Friday, July 3, 2009

the perfect yellow

My best friend in high school had this poster on her wall, right where we could lie on her water bed and stare at it, dreamy-eyed, for hours. It was 1983. I wonder if she still has it, stored away in some dark place with all the other relics of youth. Seeing it now, I can almost feel the adolescent idolatrous idealist inside of me.

Last night, I danced with two friends to a whole set of nothing but Michael Jackson tunes, at a Denver club where most of the patrons were half our age. They ate sushi; I ate edamame. We were overdressed and didn't give a shit, because we were all wearing something that made us happy. The young men could tell we were dancing in our own little worlds, and they mostly seemed to respect that somehow, even as they joined in. Smiles and just plain fun all around.

Tonight, my sons and I stayed up way past our bedtimes, watching videos of "Beat It" (followed, of course, by "Eat It", at which they laughed hysterically), "Billie Jean", "ABC", and others. A cultural history lesson via youtube. Tomorrow morning, when night has turned to day once again, and the world feels just a little bit safer, we will watch "Thriller". Zombies. Dancing. How could that NOT be good?! Revolutionary, even.

It's all pretty messed up, I know, what with the whole Michael Jackson corpse extravaganza thing and all. Believe me, I KNOW people die every single goddamn day from all sorts of causes: some naturally tragic, some insanely stupid, others completely preventable.

But I really can't get all worked up about either the fanaticism of it all, or the criticism of it all.

All that matters to me, at this moment, is that he be remembered for his music. And the memories he has gifted, at great expense to himself, to an entire generation. That was some kinda magic. Let us all be judged on what we did well. On whatever bit of magic we managed to bring into the world.

I have been contemplating my beige-walled kitchen for awhile. Someday soon, I will go out and search for the perfect yellow: the yellow of Michael Jackson's sweater vest.


Kristen Tucker said...

I remember this poster on Luci's wall! My feelings are much the same as yours. I never felt quite comfortable with the post-"Bad" Michael Jackson - who knows what was and wasn't true - but his music brings back memories of special, fun times with high school friends. Thanks for sharing, Sue.

suesun said...

I showed them the Thriller video today, and my 60-something-year-old neighbor walked in at the beginning of it. He had never seen it. It was great watching it with two generations who had never seen it before.

secret agent woman said...

My kids and I have sat together nad watched that same set of videos, including "Eat It."

Yellow is a good kitchen color I think - very cheery.

Anonymous said...

Nopp again,
Our living room was that yellow 9before we moved last fall) It was painted a long time ago ... I will have to ask the wife if she remembers the colors name. It bugs me also when others try and profit from someone death ... at least bad mouth them when they are alive. I still think of being at the Prince's cabin in Neskowin and seeing a note you wrote on the dry erase board from that spring break in '84 - that and seeing the patched hole in the wall. Was at a friends house warming and they were playing MJ tunes - funny thing was that half of them there were to young to have got most of it first hand - but, were into it.

Dawn Brandtjen said...

The poster does not bring back memories to me. For me, it is his music. Don't ask me how many times over the years I have danced to "Beat It" because of the dance team number we did. I still remember a lot of the routine and cannot help but moving to it. My girls think I am crazy. His music was part of our childhood. We grew up with Michael Jackson, and, of course, Farrah Fawcett. I still remember how long it took to do my hair, just like hers! Now my husband remembers her poster! I believe he had one in his bedroom.

Kate said...

I can see the point of the blogger in your link. But the irony is that she expends so much time and energy ranting about how the Michael Jackson celebrity funeral extravaganza is a waste of time and energy. Grump, grump, grump.

I'm not a HUGE fan of MJ. But I graduated from high school in 1985. He was the soundtrack to my high school expereince. Every song from Thriller has memories for me.

Ninja Of The Mundane said...

For the last time, the doggone girl is mine.