jueves, 5 de mayo de 2011
Lots of things have been said about Michael Jackson. The man who walked over the moon became the most selling artist in all time. The complexity of his personality can only be exceeded by his legacy. Frank Sinatra said one “The only male singer who I have seen besides myself and who is better than me is Michael Jackson.” Like Alexander the Great, Michael Jackson wanted to be remembered forever. This obsession leads him to break all the limits, not only in his music but also in his entire persona. He wanted to last forever so he became a human being that was above from race, gender, age and time.
“To me, ballads are special, because you can have a pop song that’ll be known for three weeks and then you’ll hear nothing else about it. Nobody else will record it and it’ll just be gone. But if you do a good ballad, it’ll be [in] the world forever”
Michael Jackson, Havenhurst, Encino, California, October 8, 1972
“What I really want to do more than anything is film. Film will last forever. I can go on tour and it’s exciting, but when it’s done, it’ll be lost to the world. But if I do a movie, it’ll be there forever, that’s what I love about film: it’s something captured, a moment captured that’ll be there for eternity. The stars die, like Charlie Chaplin—he’s gone, but his films will be here forever. If he did Broadway and plays while he was alive, he would have been lost to the world”
Lisa Robinson, Interview with Michael by phone from Encino, California, September 4, 1979
From the very beginning of his incredible career, Michael Jackson was very determined to do something big in the world, as he said once to the Vanity Fair journalist, Lisa Robinson, he wanted to use his talent to make people happy and be remembered forever. And that is what he did; he became a myth, the greatest entertainer of all time and above all a grand inspiration for millions of people around the world. He pushed all expressions of art to the next step and his music broke down cultural, racial and generation barriers.
However, Michael Jackson is not only going to be remembered by his music but also by his peculiarities. There are lots of evidences that can lead us to think that his obsession guided the construction of his persona. At the very end of his life, after years of constant transformation of his physical appearance, Michael Jackson became an undefined being, fragile and ethereal. As angels he seemed to have no gender, no age, no race and a childish and angelical voice, and we all know that angels are indestructible.
Lots of things have been said about his queerness. There have been some speculations about Michael trying to turn into a European woman from a black man. However, this transformation goes further than gender or sexuality. Michael thought that as an supernatural being he believed he was, he could derided biology. Paul Burston and Colin Richardson say that the project of Queer is to “attack” the very “naturalness” of gender and, by extension, the fictions supporting compulsory heterosexuality. However, Michael Jackson was even queer inside the queerness. His performative acts made his heterosexuality uncertain; nevertheless, he refused several times to be homosexual.
Lisa Robinson. Do you go out with girls? Any dates?
M.J. No, I don’t date, no. I’m not really interested right now. I like girls and everything, but [laughs] … Oh, you think I’m one of those? No! I’m just not that interested right now.
Interview with Michael by phone from his home in Encino, California, February 1977
Michael Jackson seemed Judit Butler’s devout apostle; he invented his own gender and his own identity. If we analyze one of his latest public appearances during some of the rehearsals of what it was going to be his last world tour “This is it” we can clearly witness his peculiar appearance, neither male nor female. Big and dark sunglasses, exaggerated shoulder pads, skinny pants, shiny precious stones stuck around his outfit, unnatural figure, indescribable facial features, ageless voice and innocent eyes…Michael Jackson does not seem to be a human being. Even his paternity is surrounded by a mystery halo. Prince Michael Joseph Jackson II was artificially conceived and there are some who label Michael Jackson’s paternity of Paris Michael Katherine and Prince Michael Jackson I as dubious. That is Michael Jackson avoiding natural rules again.
Another key aspect in the creation of this unnatural character that has created a great controversy during the last two decades is his constant skin’s whitening. Truth or not the vitiligo disease, this process has helped to fed up the mystery around his legend. A monster for some, a magician for others, Michael Jackson changed the color of his skis, he literally break the racial barrier in his won body. Was he renouncing to his blackness? If he wanted to renounce to his blackness he would also got rid of the black influences in his music and performing. Couldn’t this be another way to show the world that he is above race, that “he is not like other guys”, as he says at the beginning of his “Thriller” music video?
I also consider his dancing very symbolic. By far, he was one of the greatest dancers in history. His rhythm, coordination and movements did not seem to be from this planet. Moonwalk, the dance technique that he brought to the widespread in 1983, presents the illusion of the dancer being pulled backwards while attempting to walk forward. It is also meaningful that his most representative dance technique or his autobiography are called “moonwalk”, another reference of him as an out of earth being.
I am totally aware that my thesis can be completely wrong, unfortunately the mysteries that surround the legend of the genius will never be reveal. If be remembered was one of his main purposes he totally achieved his commitment. He create a magical and mysterious being, an angel for some ( especially the thousands of people he helped; The Guinness World Record Book claims that he is the artist in history who has donated to charity the most quantity of money), and a monster for others. However, nobody can escape from death, neither you Michael.