Tuesday, June 30, 2009

In Tribute

Photosource: Unknown

This isn’t another tribute to Michael Jackson that relates how talented and gifted an artist he was… Just the fact that VH1 will still be playing his music for your grandchildren is enough proof of what he was made of.
The man was eccentric but he lived his life in his own way, trying to be happy in his own way – something every human being can relate to.
I pay my respects the best way I know how: I remember how he touched my life:

I must’ve been around 10 when I first heard of Michael Jackson, it was 1992 and South Africa was full of tension because of the first democratic elections that involved all South African races taking place in 1994.
By then the National Party was so desperate to try and cultivate some of the “black” votes that they began integration policies to soften “apartheid” or better known as internal segregation policies.
One of these new policies included the integration of black students in white schools.
Before the elections, this policy was for a lucky few whose parents had earned trust in the white community.
In 1993 the first black student was integrated into my class. I’ll never forget her because despite the immense courage it must’ve taken to integrate in an all-white school in an era where “apartheid” wasn’t fully abolished and “black-hate” was still wide spread – she arrived each day with her chin up. Her name is Sarah – one of the most influential women that passed through my life.
All schools did their best to prepare students for the change. This implied teaching children that the black community that was once considered “inferior” was now to be seen as our equal. For a society that for centuries had seen the black community as an inferior race – this was a difficult change to implement. Most students stood by their parent’s beliefs regardless of what the school tried to teach them.
We were in constant fear of retaliation from the unresigned white extremists.
I recall many parents pulling their children out of our school because of Sarah´s integration and although there nobody dared verbally abuse her, most students steered clear of Sarah´s way and were wary of her. I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for her to be under constant scrutiny by both students and teacher’s alike.

That´s where Michael Jackson came in – An English teacher printed out the lyrics to “Black or White” and posted them in the doorway so that every student saw them on their way in.
Although it seemed like a small gesture, it came a long way – I distinctly recall hearing the lyrics being sung over and over again. They were certainly food for thought and I dare to say that they made a difference.
I still recall the lyrics to the whole song.

I bought the Dangerous album at a time when it was sold on tape and wore it off until I bought it once again later on CD.
I distinctly remember the first day I heard the album and thinking to myself “damn, I can’t decide which song is my favourite”
Michael Jackson´s music is simply Timeless – I still enjoy listening to it, my mother enjoys listening to it and my little brother likes it too!
Not all music has this capacity to satisfy so many generations.

So which is my favourite music – I still can´t choose but lately I´ve been singing a lot to myself “There’s something about you baby, that makes me want to give in to you….”
(Hit on the title of this post to get the song in my head) - In the Closet

2 comments:

Clairvoyant said...

Many of us have memories attached to songs, things that most likely recall strong feelings, or they wouldn't be remembered.

It might seem somewhat cruel, or less than human, but M.J.'s death isn't having any impact in my life. He faded out a long time ago, recluded himself in his own walls and sort of disapeared from the world of the living.

Right now, people will be able to see just who was M.J.'s family and friends. Those that were just looking out for his money can do they vulture flight now and try to get a piece of the carcace.

But in a world were I have bils to pay, schedules to keep, work to do, a woman to love... I'm really so sorry, but my time has come to live a life, and not even national politics interest me anymore.

As any child in the late 80's, his music had impact on me, but history is just that, it belongs in the past. People will still hear his music for years to come, but it will be nothing more than a memory. Historic figures like Che Guevara, Malcom X, JFK... they all had impact in their time. They are now used as cultural facts in pseudo intelectual conversations. Life is the period in wich we must make things happen, be all we want to be. People will remember us for a while according to what good we have brought to their world. I'm not sorry to say that M.J. hasn't brought much good to my world, but it must of had to a lot of people out there. All I wish is that people wouldn't screw his memory too much fighting for his money.

filipebrandão. said...

Sem dúvida uma grande perda. :x