A week ago today the world was stunned by the loss of Michael Jackson. Thanks to Black Box Office this afternoon I found the conversation below between CBS Katie Couric and the legendary Spike Lee. As usual I think Spike really captures the feelings - of admiration and conflict - of the African American community regarding Michael Jackson.
In particular, I agree with his point that how ever annoyed we may have felt by our perceived rejection of our culture or identity; or no matter what we felt about his legal problems and eccentric actions - those things are in the past now. Not simply because we are caught up in the emotion of the moment, but because when we look back at his career, you simply cannot help but to give the man his due.
For me, the Michael I loved was they cute guy on Soul Train on Saturdays. I was mesmerized by his dancing ability and as a little girl would try so hard to come close to that fluidity and hippness. Given I can't walk gracefully, you can imagine how that went. LOL - but that was OK I could just enjoy watcing Michael.
I am likely one of the very very few who liked Michael's music when he went solo, but never was overwhelmed by his stardom then. I bought the cassette tape because you could not escape his music but it was not a favorite. In fact, when he came to Dallas in either 1987 or 1988 I was scheduled to work the will call booth for the then Rainbow Ticketmaster and offered the opportunity to a co-worker because I just had no burning desire to see him in person.
A part of my distancing from Michael even then probably closely relates to what Spike talks about at the end of the interview with Katie --- when you become such a superstar that people faint at the touch of your hand --- I wonder how does that change the person.
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