June 2019. Somewhere in Absurdia, time to review
With the end of June comes the time of assessment...
With the 10th anniversary of Michael's death, it's doubly time to assess... And in my head, it sounds like a reminder. As long as we haven't pressed the button to stop it…
These last days, inevitably, some media, too few, too hurried, very hastily, woke up to take stock of "what is left" of Michael Jackson's "legacy", of the way he is still "perceived" or "loved" by the/its "public".
I had the opportunity to express myself a little, but this little, doubled sometimes by cuts, in the great lengths, leaves me a taste of insufficiency.
So let's make this assessment here. I will go back a little on the remarks I was able to make - during long minutes, which, put together, are well over an hour - and of which you will only have had a few snippets, sometimes titled with a few good words, and even more when they are taken out of context. Let's complete here by adding what was not retained, retranscribed, for questions of efficiency (commercial or auratic) or because it did not fit in the editorial line and the thought, already prefabricated, that had to be confirmed.
Michael Jackson, 10 years later, is not only still there, but, in my opinion, he is beginning his reign. The one that no one will be able to dispute, since his throne is now inscribed in the flow of History, with a capital H, and sits in a pantheon of great minds and creators. Detractors who have long since stopped reasoning, and whose rebellion is only echoed by the walls of pride behind which they hide, so as not to have to start thinking and daring to think differently than they ever did. For laziness and pride are, according to the Bible, the two greatest faults of human beings, the most damaging ones as well, and it is in this kind of circumstances that we can measure it only too well... A laziness which is worth to too many media outlets to rehash only the same scandalous and juicy pseudo-themes... Certainly, the questioning, or at least the temporization, would be so much less promising and longer to elaborate than the unpolished spectacle of a man, however dead, that we dig up, stone and then lynch, as in the good old days, leaving him to dry up in the collective memory, under the vengeful or amused eye of small self-proclaimed judges, screwed to their living room, caged in front of their multiple screens, drooling at the corner of their mouths, their lips curled up by the same blind hatred that they are proud to denounce in their neighbor, their eyes yellowed by the mist of a disinformation as invisible as a spider never seen, and always forgotten, above their heads but which doesn't prevent them, on the other hand, from getting up on Sundays to go and vote for real detractors, proven and proud of it... unless these censors are themselves hiding some real and heavy family secrets that the false scandals, in others, and a fortiori in distant stars, allow to sublimate or to expiate by proxy.
There is so much to say about Michael Jackson's artistic and human legacy that one would have to be very blind, very deaf (or both), or really very lazy not to make positive use of some of the values he carried: his fight against racism; his willingness to assume an image that suited him, whatever the price to pay or the debate aroused (surgery, part of femininity); his courage in the face of illness; his empathy; his humility; his vulnerability; his boundless creativity; his ability to believe in the impossible and make it happen; his role as a single father etc... So many debates that animate, however, the minds and programs, but which, when it comes to him, are not transposed. Why not?
Michael Jackson's legacy is artistic. Is it necessary to remind it? A sonic and musical work that could have stood on its own, to which he superimposed an innovative visual dimension that irrigated all the music afterwards, the whole varnished by an iconic artistic image and an extraordinary human being. Commercial product, you said? Precisely not, and that is its strength. Michael Jackson is central to all his work. He is the source and the filter, directly and indirectly. We couldn't do without Michael Jackson. We can't do without him. Just look at the posthumous "production", which should not ethically bear his name, or do so only indirectly.
His public? It is always there, and always renewed. His music is always, if not even more so this year, listened to. No, the new generations don't need their artists of the moment (because few last and even less will be perennial) to quote him as a reference to know who he is and what he did. Don't get me wrong, they are not looking for a Michael Jackson. This is just an industrial creation. And they won't find one, because, in addition to the proven individuality and uniqueness of each human being, Michael Jackson is not a recipe that can be copied. CQFD.
That Americans are racist and continue to be so is one thing. That Europe should take these settlements at face value, without thinking, is another. For it is indeed through the media and moral treatment that all this is transcribed and poured out. No European standards. No crash tests, no precautions taken at the borders. We import wars, fights, we celebrate peace on the one hand, while contributing, on the other hand, to perpetuate the conflicts by supporting them more or less consciously.
But... Michael Jackson used the press. And the press has no boundaries. And the press did and continues to do so. As I was able to say on the phone to several journalists of written press as well as radio, the press has a heavy and immense responsibility in this thoughtless relay, which has only interest in its lucrative and profitable character. A heavy responsibility towards the spirits of which it is in charge, towards the ethics and the collective morals. To inform means, from an etymological point of view, to give form to ideas and, by extension, to form minds. The science of information, since it is a science, should not be practiced without a minimum of ethics and disinterest in immediacy and spectacular effect. Information is not reality TV, nor entertainment, nor emotion. It must, and in any case should, be fair, even cold. Since today, information chooses the air it makes us breathe, it should filter the fine particles and other noxious rejects that it captures upstream, before sending them to us in raw.
When I think that I had to quote my sources in each paragraph, to justify my remarks with new sources in each opinion, in a "scientific" work dedicated to musicology that only a few specialists will read, I wonder why the general public does not have the right to the same precious treatment when it is about the information in which it is bathed (drowned?). And if we believe that they are not capable of understanding, why, on the contrary, do we not help them by bringing them the sources, the proofs, the concrete elements that support the subject? Do we think that he lacks discernment at this point or are we trying to take away what remains of it? At the time of bio and sustainable development, at the time when one wants to make us believe that the state is concerned about our physical health, why not point the finger, even more strongly, at the intellectual pollution and the discount of the thought to which many subjects are subjected, among which Michael Jackson is only one example so revealing and paroxysmal?
He made his career an archetypal story. He blurred the spheres of private and public. He played with the mystery of his image, his personality, his private life. Yes, MYSTERY, ma'am, who told me that Michael Jackson had nothing mysterious, that we should stop with that, that he was completely normal... Mysterious has nothing pejorative about it, and he himself has talked enough about his approach to mystery to know that it is not a concept artificially applied to him. As for his normality, obvious, of course, we should not forget that this man had to manage an international and public image, in addition to his intimate personality. And if the two often overlap and merge, this situation, at its level, is complex enough to avoid falling into the cliché of the normality of my next-door neighbor (already complex, though). Michael Jackson, therefore, made the press dance, before it made him the biggest stumble of this end of century, by forcing the features where they lacked roughness, angulosity, by enlarging the crumbs he threw to fill the holes of the hungry bellies of the editorial offices and the readers.
Michael Jackson has paid and continues to pay a high price, even post-mortem, even more so port-mortem, since he is no longer there to defend himself, and the ambient laziness pushes some to rehash, and others to swallow raw, where discernment and intelligence would want us to seek to understand. But to understand, it takes time. And in our world, time is against everything. It is now, now! "Come to our set in an hour, to talk about this! I'll call you in 10 minutes to ask you about this!" How much perspective can we take under these conditions? Do we want to take a step back? No. Emotion takes precedence over reflection. And the stronger it is, the better. So much for the human being. What human? He is dead. And then, when he was alive, his dehumanizing fortune was supposed to help him live, to anesthetize his pain! It must make life easier for his children, who only have to cash in, by the way. And anyway, was he really from this world?
If there is a product, it is these spirits who made it. What they don't want to understand or know is that this "product" exists only by, and for, them, in their thoughts and in their hearts. Because, in "Reality", there is no product, no puppet. There is only what we want to believe. What one wants to continue to believe, because it is easier, more rewarding and less tiring to flatter oneself that one has always been right, rather than to admit that one has to start from the beginning, and start thinking again to see things differently.
The accusations and potential lawsuit that have been the focus of the 10th anniversary "balance sheets" are, in fact, the lawsuit of our society, not Michael Jackson's. It is the trial of a new offshoot of the human species, unique to our time: Homo Cretins (Michael Jackson called them Kreetons at the time of the Triumph Tour opening). A mutant, or a degeneration that evolution has returned to greedy primitivism and thirsty for money (blood?), recognition, fame and revenge. Don't some criminals kill just to see their name in the paper? They are... These people have manufactured the theater in which they play, in the name of Michael Jackson, their own trial, the one of all these excesses and deviations that they need to see accomplished by others, even virtually and deceptively. They have created a society of smoke without fire. Because, finally, yes... Our degree of "modernity" has been able to produce this miracle: smoke without fire. The one in the name of which we burn, on the pyre next door, false Salem witches and children who were a little too idealistic and naive and who believed they could make this world a better place.
As for us, let's stand. At every street corner, at every crossroads, let us carry the torch a little further so that our children and his children can weather the storm and that maybe, one day, they can, with or without us, finally speak intelligently about the only legacy that Michael wanted to pass on: sound values, hope, joyful innocence, light, an En-Vie to live and a faith that will move mountains and open seas in two, just before closing in on the feverish inconsistency of our sick world