i love mj (as did my whole my generation).
i saw him live in vienna on the HIStory tour and the gig will always rate as one of my greatest live music experiences. BADis still one of my all time favorite pop lps and off the wall, dangerous and thrillerare all personally meaningful and generally awesome.
people are always quick to talk about his unusual, eccentric wacko jacko life but i have always thought his choices completely normal behavior given the circumstances. any man or woman granted total freedom to live out his or her fantasies, to create a world untouched and removed from societal influence will make choices quite different to yours and mine. but only because he can. of course his choices were also influenced by an unusual childhood. so the normal product of abnormal circumstances is how i’d describe mj.
update. the day after.
of the non-stop mj conversations yesterday, the most interesting was the one exploring his effect on our capability for humanizing the other. the BAD mj was a wholesome icon and idol to us ten year olds. the journey to comprehend his increasingly ‘bizarre’ and ‘unusual’, ‘morally suspect’ behavior set the intellectual foundations of an outlook that avoids binary judgement in favor of fluid grayscale.
highlights from the outpouring of reaction that almost brought down the web:
hua hsu and ta-nehisi coates in the atlantic , nymag’s mj the fashion icon, and of course the essential sasha frere-jones in the new yorker. late addition: the lefsetz letter.
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