I know it's cliche to keep writing about Michael Jackson's death but hey, writing about anything else would be like not talking about the big pink elephant in the room. It really is all I can think about - specially since I keep receiving tweets and e-mails and ims about it.
I spent most of the day reading news on his death and watching tribute videos (there are some really cool ones out there, you guys should look for the Philippino prision inmates at youtube.com), reading what random people have to say about it... and really, it makes me mad.
Not that anyone really cares about my thoughts on MJ, but hello??? I have never been an assumed MJ fan, but I have never talked shit about him either, even during his trashiest trial days. By the way, I do believe he was innocent.
One of the favorite things I read was a comment from Robin Gibb, one of the Bee Gees, quoting:
"This tragedy should teach us a lesson to value and praise those gifts while we still have them in the world.
"If even a small portion of the praise that is bestowed on Michael Jackson now in death was given to him last year in life, he might well still be with us."
I know he wasn't the most average Joe and all the plastics and scandals made him look like a freak and put him on the spotlight, but not in a good way. But I do believe he was a good person, I do believe he was innocent from the pedophilia charges against him, I do believe the people who did it were just stupid opportunists trying to take advantage of a great chance that was given to them (c'mon, if you think the million(s) dollars settlement sounded tricky, don't you think a person who has been sexually molested would settle for money rather than justice to feel peace? That just proves lack of integrity to me), and mostly, I do believe every bad thing that happened to him lead him to his unfortunate fate last Thursday.
I think he might have been too fragile and naive to stand up for himself, and I do believe there are people like that. The fact that he is talented and famous does not make him super in every other way.
And yes, he was very talented. Anyone who says otherwise is being a total hypocrite. I highly doubt that there is anyone from my generation who did not once tried to move like he did, and sang along to his songs and made that stereotyped yell of his "eeee-heeeee". I highly doubt that there is any so-called "music star" from nowadays who did not have MJ as inspiration or musical reference at some level, at some point in time. And I mean ANY so-called musician from today. And I say "so-called" because most of what we have today is not music, it's pure rubbish.
He freaking invented the moonwalk!!!
About 7-6 years ago I used one of his songs as inspiration for a class. I was teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to agricultural students from South America. It was very challenging since most of them had a lot of trouble just making it to "Hello, my name is _____", and I had to teach a foreign language to people who didn't even speak the same language (half spoke Portuguese, the other half spoke Spanish).
Anyways, after using about 3 different text books and all sorts of exercises I had used before, I ran out of resources to try to get my students to absorb any of the things I taught them. I even had one of the students look at me with the deadliest look and say "I have always hated English and all my English teachers, I don't see how that's gonna change anytime now." Ouch. Until I came up with this project.
Instead of trying to get English grammar in their brains with a 5% success rate (with maybe 2 students in a class of 35), I decided to talk about morals, and love, compassion, standards, life, values... things that mattered to them, and in the end I'd give them keywords in English to study and use them in the following class.
The best part of the project was the graduation presentation: I showed them the lyrics to "Heal The World", by Michael Jackson and they used a dictionary to translate it in group.
They were all touched by the lyrics and how it made sense to them from what we had been doing in class. They learned how to sing it (and believe it or not, for someone who doesn't speak English, it is very hard to sing in English) and they all stood onstage after they got their diplomas and the roses and it was beautiful and touching.
After the ceremony - and I don't mean to brag - the students gave me their roses and thanked me "for a valuable lesson" - Heal The World.
The guy who told me had hated all English teachers also gave me his rose and said he learned how important it was to communicate in English and he would pursue his English studies furthermore.
Amazingly, almost half of the class is now traveling around the world doing volunteer work.
And until today, all these students still write me and thank me for somehow making a difference and showing that their place and their work was to do what "I" had taught them - Heal The World.
I'm sorry, that didn't come from me, it came from Mr. Jackson. And I don't believe a freak, child molester, whatever-you-wanna-call-him person would be able to come up with this song. I don't think he could've written this song if he was that bad.
He was a brilliant man, I might even dare to say he surpassed Elvis - and believe me, that is HUGE coming from me, I'm a huge fan of Elvis.
He is an icon, his songs are icons...
I was watching the Ellen DeGeneres show today, which was probably pre-recorded early this week, and at the end of a sketch they started playing "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough". That song is also the theme for one of the most popular/ancient/traditional Brazilian shows. A Brazilian version of Oprah, if you may.
He might have not been the average Joe, but that only helped making him unique. No one can sing like him, or dance like him, there will be no other Elvis, no other James Brown, and no other Michael Jackson. And unfortunately, I think everyone just took him for granted.
Anyways, here are some of my thoughts on Michael Jackson's life and death, if you care.
Also, he was the only one who could wear the outfits he wore and totally pull it off.