To anyone that knows me remotely personally, they know that Michael Jackson holds a special significance in my life. (Look back to my post Fear, Control, and Delusion for some background on my fandom, I rep the MJJ hard.) While his music reached millions the world-over I think it’s the personal affects for each individual that’s the most interesting thing about his far-reaching fame. We all know about his numerous awards and his obvious talents but six years after his death fans continue to look back on their personal memories and how much the music and life of Michael Jackson informed their collective youth. For me, the following reasons stick out as to why I will always be a Michael Jackson fan.
1) His Style
Michael Jackson informed my style a lot growing up. When I was deepest in my obsession I sometimes sported a fedora and a hand-stitched sequin glove. Nowadays the fedora has a douchebag association but MJ wore it without a shred of irony and that’s what made it so bad ass. What’s carried on most for me is MJ’s love of military style. His literal interpretation of royal military attire is pretty weird if you remember that he was the first one to do it. Whenever I wear something with structured shoulders I wonder why expertly trained dancing soldiers aren’t included.
2) Childhood Dance Routines
If you were a child at one point I can only hope that you got to dance to a Michael Jackson song. The amount of times my cousins and I choreographed what we believed to be spot-on renditions of the “Bad” music video is pretty remarkable. His music is obviously perfect for dancing to at any age but when you’re a kid and you first learn how to catch a beat it’s totally awe-inspiring. MJ basically taught generations of white kids how to dance…to the best of our abilities. Let’s thank him for that.
3) The Message
From poverty to racism to environmentalism, MJ wrote a song for every one of society’s biggest ills. His songs about social issues range from sweet ballads like “Heal the World” to angry calls to action like “Earth Song” and “They Don’t Care About Us.” What’s most unique about Michael Jackson is that he wasn’t just a commenting about these issues but he was actually donating his time and a boatload of money to fight the injustices he sang about.
4) Takin’ it to CHURCH
I am not religious. I’ve never attended a church service outside of weddings and funerals but when MJ got on his knees in a moment of pure passion, I felt it. “Man in the Mirror” is basically a secular humanist’s gospel if you think about it. It’s about making that change yourself, God ain’t got nothing to do with it! Anyone else that brings out a choir at this point is just reaching, MJ did it first, did it better, and did it with feeling.
5) Every Music Video He Ever Made
This is where my crazy will come out, I don’t care who you are, what your name is, Michael Jackson’s
music videos short films are superior to anything the music industry has offered to date. Even the video for “Who Is It” which is basically a longer version of a Calvin Klein “Obsession” commercial is worthy of praise. Say what you want, it’s still better than whatever crap Katy Perry’s team of tacky gays are coming up with these days. Let’s also be reminded that the video for “Remember the Time” is the only popular media depiction of ancient Egypt with an all-black cast…yeah, and that was 1991. Recognize.
6) His Smile
As far as smiles go, Michael Jackson had one of the best.
Wishing you all a happy MJ-filled day today! Keep the memories alive and remember, “If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.“