Friday, June 26, 2009

The Tracks of my Fears

Kim, who left a comment on my post this morning, was right, apparently - it was Michael Jackson who stole t'interclacker last night, or at least slowed it right down. Squillions of people all searching for information about him.

In case you've spent the day locked in a dark, soundproof room, the news late last night was that Michael Jackson has died suddenly, age 50.

Now everyone everywhere's saying "His music must be left to speak for itself, we don't want to rake up all that mud about his private life."

By next week or so all that will be forgotten and the papers will be full of Michael Jackson Seduced My Teddy Bear and similar.

I wish they wouldn't. I hate it when they do that. He's dead, isn't that enough? Leave him alone! Actually, I've never been a Michael Jackson fan - and I know it's probably sacrilege to say that today of all days, and I apologise, but please bear with me - it's just that most of his music is brilliant, but doesn't do it for me. And I know it's brilliant, and yet it just doesn't, and I'm trying to work out why not. Like everyone else, I can't help tapping my foot along to Billie Jean - - - and yet, I'd never choose to listen to it.

Perhaps it's because a lot of his music was great for dancing to, and I've never been able to dance really, and I resent this. So perhaps I associate him with a failure on my part. And parties, and clubs, and discos - - and I've never felt comfortable in any of those settings.

I've heard lots of people on the radio saying "he was more than a musician, he was the soundtrack to my youth" and similar. I'm trying to work out why I don't feel that.

I think it's because, firstly, I'm that bit more ancient. The sounds of my teen years were Marc Bolan and David Bowie - - not that I got to listen to them much in our classical-music-only house.

And that's probably it. Michael Jackson's music makes me feel uneasy, because it takes me to a scary world that I just don't know about, never have done, never been happy with. I was a swotty, bookish teenager, deeply uncool, at a swotty girls' grammar school which I thought was stuffy as hell, but academically it suited me just fine.

I don't like that side of myself, the swotty girl with glasses - and in many ways I'm still her, and I don't want to be. I am a broad-shouldered, shy, short yet gawky deep disappointment to my poor tiny, extrovert, graceful, sociable mother who will dance the night away at the slightest opportunity. I am the daughter of the Captain of the University of Leeds hockey team - - and I have always hated playing all team sports.

Both my parents, but especially my mother, devoted a lot of time to trying to get me interested in parties, and dancing, and big social occasions, and playing team sports. Even a few days ago, when I said "But, Mum, I always hated hockey," she replied with a sad shake of the head and "Oh, you are silly." She's spent a lot of time over the years trying to drag me onto dance floors, because she simply can't take no for an answer, because, in her world, dancing is such fun.

Of course, in some circumstances, I'm perfectly happy in a big group of people, and that's when it's work-related. This morning, for example, I spoke to a nurses' conference about my work in Communication Skills, and I was perfectly happy to do it, and it seemed to go very well.

So I'm afraid it's not you, Michael - - it's me. Your songs are the music to illustrate and accompany my inadequacies, and I expect that's why I don't like them very much.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

I never liked his music either even though I am Sheffield's answer to Michael Flatley on the dance floor! I have always been a lyrics man myself. I love Leonard Cohen and Dylan - even Lily Allen interests me because of the words. The King of Pop's lyrics had a shallowness about them. He was a showman, a guy who allowed the media to place him on a pedestal. It was all window dressing without substance I'm afraid though we cannot deny that he was an icon. Perhaps more famous than Jesus and Mohammed put together. I feel sorry he's gone but far less sorry than I feel about the daily deaths of innocent children in the Third World.

12:26 am  
Blogger Debby said...

One of my first 45's was MJ's 'Ben'. He and I were the same age, with Donny Osmond being one year older. When I was 13 years old...there weren't any other singers as far as I was concerned.

2:11 am  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

I wouldn't say I am a fan either. I like some of the music and tap my foo dance about ironingetc but I haven't one track on my itunes or ipod. I think John might have. I did my a 45 of Ben when the children were small.

12:31 pm  
Blogger Jennyta said...

I agree totally with YP (Except the penultimate sentence) and I couldn't possibly comment on his prowess on the dance floor. But yes, 'window dressing without substance' sounds about right to me.

2:17 pm  

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