As anyone who has loved a intimate partner who endured an abusive upbringing knows all too well, domestic violence can severely mess with a person well into adult life; the pull for domestic violence victims to either re-enact said abuse upon loved ones, seek vilification from others (recalling the Michael-era hit song by Annie Lennox and The Eurhythmics) or abuse themselves in 1000 different ways is magnetic and powerful. It's a truly vicious cycle (in some families, a tragedy passed on from generation to generation), and if your loved one succumbs, absolutely nothing can be done: strenuous efforts to "save" them only make things worse and your relationship more co-dependent.
While one can take the brave and difficult steps to leave a co-dependent relationship or proactively deal with health issues, Michael did not have the option, ever, to walk away from celebrity or entirely escape the papparazzi-tabloids-24 hour media or his own p.r. machine - and it takes truly getting away and off the merry-go-round to begin tackling daunting personal problems.
Sadly, there is no choice: it's confront the demons or be consumed by them.
As far as Michael's music goes, here's an excellent (as well as uncharacteristically un-snarky) piece by the usually swaggeringly vacuous, proudly ignorant and woefully untalented Aidin Viziri that concurs with my preference for the Jackson 5 songs and early solo work; in both his art and life, bigger absolutely, positively did NOT equal better. Personally, I really, really wanted to hear Michael sing Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" simply, sweetly and with feeling - the way he did in his "Frankie Lymon" phase.
Which reminds me of my favorite song he ever recorded:
That said, I believe the response from here is to take a quiet moment of remembrance for The King Of Pop, then get off our asses and actively support living musicians! And I will do just that by attending a live CD recording session by my chanteuse friend Tré Taylor - who never fails to sing simply, sweetly and with tons of feeling - tonight. I'll be there!
Saturday, June 27th 2009
8:00pm – 11:00pm
Tré Taylor And The Dangerous Martini Quartet
707 Marina Vista
Martinez, CA 94553