Archive for June 26th, 2009

Michael JacksonI wasn’t going to post anything on the untimely death of Michael Jackson.  There is going to be an over abundance of coverage and everything, good and bad, associated with the man will be examined to the tiniest detail.  There was already an excess amount of coverage of his life while he was living and I felt that I didn’t need to add to it.

But I caught a few moments of his performance of Billie Jean from the Jacksons’ 30th Anniversary special and found myself once more mesmerized by his movement.  It was something that had been lost in my mind, overpowered by the coverage of all the bizarre details of  his apparent flaws.  

But there was magic in this, particularly in the first few minutes.  The sheer mastery of his movements and the way he pulled us in was powerful and I found myself moved in a way I hadn’t imagined.   It’s hard to look away. 

Perhaps he was a flawed human.  But as an artist, if you are, as they say, as good as your best work, Michael Jackson was brilliant…

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Bela Lugosi as DraculaMaybe it’s a sign of advancing age or just detachment from youthful society at large, but I am totally mystified by the romanticization of vampires in things like the Twilight series of books and movies or the True Blood series on HBO.  While I know there was a certain charisma that went along with Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula in the films of the 30’s and 40’s and maybe a little with the vampire-based soap opera of the early 70’s, Dark Shadows, I suspect the current fascination with all things vampirish really took off with Ann Rice and her books.

Okay, so people enjoy the books and movies and find the lore and drama of it all interesting.  I can see that.  But why do people feel the need to try to adopt the lifestyle of vampires?  What does someone see that compels them to dress and act like vampires and even have dental work done to give them fangs?  What is it in this world of bloodsucking that they find so much more appealing than their normal lives, to the point they make it the focal point of all they are and do?  

It seems to be a recent phenomena.  I can’t imagine that there were groups of youths in the 1930’s who dressed in Dracula-like black capes and dark eyeliner, sulking around their parent’s homes and muttering under their breath in an affected Romanian accent.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe, but I doubt it.

Maybe there is nothing wrong in this.  Maybe there’s something to be said for trying to become more like the characters we see in movies and read about in books.  Maybe I’m being too critical and should have a more open opinion.  I mean, I do have a beard and I did like Lon Chaney, Jr. as the doomed Larry Talbot in those werewolf movies…

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