June 27, 2009

What's haunting me, as I rewatch all the Michael Jackson videos on constant rerun on all the music channels, as I listen to all the chat of people on benches and in cafes, as we go through the now well-rehearsed routines of mass-mediated death; this time, not for some vapid princess, but our real royalty, a king who insinuated himself into our bodies, our dreams, at the microphysical level of enjoyment as well as at the macro-level of spectacular memeplex...a figure so subsumed and consumed by the videodrome that it's scarely possible to think of him as an individual human being at all... because he wasn't of course...

What's haunting me is the difference between Jackson in the Off The Wall videos and how he looks in the Thriller clips. I'm not talking about the surgery, or rather I'm not only talking about that. The surgery - by then, 'only' a Disney eye-widening and Diana Ross nose-narrowing, as nothing compared to the collapsing Cronenbergian butchery of later years - is only a symptom of the change that you can see in Jackson's face and body. Something has disappeared, never to return.

Greil Marcus's writing on Jackson - or rather 'Jacksonism' - is some of his most astute. Lipstick Traces is


Posted by mark at June 27, 2009 12:43 PM | TrackBack