Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Little Birds for Michael Jackson:

I shall not partake of the memorializing for Michael Jackson.

I'm biased. I love many kinds of music, and I believe that hearing must be the primary sense that perceives it. Live performances are wonderful, and the eye is a great aid to enjoying them; but live performances seize all of the senses, and sight is not the primary one.

Michael Jackson's great skill in dance and movement, and his creativity, helped to kickstart the age of music videos. These strange creations, in which, when we must hear them without seeing them, we will inevitably try to imagine them as they were shown to us, are at best a sidestep on the grand march of music through the millenia.

Music videos, and Michael Jackson (indirectly) damaged the career of a much finer composer and musician: Stevie Wonder, whose blindness made him unsuited to this era of video. (I'm sure Wonder holds no grudge; he has collaborated with Jackson, and he sang at Jackson's memorial.)

But enough of the music; let's consider Jackson the human. For many years, every reference to him has reminded me of a short story by Anaïs Nin, the title story for one of her books. It's called: Little Birds.

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