I tend to not mention current events around here, but sometimes something happens that is so big that I feel like it deserves a few paragraphs. If you had asked me ten days ago if that sort of something had happened, I would have said, "No." Since then, I've since changed my mind, and it's all because of you.
I missed the whole Michael Jackson phenomenon when it first happened. The Jackson 5 was before my time (hard to imagine, I know, but there was a short span of time between the Big Bang and my birth). When Jackson hit his solo career, I was firmly planted in rural North Dakota. We didn't have cable, and so I really never watched TV. The very first time I actually watched MTV was in college, and by then they were already mostly done playing videos (if that doesn't make sense to you, ask me about it--it's a really strange thing to have a channel dedicated to music television seemingly forget their purpose). Radio was a whole other level of isolation, as the only stations in town played country or oldies. My music choices were based on random luck when it came to buying CDs, and I just never landed on Michael Jackson.
Somewhere in there, things with Jackson turned . . . uh . . . weird. There's just no other word for it. Jackson and everything around him was always eccentric, but at some point the weird began to hold more weight than the *not* weird. There were allegations, rumors, stories, and even trials. Alexis, there is a reason your father calls me Public Defender. I always choose to believe the best in people. Some may consider it a character flaw, but those who know me best know that it's good to have a person in your corner who will believe in you. So, whether or not some of the allegations were true, I don't know.
Here's what I do know, though. When news of Jackson's death first broke, I became transfixed by MTV. Suddenly, they returned to their roots and showed hour after hour of Michael Jackson videos. As I sat on the couch watching Beat It for the first time (seriously, I had never seen the entire video before then), I was starstruck. There is no denying that the choreography and showmanship is something never seen with any other recording artist. Period. I sat thinking back to the bands that I have listened to over the years, fully realizing the influence Michael Jackson obviously had over them. Then, I turned to glance at you.
You were transfixed. Mesmerized. Amazed.
"What's he doing?" you asked.
"Dancing," I said.
"He's a really good dancer," you replied.
With that we hopped off the couch and danced our little hearts out, trying our best to imitate the King of Pop. We definitely dance like two klutzy white girls, but we fell into a pile of giggles enjoying the music, music that in your eyes was completely stripped of controversy and drama.
So, yes Alexis, he was a really good dancer. When you read this someday, let's pull out some of his music and dance like klutzy white girls all over again. Just don't forget to remind me to thank you for making me realize that Jackson's music transcends generations. I almost missed that.
Love ya', you crazy Kinnley,
P.S. That whole country music and no cable thing? I expect pity for that, Alexis. You can never say you have it worse than I did. Period. If you try to convince me otherwise, I'm shipping your butt to North Dakota for a summer.
Tuesday, July 7