A page was turned as Michael Jackson left the world an orphan last week. When the sad news first came to mine ears, I was checking my emails just before going to bed. The phone rang; it was my sister I had been on the phone with her an hour earlier and therefore wondered what the matter was. Living in London she had heard about the death of Michael Jackson and wanted confirmation. Waw, was my first and only answer. It was shortly after midnight here in Paris. I took her question as a confirmation; the King of Pop had died; and I hung up the phone. Not that I was a big fan of the artist but I knew deep inside that in which concerns music and dancing he was without doubt the Artist by excellence. Soon all the French news were spreading the sad news. The whole world would in a minute be left with nothing else but memories and souvenirs of the no more artist.
I had heard about Michael Jackson long before seeing him on the black and white screen we had as our only television set back in the 1980s. My big sister and her friends were big fans, collecting and pasting posters of the artist wherever they could in their bedrooms. No French really understood the lyrics and words in his songs, but we all knew the guy was terrific; dancing like a robot and according to women of all age, handsome as an angel. That was the time, if we wanted to live long, my brother and I had to stop putting colours on the faces of the different characters represented in the posters my sister had in her bedroom.
I will never forget the first appearance on the French TV of Michael’s video clip “Thriller”. On that specific day my dad nearly lost an eye when caught with fear because of Michael’s metamorphosis into a horrible beast, in the video clip, my brother who was having dinner threw his fork at my dad’s face. The short movie was really scary while at home the scene was really funny for the nine years old child I was.
No doubt today; nearly everyone on earth has got a personal story to tell that revolves around Michael Jackson. The way the world should remember the Pop start is however not certain when it comes to drawing a positive or negative picture of the artist. The last decade of Michael’s life were marked with controversies and trials. His presence in courts occulted his presence on stage in most magazines and newspapers. Through many surgical operations, just like in video clip “Thriller”, the Pop start also progressively transformed himself into an ugly creature.
Since his death the once upon a time wannabe has been described and pictured by most media as “the late living ghost”. His weight of 51kgs, his failing nose, and the wig, he wore not to mention the medicines he used to feed on are today top stories in most newspapers and tabloids alike. Nothing is strange or surprising in all that, however. Yes, indeed… we all know that addiction and personality trouble have always been the daily life of real Pop stars and geniuses.
Thank you Michael! Thanks for your genuine art
And congratulations for the taste you put in our life
By Dr. Moustafa Traore