Michael Jackson: On the Cross or Off the Hook?

In the process of retiring summer wear, now-skinnier me was able to wear the T-shirt I picked up when I covered the first performance of Michael Jackson and the Jacksons’s Victory Tour. Like so much associated with these performers, the shirt itself was a contradiction: beautifully designed and printed, but made of oddly thin, fragile fabric.

MJ

(Mine has red sleeves.)

MJ really was the king of pop then. Ten times more alive than even excellent performers on stage, he turned into an enigma the second he walked off. Now I thought how far he had rumbled down and never quite climbed out of the rubble. How it was impossible to have settled feelings about him.

This is a good examination of the whole story, which, to coin a cliche, should be in the dictionary next to “sordid.”

What saddened me most this time, however, is that Michael Jackson has become a King Donald-type symbol.

OF COURSE he was a wicked, guilty monster who bribed his way out of it.

OF COURSE he was an emotionally stunted superstar who showed disgraceful bad judgement and was attacked by evil extortionists because of it.

But either way, on the cross or off the hook, he ain’t gonna be resurrected into the Victory-era life he knew anytime soon.

R.I.P.: Dick Gregory

I’ll be honest — comedians, even social-activist ones, are off my screen. The only funny-stuff albums I own are by Jonathan Winters, the Firesign Theater and Richard Pryor. And I almost never play them. So I know way more about Dick Gregory after reading his obits. Confirms my long-held belief that it’s possible to be an admirable figure and a crank at the same time.

R.I.P.: Carrie Fisher

[ENOUGH! This year is beyond merciless.]

It’s tough being a child with famous parents. It’s tougher when they are Hollywood famous. It’s toughest when you decide to get into acting.

I loved her in Shampoo but Star Wars came along almost immediately after and right away you could tell that Princess Leia was one of Those Roles: it would be hard for anybody to see her as anybody else, the rest of her life.

Thought she hit the perfect tone describing her rocky roads — she never wasted time early on pretending to be a goody-goody or angled for martyr status. Apt that she departs in a year that has taken so many rock stars — she was one.

My Hall of Fame Pix

Roger Carter comment from previous post:

Don’t leave us in suspense! What were your choices Milo?

  1. The Bad Brains
  2. The Cars (yeah, yeah, I know)
  3. Chic
  4. MC5
  5. Joe Tex

I’m proudest of the last nomination, because I think Joe Tex is the most scandalously obscure knockout performer in R&B and soul.

First pick:

25 All Time Greatest Hits

Up Next:

Yum Yum Yum – The Early Years 1955-1962

The Congested Life of Dr. Heimlich

One great idea not good enough, huh? I saw the Maneuver work in real life back in Missoula. But I had only the barest hints that Dr. H was involved in so many jive-ass other trips. I’ve never understood the mentality that thinks if one off-the-wall brilliant idea works, most likely damned near everything that’s off-the-wall is also undiscovered brilliance.