Thursday, November 5, 2009
The only black man I let in my bedroom
In 1971, I was 1o years old and I had the biggest crush on Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond. I didn't ever have much money but somehow I scraped together some cash and rode my banana seat bike to the seven eleven that was up the street from our house. I grabbed a copy of Tiger Beat magazine, slapped my cash on the counter and sped home. The next few hours were spent reading. What were their favorite foods? How did they spend their leisure time? What did they look for in a friend? Once the reading was done, it was time to cut up the magazine and decorate my room. Glossy 8x10s were posted around the room fixed with scotch tape. I thought I was so cool.
I watched with amazement in the years that followed at the transformation that occurred.
Last week Dan, Tara, and I went to see THIS IS IT. I was struck by a few things. First, that Michael Jackson was a musical genius. He seemed to feel the music on a physical level. Second, that he was really polite and gentle. Lastly, he had a childlike and inspired intuition about the artistic aspects of his show.
I'm going to put aside all of the weirdness. The fact that he named his child Blanket. The trials, the plastic surgery, the stories about his life at Neverland. Ill quote him from the movie, "It's all about L O V E. It's all about love." I believe that.