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Remembering MJ Part 1: Living With Michael Jackson

Posted on: August 29, 2009

It will be definitely interesting interviewing every single living soul who idolises Michael and finding out their take on the King of Pop.

For me, Michael Jackson was a familiar name throughout my growing years. Familiar and common name in the world of pop stars. Upon mentioning the musical genre, one would immediately think of the man and the man only. He was famed. Internationally recognised.

Till now, his legacy lives on.

I remember watching the Thriller music video and allowing those zombies (backup dancers) get under my skin. To me, that was the most horrifying music video of all time. I swore never to watch it till I grew to some rightful, fearless age. Sadly, my interest in the King of Pop never resonated within me. There was so little I knew about him. Even though I was aware of the controversy he stirred up during his life, I remained unfazed. He was like, another living being. A celebrity with his own set of quirks.

There was simply nothing alarming about his behaviour.

I also remember listening to his hits on Class 95, a local radio station. It was the station that got me acquainted to many 80s and 90s music; which I was glad for. Nothing beats the 80s. Seriously. I prefer listening to songs of the 80s than to generic music of the 21st century. Anyhow, tunes like Remember The Time, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal were not unheard of. I knew these tunes by heart, but never committed their song titles to memory. His songs were simply… There. Noted, but never truly noticed by me.

Now that he has passed on, I have begun to upload tons of his songs to my laptop. It is definitely something to be ashamed of, considering the fact that he has been singing since 1964 (start of career as a Jackson 5). I could be very well be one of the ignorant to the legacy he created.

Hype has also gathering upon his passing. Documentaries sprouting out one after the other, musical tributes everywhere, endless airing of his music videos on MTV, the investigation over his death… Publicity seems to never leave the pop star. Even after death.

One of the documentaries I sat down to watch was Living With Michael Jackson. It was a rare, personal interview with the King of Pop himself where he answered the most intimate questions and allowed cameras to film footage of his life as a father, performer and individual. The interviewer followed him around for 8 months to accomplish the abovementioned.

Unfortunately, more media attention was drawn to the documentary after it was aired. Apparently, the interviewer, Martin Bashir was under fire by MJ after it was aired. Michael claimed that Martin edited the documentary to reveal snippets of Michael’s life the way he (Martin) would have wanted. Negative, mainly.

As for the extent of truth in all that saying, I would leave it to you, the viewer, to determine.

As for my opinion, I felt that the entire documentary, personal opinions by Martin aside, did not distort my image of Michael Jackson. Throughout the documentary, I was able to empathise with his troubled childhood and momentarily suspended my judgment on what would be deemed as odd and abnormal to some.

Remember the baby dangling incident?

That sure got the press talking. Irresponsible father? Was he trying to kill his baby? It seems like the press was waiting for the next Michael screw-up. All of the time. Despite all that hype, his fans remained fiercely loyal. That, was such an endearing sight that I grew a new respect for fans of popular idols everywhere.

Regarding his treatment towards his children, I would leave that to the man himself and his children. Parenting is, after all, personal. Everyone has different perceptions of parenthood, do they not?

In a nutshell, what I agreed the most about his statements are the ones regarding family bonds. If there is anything the world needs now, it is the love family can provide. I have seen how the lack of love by parents has wrecked a child’s life, so I am with him on that one.

(To be continued)

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