Tell ‘Em That It’s Human Nature

Is it really any surprise at all that the Michael Jackson movie was a financial disappointment in its first week out of the gates? It’s not a surprise to me. The fallout from his death has resulted in some typical bumps in record sales, sure,  but that is consistent across all lines of celebrity musicians deaths. Warren Zevon, for example, sold a bunch of records out of nowhere upon his death. The Michael Jackson thing is strictly about youth. Your youth, if you grew up when I did (call it 1978-1990). The outpouring wasn’t about commerce and getting all his albums you didn’t already have, it was totally emotional. It was about the glory of reflecting back on a time when you didn’t have a mortgage or other various responsibilities to worry about. It was about when you – in the serenity of your own bedroom most of the time – worried about trying to do the moonwalk, break dance or air guitar on Beat It. Some of the more adventurous did it outside their bedroom.

It was before he was weird.

A movie? Come on? Nobody wants to pay to go see a Michael Jackson movie. Not only that, but a movie of freaking rehearsals where a desperate 50 year old man who weighs 100 lbs is trying to redeem himself? No thank you. I think people know what’s going on here – it’s all about the money. Part and parcel to the modern day. Nobody rests until the bones are picked apart and clean. It’s like watching Animal Planet when all the lions rip apart the poor gazelle. The gazelle – a pretty cool looking animal in its own picture, but when the jungle comes calling……..it ain’t pretty.

Off The Wall

Plenty of places to find news on Michael Jackson, obviously. My only thoughts are this: most articles talk about how shocking and sad it is. It is, indeed, sad. Somewhere in that catalog, there is a Michael Jackson song (or 10, or 20) that you like, whether or not you care to admit it. You can’t argue with the numbers, or his groundbreaking use of the video medium – or his talent. He was a monster.

But shocking? Hardly. I mean, you take a nameless 50 year old man, seemingly healthy – and if he drops dead of cardiac arrest, that’s shocking. But Michael Jackson? This is a guy who, sadly, never experienced a normal day in his entire life. All spotlight, all the time. The largest selling record in the history of music (be careful what you wish for..) can certainly be an albatross. Throw in the eccentricities, the medication from what undoubtedly were several surgeries and the stress (guilty or not) of child molestation charges and you’ve got a guy who probably had a little stress in his life. So it’s terribly sad, but I am in no way, shape or form surprised by the outcome.