Tuesday, June 30, 2009

MJ, gone but not forgotten.

As a friend pointed out to me via twitter, it is bizarre that a blog that has the amazing title “Pop Cultured” failed to post about MJ. Well, when the shocking events transpired last week, I was making sure 170 filmmakers, cinephiles, programmers, (yada, yada, yada…) were being sufficiently entertained, so I didn’t get a chance to reflect. But, said friend had a good point, so I figured it was better late than never.

Since nostalgia is a constant theme in our posts, I think this one should focus on all the good times I had with Michael… Just to be clear, Michael was never there with me—I want that to be PERFECTLY clear.

My Michael memories after the jump!!

I definitely grew up listening to the Jackson 5, and Thriller was a constant throughout the years, in fact it was my sister's first CD ever. We listened to it all the time—it’s really very amusing to see an 8-year-old girl recite the Vincent Price section of that song. I vividly remember watching the “making of” the "Thriller" video with our babysitter, Frances--John Landis and all. I really didn’t believe that Michael from the beginning of the video and Zombie Michael were one and the same, it took some convincing from my older brother. I also think I had to be convinced that Thriller Michael was the same person as “Black or White” Michael.

For some reason, all of MJ’s major television appearances, comebacks, and video premiers take up space in my brain. Some of this space is of course inhabited by the famous Diane Sawyer interview. My favorite part of said interview is Michael saying “Oh! Liz is here?!?” Sadly, I don’t think Liz Taylor was there, but he was so excited, and it’s something my sister says to make me laugh when I’m in a bad mood.

I also remember the premiere of the "Scream" video, I mean, who doesn’t? Amiright? MTv made SUCH a huge deal about it, it was total insanity, but kind of awesome. I miss that kind of build up for a video premiere, come on MTv. I digress.

The insanity that was the Martin Bashir interview sticks out in my head, as does the hilarious South Park episode that followed. I named a cooler “Blanket” in college because of this episode, which was loosely based on the craziness revealed in the Bashir interview. I’d go further to explain why my friends and I named a cooler, but it’s a long, uninteresting story that has little to do with Michael. I digress again. Sorry.

ANYWAY, because Annie had the Thriller CD, we listened to it all the time in the car—and of course learned all the words to every song, including “The Girl is Mine,” the definitive McCartney/Jackson collaboration. Annie always sang Michael’s verses, and I always sang Paul's. I say “sang” as if this doesn’t still happen—I don’t know who I’m kidding with that BS. I have to say that this is my most special Michael related memory, because my favorite moments with my sister are when we’re both in the mood to sing this silly song.

Anyway, I’ve always been something of a Michael fan. His place in music and pop culture history is undeniable, and until I wrote this, I didn’t realize how ever-present his persona and music was in my life. So, cheers to you, Michael.

No comments: