the mudpond

It's good to let things breathe in your imagination because often your initial response to it is not the best thought-through response. I savour little glimpses of life. Mine and those of people who turn me sideways and around. Friend or stranger. Even a child. (the world looks different from down there) Sometimes an author, photographer, artist. I let things saturate and incubate here. Hopefully, deeper meanings can percolate up and flower.

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A stray cat.


MJ: Still (My) Number One

Yes! Yes! Yes!

After a thriller of a trial, Michael Jackson is completely acquitted of all
10 charges. News reports here, here and here.

Read the public's reaction in
BBC's Talking Point. Have your say. I must say I am extremely pleased.

From his ‘muted emotion’ upon hearing the verdict, the trial clearly has had a sobering effect on MJ. His relief did not eventuate into the much anticipated spectacle; the spectacle that has always been an integral part of MJ's public persona.

Paradoxically, this trial and verdict is giving the fading star a reprise on the global stage. I wonder if his publicists will exploit/optimize this watershed moment to rebuild his career or if indeed the overwhelming stress and untold damage from the trial is already turning him into a complete recluse.

Interestingly, a BBC article on winners and losers of the trial reflects a rare self-scrutiny of the media’s role in MJ’s fame and fall from grace.

In A Falling Star, I commented that MJ was always going to be the loser whatever the outcome. And so it is now, although acquitted, his reputation has nevertheless been smeared after having been dragged through the mud of fourteen weeks worth of often scandalous and mostly incredulous testimony. No matter what the verdict, there was always going to be self-righteous bigots who would cling desparately to their prejudices and publicly signify 'recoil' from his music by declaring their aversion and distaste.

An aside:
Why must our stars fall so spectacularly and fail us so egregiously? The suspicion here is, because we want them to. Indeed, it may be the prime instructive function of celebrities to show us, in their early radiance, what we could dream of being — and in the murk of their decline, what we fear, or know, we could become.

I am listening to MJ’s greatest hits compilation, Number Ones as I blog this.

Posted by Hello

The track currently playing is Rock With You, a 'bomb' track. It's incredibly funky, irrepressibly bouncy and makes the stiffest among us mortals want to groove or, at the very least, clap our hands. It epitomises the freedom to make and enjoy music. It's a thrilling, 'rawking' tune that still sounds fresh after exploding at No.1 on the charts 26 years ago. You're dead if you don't feel the soul.

Yes, I'm emotionally attached to his tunes. I watched, re-watched and kept videos of Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller till the tapes turned mouldy. MJ pioneered some stunning group choreography. That music represents the Michael Jackson I know, and that is the MJ I’ll always remember, no matter what he does to himself or how he ages. No matter how many bigots publicly cling to their prejudies despite the legal vindication.

He is a 46-year-old still emotionally stuck in childhood, and ill-equipped for adulthood, what more, middle age. I mourn the degeneration and the death of the King of Pop. I know I can no longer expect greatness from him. I don't care for the circus surrounding his weirdness. He may be a caricature in many minds, but I can separate the man from his music.

I couldn't care less what other new controversy surrounds him. I will continue to focus on the Michael Jackson, circa 1985 when his music spoke louder than his actions. Michael Jackson is still Number One on my charts.

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