I learned some life lessons from the King of Pop while on a date with my husband.
Lenore Moritz: There are two camps when it comes to Michael Jackson: the camp that loves Michael Jackson and sees his true genius, and the camp of all the others (why so bitter, others?). I think you can see where I fall and, mercifully, my husband is in my camp.
It's worth noting that both my husband and Michael Jackson have the initials MJ, and they are both great dancers. I'm pretty sure that the fact that my husband shares the King of Pop's initials didn't have anything to do with my attraction to him, but you can never be too sure how the subconscious mind works ...
MJ the husband and I came of age in the '80s (the heyday of MJ the pop star), and we couldn't wait to see "This Is It" (for those in the other camp, "This Is It" is the film made of MJ's concert rehearsal footage from last spring). We needed to see this film on the big screen as soon as we could ... nostalgia is a strong motivator. A "day date" was in order -- we would blow off work and immerse ourselves in a couple of hours of music we love and compelling behind-the-scenes footage with one of the greatest entertainers ever.
We dropped our boys off at preschool a few minutes early to ensure that we would score tickets and great seats for the 9:30 AM showing of "This Is It" -- we couldn't let all those other early birds beat us to it. Much to our surprise, there was no line. Was everyone inside, and had they taken all the seats already? Surprise again! There were only five people in the theater. No matter -- the 9:30 AM showing is only for the truest fans, and we were there!
With the exception of a little chair dancing, we sat on the edge of our seats, compelled by what we saw on the screen. It was the next best thing to seeing the concert live -- it was totally incredible. Also sad -- hard to believe that this supernatural talent would never again moonwalk across a stage or offer a high-pitched "hee hee" to an eager crowd.
I expected to be entertained and enthralled by the film. I expected to have a great time sitting next to my husband MJ during our day date. What I didn't expect was to leave "This Is It" having learned something about life from the MJ on the screen:
Patience: This is so not my virtue, but it seems to be Michael Jackson's ... you see him in the film being polite when he could have lost it or been demanding.
Experience Matters: Although others around him were younger and might have had more energy, MJ was the master and his presence was unlike anyone else's on the stage.
Humility Is a Strength and Earns Respect: I love how he tells the dancers and musicians that they are all one big family -- by doing so, he levels the playing field and you can see how they all adore him even more at that moment.
Have a Signature Style and Stick to It: Military jackets, skinny pants and blazers, fedoras and, of course, one glove -- those things say Michael Jackson. Can striped thermal pajamas count as my signature style?
There was, for one night, even a third MJ in my life -- when my son was Michael Jackson (from the "Black or White" video) for Halloween. Three MJs ... now that is Off the Wall.
|Lenore Moritz is the curator/editor of Mom Culture, a culture fix for your inner grown up. Each Friday, a new artist interview and their art will inspire and energize you. High culture, pop culture and everything in between is covered.|