Chris Grieb

Michael Jackson is Dead

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The real "tragedy" with Michael Jackson is that he was never blessed with the opportunity to read PARC. Had this transpired, he would have discovered that the lethal drug issues that took his life were rooted in the Brandens.

See, the hero he constantly "sought" was nearby, obviously Ayn Rand, not Peter Pan. But the public perception of Ms. Rand had been so distorted by the Branden books that his "handlers" would not allow her heroism near him.

Michael Jackson could have been an enormous "asset" to the spread of Objectivism, but instead he got drugs and death. We can thank the Brandens for that.

Edited by Pelagius160

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P 160 is pretty much in violation of item 6 in the Posting Guildlines unless she IDed herself to the site administrator privately.

--Brant

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Brant, "she" has...

:)

Michael

As you've probably noticed, I've entered the testy generation. I know what to do about it, but it'll take a little time.

--Brant

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The real "tragedy" with Michael Jackson is that he was never blessed with the opportunity to read PARC. Had this transpired, he would have discovered that the lethal drug issues that took his life were rooted in the Brandens.

See, the hero he constantly "sought" was nearby, obviously Ayn Rand, not Peter Pan. But the public perception of Ms. Rand had been so distorted by the Branden books that his "handlers" would not allow her heroism near him.

Michael Jackson could have been an enormous "asset" to the spread of Objectivism, but instead he got drugs and death. We can thank the Brandens for that.

Oh, now I get it.

--Brant

93 IQ

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I just did know how much power the Brandens have. Causing Michael Jackson not to find Objectivism. The evil these people do will never end.

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I just did know how much power the Brandens have. Causing Michael Jackson not to find Objectivism. The evil these people do will never end.

You think that's something? I drove to the shore with my dad yesterday. As I was parked at the beach house in the car waiting for him to return by boat from the marina, a turtle (a northern diamond back terrapin) walked by, looking all "innocent." Then, when we got back to the main residence, a bowl of cherries that had been okay the day before had gone soft! Talk about manipulating one's context.

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Michael Jackson was an incredible talent.

As a role model, however, he was quite a sleaze. His resume included:

Refused to pay many debts he acquired, and was sued.

As a grown man he said it was "enchanting" to have young boys in his bed for a sleep over.

His addiction to drugs.

His numerous surgeries to alter his appearance, which only made him look more grotesque.

Sorry, but all this adoration of him in the media for anything other than an entertainer is misplaced.

Wacko Jacko he was.

R.I.P.

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I won't be insulting by pretending that I'm saddened by his death. I didn't know the guy, and frankly, he rather made a mess of his life.

Still, Thriller remains to this day one of my favorite music videos.

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I want to ask a question -- not meant in any way to be sarcastic -- of anyone who admires the art of Michael Jackson. I have never seen him give a live performance, nor have I watched any complete album of his; but I've seen many clips of his dancing and singing, including but nor limited to some of those on Youtube, and I don't understand why he's considered an artistic genius and an innovator.. Can someone explain this to me?

Barbara

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I want to ask a question -- not meant in any way to be sarcastic -- of anyone who admires the art of Michael Jackson. I have never seen him give a live performance, nor have I watched any complete album of his; but I've seen many clips of his dancing and singing, including but nor limited to some of those on Youtube, and I don't understand why he's considered an artistic genius and an innovator.. Can someone explain this to me?

Barbara

Who has said this? I greatly admired and still do is his song/video "Billy Jean," but wasn't so impressed by his video/song "Thriller," which was a very well done video by Jon Landis. The "Thriller" LP sold like 20 million copies, but I never wanted to buy one for myself. Then there was his video/song "Beat It," which was okay as far as it went albeit completely contrived. "West Side Story" take off but any real gang would have sliced and diced MJ just for breakfast. Weird Al Yankovic did a much more entertaining parody. "King of Pop" is not king of much--considerably below The Rolling Stones, Elvis, The Beatles and Buddy Holly.

--Brant

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I think some the coverage is because we now cable news thats have to have something 24-7.

I think I have said I was not a fan but a great many people were and remained fans through all his problems.

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They're dropping like flies, folks. Now boisterous pitchman Billy Mays has joined Ed, Farrah and Michael.

Just think of how far Objectivism would have spread if Mays had been hired to shout "Have you read PARC?" It makes one wonder what hand the Brandens might have had in his death, and if the ShamWow Guy will be next.

A security detail is being arranged for the ShamWow guy.

The future of the world depends on it.

Pelagius160

Edited by Pelagius160

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I want to ask a question -- not meant in any way to be sarcastic -- of anyone who admires the art of Michael Jackson. I have never seen him give a live performance, nor have I watched any complete album of his; but I've seen many clips of his dancing and singing, including but nor limited to some of those on Youtube, and I don't understand why he's considered an artistic genius and an innovator.. Can someone explain this to me?

With all that hysteria now in the media about MJ I've also tried to listen to a few clips, but I couldn't finish them, it's just like listening to some yelling girl. Oh well, de gustibus...

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I want to ask a question -- not meant in any way to be sarcastic -- of anyone who admires the art of Michael Jackson. I have never seen him give a live performance, nor have I watched any complete album of his; but I've seen many clips of his dancing and singing, including but nor limited to some of those on Youtube, and I don't understand why he's considered an artistic genius and an innovator.. Can someone explain this to me?

Barbara

I think that those who consider Jackson a great artistic genius do so because they love his music, and because they recognize how talented he was from such an early age. Thriller is the best-selling album of all time. Jackson's art reached millions of people. His work probably affected more people throughout the world than the work of any other singer ever. I think that fact alone would put him in the "artistic genius" category.

As for innovation, I've mostly heard the term being used in regard to Jackson's Thriller video, which commentators have been saying changed the way musicians made videos. Prior to the Thriller video, I think a lot of bands had been throwing together cheap, amateur-grade videos which basically consisted of them lip-synching in the corner of a warehouse decked out to look like a concert stage. They'd do their stage act and ship the tape of it off to MTV. After Thriller, music videos became much more lavish, conceptual and artistic, and were often filmed by famous directors rather than roadies who happened to have some camera experience working for the local Eyewitness News.

J

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Precisely Jonathan:

He was a "pioneer" into the new medium of MTV/video/artistry.

Frankly, some of the most creative and superior work is being done in the production of commercials.

Adam

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I want to ask a question -- not meant in any way to be sarcastic -- of anyone who admires the art of Michael Jackson. I have never seen him give a live performance, nor have I watched any complete album of his; but I've seen many clips of his dancing and singing, including but nor limited to some of those on Youtube, and I don't understand why he's considered an artistic genius and an innovator.. Can someone explain this to me?

Barbara,

I might write an article on this later, but here are some thoughts off the top of my head.

To start with, if your question were about Michael Jackson being a great singer, I would have to say, no, he wasn't. He was a very good singer, but not great in the sense of vocal power and execution, although his high range was pretty impressive. Ditto in general for songwriting.

Michael Jackson has to be understood in a different manner: as a composite media artist. And this is where his greatness shines through. The two essential media he dominated were the videoclip and what I call the audio-prop environment. He also invented stylized walks and gestures as a kind of dance. I don't think his live shows (or DVD's of them) compare as well to his domination of the other two media and the stylized walking and gestures. (I actually saw one when he went to Brazil.) They were good, but he was not immortal-kind-of-great in them like he was in videoclips and in audio-prop environments.

1. Videoclip. As others mentioned, Michael Jackson revolutionized this medium, making it vastly more entertaining than just watching a singer or band perform. I have no basis other than my gut feeling, but I don't think he would have gone to No. 1 and stayed there as long as he did without the visuals from videoclips. Part of the Michael Jackson experience is watching him.

2. Audio-prop environment. This means places is like a dance-floor, radio, gym or any other place recorded music is played, but where there is a lot of other noise and conversations around. Notice that the majority of Jackson's later songs don't really have a tune you can sing along with. They have what I call "yackety-yack" kind of singing for the majority of the song, but then they surge into quite tuneful hooks at climaxes ("Thriller," "Bad," "Billy Jean," etc.). I don't know about others, but I can't understand the words in over half of what Jackson is singing when he does the "yackety-yack" part, and sometimes I can't even make out the words in the climactic hooks.

The tail-wiggling grooves Jackson gets pumping are perfect background for people who want to wiggle their tails. His music is extremely danceable. There is usually a very strong backbeat pattern with highly varied accompanying percussion and arrangement details around it (including more often than not a symphony orchestra). Then there is a melodic kernel that repeats "in-your-face" style over this groove. It is most often played on the bass, but sometimes guitar (or sometimes both). His "yackety-yack" singing goes in counterpoint to this. And it all comes together at the melodic hooks.

What this means in an audio-prop environment is that consumers can talk to each other, make gestures to each other, flirt, drink or use drugs, horse around with each other, etc., while dancing or tapping their hands or feet, then interrupt their interactions with the sing-along hooks. They can share these hooks by looking at each other or go off into their own little worlds by looking away, but soon the hook is over and they can get back to their interactions.

The "yackety-yack" singing fits this in a sneaky way because there is no tune or discernible lyrics to distract the consumer's mind from focusing on the interaction (unless the consumer has taken the time to learn them from reading them). It's hard to concentrate on other people when a tune is running through your mind, or a strong poetic message is.

We may not like this, but this is the way people currently want to be entertained in what I call the "remote control society." People have a lot of information in their heads, but they are lonely, their attention spans are short and the variety of material instantly available is enormous just by pushing a button. Jackson's music fits this conditioned mentality perfectly.

Notice that Jackson's videoclips even fit this mentality with snippets of stories, not whole stories.

Now about Jackson's gestures and "walk" dancing. As I mentioned in another post, his movements can be done in short bursts. That means a person can do them as emphasis for interaction with others, or take a small break and still show off a bit. This stylized gesture-&-walk is one more fit to the remote control mentality. An elaborate series of movements like an older kind of dance takes a lot more time than the short spurts to both learn and perform. So the short stuff does the trick for short attention spans. But if a person wants to show off, he can lather those spurts up into a longer display, so there is even that advantage.

Qua dance movements, look at the following quote:

"Complete obedience to the music? The impression one gets is: complete control—man's mind in effortless control of his expertly functioning body. The keynote is: precision. It conveys a sense of purpose, discipline, clarity—a mathematical kind of clarity—combined with an unlimited freedom of movement and an inexhaustible inventiveness that dares the sudden, the unexpected, yet never loses the central, integrating line: the music's rhythm."

Or how about this? Jackson's dancing also projects...

"... weightlessness. ... it does not distort man's body, it selects the kinds of movements that are normally possible to man (such as walking on tiptoe) and exaggerates them, stressing their beauty—and defying the law of gravitation. A gracefully effortless floating... It projects a fragile kind of strength and a certain inflexible precision, but it is man with a fine steel skeleton and without flesh, man the spirit, not controlling, but transcending this earth."

These are (as you know) by Rand. She is describing tap dancing and ballet respectively in "Art And Cognition" (with some deletions in the second). And, of course, Jackson's movements are also infused with sudden starts and stops, which can easily be interpreted Rand-style as exaggerating certain purposeful movements of man (like putting something somewhere, throwing something off, stepping somewhere on purpose, etc.) and making them effortless.

There's more (like being unique, showing he is a trend-setter by having people dance along with him, etc.) and maybe I will write more later.

The basic point is when you combine all these elements and judge Michael Jackson not separately on one aspect or the other, but instead as as a composite of them all in a single act, you have a great artist. A really great artist.

Judging him against a singer like Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra would be like judging a motion picture against a theater play. So he needs to be seen as a media artist to perceive his greatness.

One final thing needs to be clear. His public is seeking entertainment in a remote control world, not contemplation in the darkness of a proscenium theater. So Michael Jackson needs to be seen and judged as a media entertainer, not as a Beethoven.

Michael

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Until I really studied Marshal McLuhan, I was a little cursory in accepting the power of the

"Medium is the Message"

and how he developed his concepts through rhetoric.

Quite a genius.

"We create our tools and then our tools re-create us."

We are perfect examples of this electronic global instantaneous village.

The stupid bitch Hillary even tried to horn in on that concept with her absurd "its takes a village to raise a child" crap.

Damn and no one knew that ever until the marxist bitch wrote the book.

Adam

Post Script: No I do not like Hillary.

Edited by Selene

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The basic point is when you combine all these elements and judge Michael Jackson not separately on one aspect or the other, but instead as as a composite of them all in a single act, you have a great artist. A really great artist.

Judging him against a singer like Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra would be like judging a motion picture against a theater play. So he needs to be seen as a media artist to perceive his greatness.

One final thing needs to be clear. His public is seeking entertainment in a remote control world, not contemplation in the darkness of a proscenium theater. So Michael Jackson needs to be seen and judged as a media entertainer, not as a Beethoven.

Well said, MSK. The only thing that I'd add is that people who were born without a funky bone will probably never understand how Jackson, or anyone else who writes or performs music with a groove, could be thought of as great. A lot of people don't identify with the expressiveness of rhythm, and many find funkiness meaningless, or even repulsive.

Similarly, I love some operatic works, but there are many which sound to me as if they are performed by sweaty, fat singers with hairy backs who are on the verge of gagging on their own vocal style. Their throaty, overly-artificial warbling is something that will probably never appeal to me. I doubt that anyone could explain to my satisfaction why they find such vibrato-dense bellowing to be a wonderful aesthetic experience. I mean, I'm fully capable of understanding that they love it, but I'll never share their enthusiasm for it, and I'll never think of it as great art. I lack the gene which makes people love very formal and overtly gesticulative types of art, just as others lack the ability to appreciate a funky groove.

J

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I think Michael Jackson was a great talent and am saddened by his untimely death. He was like Peter Pan, the little boy who could fly and never wanted to grow up. I grew up watching the Jackson 5 Saturday morning cartoon show and my sister was a big fan (I was more into The Osmonds as a kid). When Thriller came out, I was a teenager and Michael was just so over the top cool you had to love him... The music, the moves, the bling... he had it all going on. And he could still fly, or at least moonwalk. Everyone wanted to moonwalk. Michael was cool. Amazingly cool.

We may never know what really happened to Michael. but I was watching Geraldo and he thinks Michael's death was mighty suspicious. I agree. Things got really strange in the last few years for him and he wanted to do a final concert series. Originally, he was to do ten shows and it somehow turned into 50 when the papers were drawn up. He was 5'11" and weighed 112 pounds (anorexic?) and addicted to pain meds and so was very fragile both physically and mentally. The promoters had taken out a huge life insurance policy for tens of millions of dollars on Michael, and considering his state and the likelihood that many shows would be cancelled as well as his financial troubles, it does seem suspicious. There will always be a big question mark around Michael's life and death. May he rest in peace anyway.

Kat

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Thanks Michael, Jonathan, Kat. Your explanations helped.

I now remember seeing Michael Jackson on television when he was a child; he was enchanting.

Did he write most of his own music?-- for instance, for the second clip Kat posted, "Say, Say, Say," which I liked very much.

Barbara

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Michael,

You should write an article on Michael Jackson.

One way to boil it down might be that the Jackson 5 didn't need MTV, but Michael Jackson the solo act did.

Robert Campbell

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