Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Friday, July 10, 2009

MICHAEL JACKSON, ICON OF MEDIOCRITY?


Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez brings up some interesting points in her post on America's obsession with celebrity, the culture of mediocrity, and Michael Jackson's legacy.

Here are some highlights of her post. The entire piece is here.

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"I have watched the fawning nonstop media coverage of the death of Michael Jackson with skepticism this past week. Yes, premature death is tragic. Upon that we can (mostly) all agree. What I cannot agree with, however, are the repeated claims that Jackson: was a musical genius; broke down racial barriers; was a brilliant singer; was a great dancer; changed American culture."
[skip]

"Jackson, whose vocal range was limited and who sang often insipid pop songs that rarely ventured outside of a basic pentatonic scale, was no musical genius. Cannonball Adderley was a musical genius. John Coltrane was a musical genius. Charles Ives was a musical genius. J.S. Bach was a musical genius. Hector Berlioz was a musical genius. These were human beings gifted with uncommon genius in musical understanding, interpretation and expression. To compare Michael Jackson's twitchy, strange pop singing to the accomplishments of people such as Pyotr Tchaikovsky or Charlie Parker is downright insulting; it is rather like saying the guy who designed the Tilt-a-Whirl is on par as an architect with I.M. Pei. That the American press have been so quick to jump on the Jackson-as-genius bandwagon speaks to the dismal state of excellence in our culture. As more and more artistic and journalistic decisions have been left to MBAs and accountants, quality has fallen by the wayside. True musical variety has died with the radio monopolies of Clear Channel and others, as we are force-fed the same Lady Ga-Ga tune until we Lady Ga-GAG. Our standards, in other words, have sunk to new lows, and not just in music. If Jackson is a musical genius, one realizes, it is not such a great leap to imagine Sarah Palin as presidential material, Lauren Weisberger as a great author, or Lou Dobbs as a substitute for real reporting and news. The Simpsons lampooned the growing cult of idiocy and mediocrity in our nation in the character of Homer; sadly, hardly anyone noticed because they were too busy relating to him. As a culture, it appears that we have accepted the lowest common denominator as the highest we ought to aim. We are told Michael Jackson is the King of Pop, when in reality he is the Clown Monarch of Mediocrity."

*********************************

What Valdes-Rodriguez tells us in this post is that we, as a culture, accept the successful marketing of a personality in politics and entertainment as validation of his or her achievements, and we accept this without doing the hard work of discovering on our own whether or not that personality really merits our admiration or has done the hard work of earning the attention and adulation we so easily and uncritically confer on these people.

In Michael Jackson's case, there's no doubt, as Valdes-Rodriguez points out, that he was able to fill arenas for his concerts as well as sell millions upon millions of copies of his CDs worldwide. This makes him an international phenom, to be sure, but a genius? A musical genius?

No.

I reserve that very special and rare designation for people like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.


That we accepted the nonstop, 24/7 coverage of a pop entertainer over the last two weeks says something about our lack of maturity and ability to put in proper perspective what is important for us to pay attention to.

Just because covering Jackson's death and memorial service made tons of money for teevee news and cable stations, that should never have been an excuse for us to accept the overindulgent nonsense that it was.

49 comments:

Im here to say it said...

This man was a serial child molester, an unfit parent (let’s not even talk about the baby dangling incident) and in complete denial about the fact that he was a grown man (dare I mention the tree climbing…) In the words of Katt Williams “how did Martha go to prison when Michael Jackson’s walkin around smelling like roses!
Michael Jackson is a pedophile, the families were paid very well to keep it out of court, any guy who sleeps with children in his bed is behavior that shows he has indecent tendencies towards children. His skin condition is due to the vast amounts of surgery which is self inflicted and has affected the pigment of his skin, if it were Vitiligo the truth of that is the skin goes patchy not 1 solid color through out

Face facts the guy was sick and twisted and a fruit cake. Now there's 1 less pedophile in this world to make the kids safer.

King of "Pop" my azz.


And Another Thing, All Michael Jackson Fans Are Mentally Sick.

SCREW MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE PIG HE RODE IN ON!

Shaw Kenawe said...

IHTSI,

You go too far in saying all MJ's fans are mentally sick. Misguided in thinking he was a genius? I think so. But he was a very excellent entertainer.

As for his problems with the law regarding his behavior toward children, I agree that we have two systems of law in this country, one for the well connected and super rich, and one for the rest of us. But even that assessment has exceptions--Martha Stewart is an example and there are others.

This post is about whether or not it is fair to call MJ a genius.

He's dead.

There's no gain in trashing him further, even if it does make you feel good.

rockync said...

Im here - I see no reason to keep slogging on about his strange habits or whether he was a pedophile. He is probably answering for his sins in the hereafter, if you believe in such things.
Shaw, this post is a good one in that it addresses the public obsession and group hysteria with so called "super stars."
Before his death, how long had it been since we last heard anything about Michael Jackson? He was pretty much a pop has-been.
The real brilliance is in those who market the mildly talented,mostly mediocre and turn them into household names.
Time to lay them to rest and move on to more germaine issues, no?

rockync said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lynne said...

In my opinion, his whole life has been screwed up mostly at the hands of his father; he was sexually confused, had body dysmorphic disorder, addictions, you name the psychological affliction, it seems like he had it. He is both victim and predator. He was a good entertainer and people liked him (they either didn't believe the charges against him or they forgave him); that doesn't make them mentally sick.

Regardless, he is dead and his poor innocent children have nobody. I feel bad for them.

I agree that the media frenzy was way over the top.

A New York Guy's View said...

Shaw Kenawe said...
IHTSI,

"You go too far in saying all MJ's fans are mentally sick. Misguided in thinking he was a genius? I think so. But he was a very excellent entertainer."

Sure he was an excellent entertainer,
but he also was exactly what Im here to say it said he was, as for the "he's dead so don't say anything bad about him " thing.
I say bull to that, he was what he was and if these idiot MJ worshipers want to idolize him or make him into a saint, then yes they are nuts also.
Lets not forget the lives of the kids that he destroyed. No one is dancing and singing and doing all these freaky things in their honor.
I say that "Im here to say it's" post was right on target.
Lets call it as it is/was.

There are a lot of real hero's to praise, not this fruitcake.


rockync said...

"Im here - I see no reason to keep slogging on about his strange habits or whether he was a pedophile"

Why not? Should we only remember the songs he sang and the dances he danced.. The why not throw a party for OJ Simpson, he was a "great" football hero.

A New York Guy's View said...

rockync said...

Im here - I see no reason to keep slogging on about his strange habits or whether he was a pedophile. He is probably answering for his sins in the hereafter, if you believe in such things.
Time to lay them to rest and move on to more germaine issues, no?

NO!

Tell that to Al Sharpton and his bunch of fools, and the rest of the Music world jerks, who can't get enough of him

rockync said...

Shaw, I can't find a way to remove the dupe comment so please dump it when you get a chance - thanks

Shaw Kenawe said...

A New York Guy's View,

You seem very angry over MJ's death.

The man is dead. You can't punish him anymore than that, can you?

Do what I do when overblown histrionics take over a celeb's demise: Ignore them.

This post is supposed to be a discussion on whether or not we Americans have the ability to be able to tell the difference between real talent and cynically marketed entertainment. That goes for politicians as well.

Arthurstone said...

Ouch.

Reading Valdes-Rodriguez piece is like being served over-cooked Brussels sprouts for dessert. I found this at Alternet and like practically everything else at that painfully humorless, endlessly self-reverential website there's just enough truth to it that one can't dismiss it out of hand but so much generalization and righteous indignation you just want it to end.

TAO said...

Based upon the examples given then we, as a society, have not produced a genius of any sort for the last 50 or 60 years minimum...

If we believe that MJ is a child molester and an unfit parent then we have to acknowledge that our legal system is a disaster because he has been tried for child molestation and found innocent.

Then we can go ahead and bring up the fact that parents would allow their children to spend nights with a man that was considerable older than their own children which makes me think that maybe the those parents were unfit parents more than MJ was a pedophile.

Of course the bottom line is you had this young child who dragged his whole family out of poverty because he was entertaining and refershing...and he made lots of people lots of money which makes me wonder if we are not the true pedophiles now...

MJ distorted his body, his face, and his voice all in an attempt to remain young and youthful...for his fans and the general public...that would make his fans and the general public the pedophiles.

As a social commentary, along with the comments of IHTSI and NYGUY, it doesn't say a whole lot about us as a society does it?

But then again, John Wayne wasn't a great actor, Elvis Presley didn't deserve the the attention that he got when he died (which was on scale with what we witnessed for MJ)then there is Marilyn Monroe, and a whole bunch more...

James' Muse said...

Shaw: You're right. We have accepted Mediocrity as a new standard. The lowest common denominator has been lowered. At this rate, one day we'll celebrate those who sit on their couches all day...oh wait, we do (Homer, Peter from family guy)...

When I was younger, I wanted to grow up to be a police officer, my friends wanted to be astronauts or firemen. Now my little sisters want to grow up to be pop stars, their friends want to be actors, actresses, and party...

Arthurstone said...

How about mediocre science?

This pair of Einsteins figured out we would be healthier if we ate less.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/10/science/10aging.html?_r=1&ref=science

SarahG said...

TAO said...
"Based upon the examples given then we, as a society, have not produced a genius of any sort for the last 50 or 60 years minimum...

If we believe that MJ is a child molester and an unfit parent then we have to acknowledge that our legal system is a disaster because he has been


Well then maybe we have too. Is there any doubt that MJ was a molester? If you have any doubt then I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Talented, yes no doubt... But sadly, as Michael grew into manhood, he seemed to undergo a metamorphosis into being down right weird-BIZARRE! I personally think it is appalling that he slept with young boys - PERIOD! That is sick, just plain sick! Normal men do NOT sleep with young boys.

Napqueen said...

There is a difference between enough evidence to satisfy the law and enough evidence to convince authorities he was guilty. A court system has strict requirements. Those with the expertise to recognize when someone is guilty of a crime when examining evidence are certain he was guilty. There just was not enough to meet the court's requirements that would result in a conviction. He paid off the parents of more than one of his victims. It would have been an opportunity to expose the parties in a fraudulent case if he were innocent. Instead he settled and he still did not avoid scrutiny.

Innocent people do not pay out 20 million dollars to make something go away if they are not guilty. But they would rather clear their name and face their accuser.
If I had his money, I would not be paying off the family, I would be paying my lawyer to prove that I was innocent. Paying off the families was proof enough to me that he was guilty and just wanted to shut the families up.
If I was in the right, there is no amount of money to make me go away.
Or would he want to keep his sweet pedophile ass out of jail and pay whatever he had to.

dmarks said...

The gratiutous Sarah Palin bashing draws away from the rest of the essay. The author obviously has a partisan political axe to grind.

Anyway, his music never impressed me much. I thought that the best part of the "Thriller" video and song was Vincent Price's participation. But that moonwalking thing did look pretty amazing.

dmarks said...

Tao: "If we believe that MJ is a child molester and an unfit parent then we have to acknowledge that our legal system is a disaster because he has been tried for child molestation and found innocent."

Sometimes the legal system fails, and the innocent walk free and the guilty get punished. This has been a problem ever since its inception. But I'm not ready to toss it out yet.

Napqueen said...

I don't find pedophiles to be anything to be look at lightly.. I think that Michael Jackson's child molestation problem weighted his musical talent./
If even one boy could have been spared of that monster, the world could have lived without Michael Jackson. And I for one would be happy.

Arthurstone said...

Funny how things work in this celebrity obsessed culture of ours. Speaking of folks avoiding responsibility for their actions.

Robert McNamara engineered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese and Americans.

Highly recommended is Errol Morris' 'Fog of War'.

Frank The Thinking Man, said...

For Al Sharpton to say that "Michael Jackson paved the way or opened the door for people like Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, and Barack Obama is way out of line. Tiger Woods paved the way for himself with his hard work.. Obama owes NOTHING to Michael Jackson and everything to Martin Luther King .
People like you listed in your blog like Charlie Parker came way before MJ was even born as did Billie Holiday and Lena Horn and how about all those other guys in the 50's. And Sammy Davis Jr, Nat King Cole, hell I could name hundreds of black entertainers that came before Jackson.

Michael Jackson was not a good role model. He was just a guy with exceptional music talent who also happened to be a sicko.
Al Sharpton has overstated Jackson's impact on the American culture. As he always does.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Frank The Thinking Man wrote:

"People like you listed in your blog like Charlie Parker came way before MJ was even born as did Billie Holiday and Lena Horn and how about all those other guys in the 50's. And Sammy Davis Jr, Nat King Cole, hell I could name hundreds of black entertainers that came before Jackson."

Actually, Frank, I didn't write that, Valdes-Rodriguez did, and she was listing those other musicians as more worthy of our admiration that was Jackson.

She wasn't saying anything about their coming before Jackson only the silliness of comparing them with Jackson.

TRUTH 101 said...

This all boils down to our love of a good party and using any reason we can to have one.

I don't begrudge anyone being emotional over MJ's death. I was deeply saddened when John Lennon was shot. Me and three buddies got drunk and played Lennon songs on our guitars.

TAO said...

Truth101...

Heck I remember when Elvis died...there was as much emotionalism and news coverage then as there is now with MJ.

I am six months older than MJ and I did see the J5 in concert once...

I think he had a tremendous impact on music and showmanship within music...I am not willing to go much further than that because I am not a historian and my personal tastes broaden as I got older and and changed...

I say, "...let the guy RIP" because I really do not believe his life was all that great...

TRUTH 101 said...

I could play "Beat It." But I could belt out Lennon's "Instant Karma" like you wouldn't believe TAO. The cops let me and my crew finish before they told us to turn it down. Sorry about my language Shaw but damn. Getting older sucks. Or is it acting older that sucks? They both suck.

rockync said...

Truth - getting older isn't so bad. Sure beats the alternative; dying young.
After the last year, I'm really starting to appreciate my aches and pains. At least I can still roll out of bed and stand on my own two feet.
I get up much slower these days, but I do get up...

TRUTH 101 said...

That's great comfort Rocky. knowing it will get worse but at least I'm not dead. Thanks for the encouraging words my friend.

rockync said...

Actually, I've been having trouble with my thyroid medication which always causes arthritis flare ups. Since I finally broke down and made a doctor's appt for Monday, I'm looking forward to feeling better!
See, there is always a silver lining! :)

joe_d said...

When Farrah Fawcett died she arrived at the Pearly Gates .. Having led such a good and honest life.
Saint Peter said I would like to give you one wish. Then he asked her what he could do for her. Farrah asked to "Simply make sure all the children of the world were safe." Five minutes later, Michael Jackson died.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I guess I'm in the minority on this. I loved Jackson's music and have for many years. And yes I do think he was a musical genius. Any kid who can belt out music and dance like he did at that young of an age and turn it into a major career is genius.

As for his personal life, he was different that's for sure but I don't think that we can say for sure like many here have that he was a pedophile and guilty of those charges.

He was acquitted in a court of law--say what you will about the state of our court system but he was acquitted and unless we are going to embrace vigilante "justice" we have to assume innocence. Remember innocence until proven guilty? Well he wasn't proven guilty.

Yes he payed that one family off but that doesn't mean he's guilty. Not everyone wants to go through a very public, drawn-out trial even if they are innocent. Settling out of court happens all the time but because it's MJ and he was a bit strange we all assume he was guilty and a pedophile.

Celebrities especially don't like to have things drawn-out in court and are often willing to put up with it looking like "hush money" to avoid the publicity. Especially someone as private as MJ. Because we all know how good the media is a condemning someone as guilty and we believe it as if they are some impartial court of law!!

Do I think that the coverage was over-done? Absolutely but I'm not willing (nor do I think it is my place) to condemn a man whose story/side I don't fully know.

The bottom line is that none of us know the truth but MJ and those families. So I don't feel comfortable condemning a man's entire life when none of us knows the truth.

Everyone thinks they are an amateur detective and judge but unless you were there you just simply don't know. None of us do. And no one here seems to have talked about all the good he did (remember all the humanitarian good he did with We are the World and other charity work?).

Yes I was bothered by the baby hanging incident but can you parents all tell me that you've never done something irresponsible with YOUR kids? You've never forgotten to strap them into their car seat completely? You've never accidentally dropped one? You've never put them in a situation where you later realized wasn't a good idea? You've never driven away from the store and then realize you didn't have every kid in the car and had to turn around?

We are so good at being the judge of celebrities but would our own lives stand up any better to the kind of scrutiny they get? I doubt it.

dmarks said...

Handsome said: "but he was acquitted and unless we are going to embrace vigilante "justice" we have to assume innocence."

No, we can assume guilty if we want, based on the facts, and express that opinion. That has nothing to do with "vigilante justice". Making statements about a court case is nothing like taking up arms and going to punish the guilty.

"Remember innocence until proven guilty? Well he wasn't proven guilty."

Yet, the jurors said they would have pronounced him guilty had they known the facts.

"Because we all know how good the media is a condemning someone as guilty and we believe it as if they are some impartial court of law!!"

No one believes that the media are a "court of law". Pointing out the fact of someone having done something (guilt) is nothing like being sentenced by the government on a criminal conviction.

And it is possible to know without being there.

You make good points on his charity work, by the way. But this does not excuse what he very likely did to those kids.

If he had been innocent, he would not have paid the families "hush money" so they'd never tell the truth. He was clearly afraid of the facts being known.

dmarks said...

Also: "We are so good at being the judge of celebrities but would our own lives stand up any better to the kind of scrutiny they get? I doubt it."

None of us here invite such scrutiny. Look at the baby-dangling incident. He chose to do this in front of the media cameras. He can't whine about media coverage, as he encouraged and invited it.

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

Thanks for stopping by, Shaw. I haven't heard from you in awhile. I like sparring with you, so don't be such a stranger!

Yes, the MJ pedophilia-fest was so over the top it was disgusting.

Gordon said...

I'm not, and never really was, a great fan of Michael Jackson or his family. I never purchased any of their music. But I think Michael Jackson was a genius, in a limited field. And yeah, he was the King of Pop.

I don't really care for his dancing, but the guy knew how to spin a tune.

Gordon said...

Oh, and Arthurstone: McNamara is a whole nother topic. Take it up at my place or yours; if you want to do it at APGFI, you can have the opening post.

huonguyen1 said...

We ask that you sign this petition to make Michael Jackson's Birthday a National Holiday because he has done so much for us just as Martin Luther King Jr.

http://www.august29jacksonday.com/

After all, he changed this world into a better place with his pure heart and spirit. A true Martyr that shall be the symbol of innocence for mankind. A man that lived without ego and warmed our hearts and childhoods with his songs. In Self he teached us to live, as we were meant to live, as one. By rediscovering love we can save this place.

Let your light shine upon us dear hero.
We can all get out and fondle a child.
He changed this world into a better place with his pure heart and spirit. A true Martyr that shall be the symbol of innocence for mankind. A man that lived without ego and warmed our hearts and childhoods with his songs. In Self he teached us to live, as we were meant to live, as one. By rediscovering love we can save this place.
"King of Molestation Day" After all he 'stood up' for young boys.
The world has gone NUTS and they're worshipping him! It's soo wrong! He's a pedophile, lies about all of the plastic surgery he's had (only says nose job done twice~yeah right!) and even his kids! He said in an interview they used his sperm! Lies! That's all he did was tell lies it seems with so many things in his life. I'm SICK of people worshipping this child in a man's body!! Wacko Jacko is right!! He's got pedophile written all over him not to mention he wanted to be white sooo bad and then he was looking like he's a woman! People seem to forget about the child molestation claims but I bet if it was their kid, they wouldn't be so happy now. How does the world think the child victims feels about they see the world celebrating MJ so much and worshiping him?! It's WRONG!

Enochs fire said...

Looks like the freak show is finally over - He was the king of pop in his day - but when he used that notoriety to evolve into a full blown pedophile, he was just scum - someone pray for the children he violated - I hope he rots in Hell!!
You people think Michael Jackson has gone to meet his maker?

Nope!
In a few short days he will be worm food.

MJ will burn in hell for what he did to those little boys.

And to you people that say he was found Innocent in a court of law!!!
An acquittal does not name the person as innocent at all.
It simply means the evidence was not strong enough to convict.
And again.
He was NOT found to be innocent. he was acquitted.
NO INNOCENT MAN ACCUSED OF THIS KIND OF CRIME WOULD PAY ONE CENT IN HUSH MONEY

TAO said...

"He was NOT found to be innocent. he was acquitted."

WOW! Great logic there...

So, once charged you are guility. Once charged you are never innocent again, you are only acquitted until charged again.

The only innocence is to belong to the accusers and the prosecution...

dmarks said...

Tao: Innocence also belongs to those who actually didn't do what they were accused of.

Jackson, however, did what he was accused of. Whether or not he was charged, went to court, was acquitted, or sentenced, or convicted.

One hopes that the legal process produces a result that matches actual guilt or innocence, but that does not always happen.

Arthurstone said...

Just like Ted Stevens. Prosecutorial misconduct aside the evidence proved Stevens accepted bribes. In the parlance of the some this would be getting off on a technicality.

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

This is why we shouldn't rush to judge Jackson as a pedophile:

http://bit.ly/taAS1

TRUTH 101 said...

He had more money and could dance better than all of us. Screw him. He's dead. Will this ever end Shaw?

Arthurstone said...

I think Jackson was asexual myself.

dmarks said...

Handsome: But did Clyde Ray Spencer pay the kids millions of dollars not to tell the truth? As Jackson did?

beadazzzle said...

TAO said...

"He was NOT found to be innocent. he was acquitted."

WOW! Great logic there...

So, once charged you are guility. Once charged you are never innocent again, you are only acquitted until charged again.

The only innocence is to belong to the accusers and the prosecution...



Great post Schmuck!
Where the hell did you get your brains, in a Cracker Jack box!

Anonymous said...

Arthurstone said...

I think Jackson was asexual myself.

I think you meant to say..
"Like MYself"

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

Dmarks said:

But did Clyde Ray Spencer pay the kids millions of dollars not to tell the truth? As Jackson did?

So do you know personally that MJ gave all that money to the kid's family because he didn't want them to tell the truth?

Show me the facts, show me the irrefutable evidence that he paid them to not tell the truth instead to just get them off his back and his name out of the press.

Did that make it look bad on his part? Yeah, probably so but MJ was well-known to be a naive person, which certainly means he wasn't a law expert or P.R. person. We also know that he didn't have the best general and legal advisors at times in his life. And that when he did get good legal advice he didn't always take it.

Maybe he figured the quickest way he knew he could get those rumors to stop was to give them money. Maybe he was embarrassed and outraged by those charges and just wanted it too stop--right away.

Maybe he didn't want his long and illustrious career to be dragged through the mud by anyone looking to make a buck off him through a very public court hearing?

We just don't know for sure and until I know for sure I won't condemn the man. Would you want someone to rush to judgment with you? Wouldn't you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt? Especially if you were acquitted by the court?

True they created more rumors but so would a long drawn out court hearing whether we was found guilty or not. Either way he was labeled as a pedophile. He had his day in court, faced his accusers, went through the legal process and at the end of the day he was acquitted.

Yet even that didn't satisfy people. Even after going through our exhaustive, legal process, which is the best system we have right now. Yet despite being found not guilty he still can't catch a break or get the benefit of the doubt. Even in death.

So see, either way MJ was going to be seen as guilty by many amateur prosecutors who have seen one to many episodes of "Law and Order."

dmarks said...

"Yet despite being found not guilty he still can't catch a break or get the benefit of the doubt. Even in death."

Because a man's crimes follow him even to the grave.

Anonymous said...

According to you MJ was just mediocre? Are you kidding me? The fact that u are saying MJ was considered a musical genius only because people hold negative stereotypes against black people, shows that you yourself hold negative stereotypes about black people. Why are you bringing his race into this? Why are u basing his talents and gifts on his race? U seem racist to me. I would like to state that I am not black, but people like you make me sick.

Many many great artists and professionals have commented on MJ’s genius and talent. Who are you to say he was mediocre? Your bachelors degree in “performance” means nothing compared to the opinion of professional artists.

MJ was huge all around the world…in japan, china, india, middle east, Africa, Europe. What artist has ever had such an influence on the world? NONE!! are you telling me that people all around the world, even in non-white countries, have negative stereotypes about black people?? That’s obviously what you are implying since you say his fame is due to the “low expectations people have of black people.”

No artist or performer can surpass MJ in his dancing skills. No artist or performer has had such a positive effect on the world. No artist or performer has ever been respected and admired by other artists to the degree that MJ has. Very few artists write powerful, meaningful songs like MJ. Very few artists donate their money and time to helping and healing others. And most importantly, very few artists sing their songs with such passion and emotion as MJ does. The main quality that makes a great performer/artist is the emotion that is vocalized in their voice, and MJ sang with the most emotion and passion out of anyone. Music listeners hear that emotion and are drawn to his music. Maybe his vocal range was limited but the emotion that came through when he sang was absolutely mesmerizing. He had soul.

You nor I know how MJ felt, so for you to claim he was trying to be white is wrong and unfair to him. I believe MJ was very insecure about his appearance (as has been stated by people close to him) and much of his insecurity stems from his childhood, especially his father. He once said his father used to make fun of his wide nose. That obviously scarred him. If u knew anything about psychology, you would realize that mj wasn’t trying to be white…he was just trying to look different than what he looked like. If he was ashamed of being black he wouldn’t write songs like “they don’t care about us.” Friends of MJ have even said that he was very proud to be black. Are you going to say they are lying? They are the one who know him. You don’t. Youre just judging him. We all judge, but the key is to realize that you are doing it, and to correct yourself.

I cant believe you are denying mjs brilliance. All the beautiful and heartfelt songs that he has written. Songs like: man in the mirror, earth song, heal the world, black or white, why u wanna trip on me etc. Listen to the amazing lyrics of these songs. How can you deny his talent and his good heart?

Again I would like to say that I am not black but I will gladly admit that the majority of the best performers throughout time have been black. You say that the US is “a nation that has a long tradition of white folks watching black folks perform embarrassing and mysterious works for their entertainment” I would like to know what you mean by embarrassing and mysterious? Yes, whites in America have long been entertained by black performers but not in an embarrassing way. Black people are great performers with amazing voices and their talents and skills entertain ALL people.

Look at yourself in the mirror Miss Valdes-Rodriguez. You come across racist because your entire blog is about his race. If you don’t like him thats fine, but don’t write a whole blog about his race. It shows your ignorance more than anything.

Guinda de Plata said...

He's INNOCENT!!!!!!!!

He's NOT GULTY (June,13th,2005); HE ISN'T A PHEDOPHILE!!!!!!!!

LONG LIVE THE KING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
INNOCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!