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ECHenrikson@aol.com

Billy, I respecet your opinion, but wonder if your own sensitities with you being a musician yourself taint your review of a fellow musical performer.
To me, "This is It" reeks of being a cost recouper. Practice is meant for just that, practice. This movie should have never had a theatrical release. That said, releasing it over the Halloween weenend with no other big releases to complete against was BRILLANT.

I too like the "Human Nature" song, and several others Michael Jackson sings. Glad to hear his song was able to help you in what you are going too now.
Over the years I found Michael Jackson's dancing skills fun to watch, but Michael Jackson was way too far out there for me to gravitate towards as a celebrity personality. Too bad he was so wierd and tragically flawed, we lost a GREAT entertainer. A man who with a little different direction may still be among us, and more popular with the masses. I don't think Michael Jackson's talent was maximised; he could have done better than he did.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

binnie

Robbie and I happened to see the movie this afternoon and had the same reaction you did. Exactly right, Billy.

thegirlinthecafe

I saw it too and enjoyed it, he has made some fantastic songs. I was wondering the same things. He seemed in good shape and not at all the wreck the media wanted us to believe.

mernitman

EC: It's "agree to disagree" time. But I gotta say, the idea that MJ could've been "more popular with the masses" makes me giggle.

Binnie: Thank you! Isn't it fun to be right?

The Girl: Yeah... His death seemed mostly about having the wrong (i.e. celeb-exalted) access to the wrong sleep-aids, period.

binnie

Billy - As Robbie will tell you, I'm ALWAYS right!

Bill

I've not seen the film so I can't really comment on it except to say I'm not surprised those elements you speak of are in it. For me, Michael Jackson was always too popular and I was too cool. At the time, I couldn't really admit to liking him as an entertainer - I had to like obscure bands. I'm sure you're familiar with people going through that phase of "music as social status."

The truth however was that I always liked his music and the few performances that I saw (video etc.). What is also true is that Michael Jackson's career has run through my entire life from the Jackson 5 to Thriller to the weirdness. I think the final phase, the weirdness, tends to overshadow the rest.

An aspect of that final phase that isn't often spoken of is how we were complicit in it. Was he weird to begin with or did our need for ever bigger stars and greater spectacle of the Anna-Nicole variety bring it about? A bit of both probably.

I think his talent, and the levels he achieved with it, were inevitable because his life from the beginning was entertainment, almost exclusively. A person can't help but get ever better at something when it is done for that long and with that intensity. It came at the cost, however, of not developing other skills, like people and relationships. So in the end he was an astonishingly talented man and an equally astonishingly lonely, isolated man. And so the weirdness follows.

If you're familiar with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow," I think when we see Jackson perform that is what we see: flow, a man totally in the moment doing what he absolutely loves and doing it almost without thought, he is so in tune with what he's doing and it comes so naturally. I can watch that over and over, regardless of all the weird business. That stuff is noise; those flow moments are music.

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