On the claim to know Michael Jackson
There are comments that reflect the narrowness of view. And I still find it hard to understand that one can have such a narrow, restrictive, phoned-in, even caricatured vision of Michael Jackson.
Of course, I understand the process. I am both an academic and a fan (I say "fan" because that term has become generic, but until 2009, I referred to myself as a "fan", a term that was more in keeping with my recurring state of fascination with each of his achievements).
As an academic, I had to study the processes of identification and projection that link fans to their star artist, not to say their icon. So, in this framework, it is only a normal expression of points of view and personalities who think that one can know and master everything about a man - whether one has followed him for 7 or 40 years, whether one has seen him once in concert, 20 times or never, whether one has spoken to him in front of a hotel or in Neverland, 2 minutes or 1 week - a man whose lives, public and private, are confused and skilfully blur the lines. It's normal to want to possess, to keep only what corresponds to us in order to superimpose his image with ours.
But the "fan" in me still has a hard time. Probably because my perception of Michael is in(-)finite. The discoveries do not surprise me. They give me food for thought, allow me to readjust, including new parameters, or, often, make me ecstatic.
Besides, if I had wanted to have a fixed idea of the man, I would never have studied him, but I would have stayed with my favorite photo, my favorite album, my favorite song.
But, by the way, there has never been a single picture, a single album, or a single song that I prefer to the others. My conception of Michael is, as for many, that of a multi-faceted being. And if there is one person from whom, since I was a child, I could have accepted all the novelties, originalities, exuberances or craziness, it is him.
I was asked a long time ago if I wasn't afraid, when studying his work and his artistic aspects in depth, of losing the magic. Of being jaded. Of going around it. That I would get bored or that I would only read things that everyone else already knows. Well, no. Believe me, I'm learning every day. I learn about him, but he teaches me a lot, too, about the world; about human beings, politics, society, philosophy, history, arts, besides music and dance...
I learn about him and his work, always, because he thought it as and for that. He is a conscientizer, a guide. He is the way more than the destination. Someone who wants to make his fellow man an adult, autonomous. He does not give the pecking order. He demands that you work, that you open your mind, that you integrate, and that you pass on. He would never have kept a diary to give the definition of each thing, of each gesture, of each of his loans, of each of his creations. He opened a book, made pages, but did not fill them all. He handed us the pen, in turn, and asked us to think, to read the lines, but also between the lines. To understand. Because when you understand and find, you retain better.
How do you think one creates a work that lives forever? By giving all the keys? By answering all the questions? How many times has he explained this? Do you really know him? It is one thing to wear blinkers, but if, in addition, you are deaf - deafness that means you only hear what you want to hear....
A work is alive. It emanates from a man and is the fruit of his interaction with his world. But also the fruit of the interaction of this created whole, with the one who receives it. Michael is a co-creator, we shaped his work with him and we will continue to clear the plans and tracks he left. We decipher it and will decipher it because it was meant to be. In spiritual texts, this is called Revelation. There are the writings, fixed, and there is what we get from them, what we live, even centuries later.
To go around Michael Jackson and his historical impact, it will take decades. Centuries. (If a tour were feasible.) To recontextualize, measure, take the distance.
To think that, 2 years or 7 years later, to understand or discover treasures, signs, confirmations and messages in his work is abusive, it is really not to perceive the excessiveness of this genius - a genius that does not belong to us and will never belong to us, but that already belongs to History.
No... Michael Jackson is too big to fit in a suitcase. He sits on suitcases ;)