Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My Thoughts Exactly

Bill Wyman sums up my thoughts on the 'Gloved One' pretty well:

As for Jackson, jesus—his biggest claim to fame is his celebrity qua celebrity. He’s an amazing pop artist, of course, but he’s no Stevie Wonder, to name just one Motown fellow. He’s no Springsteen**, either, and he’s no Prince. A lot of black activists, like the buffoonish Al Sharpton, have been trying to prop up his rep as a breakthrough black artist; I take the point that “Billie Jean” was a watershed for MTV, but Wonder was hitting crazy commercial landmarks in the 1970s. (Songs of the Key of Life debuted at number one, for example, an almost unprecedented event at the time, and while I don’t care much about the Grammys, his dominance of the event in the middle part of the decade was nearly total.)

...If, as popists do, you equate simply popularity with importance, it’s easy to fall into such absurd logical traps. As more of the hoopla goes on, the more brittle Jackson’s legacy feels to me. If you gotta keep insisting someone’s important, he starts to seem more of a simulacrum. In this way I think Jackson will be a most impermanent star.

Whole blog peice here (with Steve Jons content as a bonus).