.
(no subject) - empress_jae on June 26th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - empress_jae on June 26th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piratesmile331 on June 27th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piratesmile331 on June 27th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
calanthe_fics on June 26th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
Poor old Farah Fawcett; she dies from anal cancer, and her big day gets overshadowed by MJ. Life, it's shit.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
I feel very sorry for Farrah: she showed courage and grace all through her last years and once again had men pushing her out of the spotlight.
(no subject) - empress_jae on June 26th, 2009 02:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - empress_jae on June 26th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - piratesmile331 on June 27th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bubba: Mourningabsynthedrinker on June 26th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
Not to mention etta james, louis armstrong, and mahaliajackson. The only things he revolutionized were plastic surgery and fleeing prosecution.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Ooh yes, they were splendid! I have a bad habit of thinking only of my great musical loves (Sammy and Ella were the earliest American artists I adored, and I will never move on from them.)
trichinopoly ash: dan: orly?aldehyde on June 26th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
huh. really? i haven't seen posts like that [yet] and it's a bit surprising b/c i've never seen him as being revolutionary in terms of racial equality.

i DO think he was revolutionary in the field of pop music and dance though, and i'm mourning his loss for that. he was the first celebrity/musician i ever became a fan of, and i have tons of memories associated with his work from my primary, secondary and even post-secondary days. hell, some of my earliest memories [from when i was 3 or so] are associated with his music :/
blamebramptonblamebrampton on June 26th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
No, not posts, LJ people are being the sanest people. Mainstream news media, including the Washington Post, and some people at my publishing house, the ninnies.

And yes, pop music wise he was an important influence, public policy influence wise, not so much.

I was always more of a Joy Division girl ...
(no subject) - aldehyde on June 26th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)