Michael Jackson: the many crossovers


There are 3 things boiling in my brain and bones currently: the passage at Luke 8:22, fatherhood, and the demise of a legendary stature in Michael Jackson.

Fo almost a week now, I dwell on this passage from the Desertfisher: ” Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” I know what a lake is, and somehow familiar of how it behaves under a stormy weather. At some point, it was both a wild and tamed creature during my childhood and adolescent years. You can read here. You may ask: “So, what’s left unfamiliar?” There are 2 things in this passage: the going over and the other side.

Just the other day, the news was one plane boarded by tourists headed for the best beach in Asia, Boracay, got into engine trouble. The whole imagined escapade got messed up. Think of discipleship, of trailing the Desertfisher’s track this way. The disciples thought otherwise and so had their lessons in the Boat University in fear and trembling: “Don’t you have faith yet?”

Consider a band of disciples, ordinary, tax-paying folks from the outskirts burdened by the Roman rule. Not hard to imagine, right? There are legion among us – hoping the yoke of living would get lighter each unfolding day. People at the outskirts of the country scurrying for answers to their burden of soul and body, perhaps The Answer. The disciples thought The Answer is unfolding before their eyes everytime they were fed to their fill.

Alright, you found The Answer in me, it doesn’t matter. Much work to do guys. Let’s go over to the other side of the lake,” said the Desertfisher.

You know what happened with this invitation for a crossover – big squall tossed their boat. Had this happened yesterday, Twitter and CNN would have been our first sources haha.

I thought we have the Desertfisher around, where is he anyway? asked one desertfish.

So you think it’s all neat and sanitized guys, as if faith is a formula you only need to memorize? Storm like this – this is sanitizing your faith. We’re getting there. You can blog about this later,” the Desertfisher retorted.

Michael Jackson: the many crossovers

Who doesn’t love the genius in him? Who doesn’t think his personal life was a whole mess? As one writer exclaimed: “What a talent! What a tragedy!” One article that prods me to blog these thoughts was a piece of truth from Andrew Sullivan’s article Thinking About Michael and I quote a couple of sentences:

There are two things to say about him. He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child. By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father.”

Michael had done a lot of crossovers in his life: from one concert stage to the next; from one hit album after another; from one messed-up marriage to the final one; from one media canonization here to one unforgiving derision there; from black to “white”. But of all the crossovers he’d gone through, I pick this up: the crossover of childhood. For instead of being assured of a protective paternal presence like that of the Desertfisher, it was one that exposed him further to the squall, that caused the squall of his tender years. Freud wrote:

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”

Sullivan seems to make a point: he never recovered from there. Yes, despite the money for all the high profiled therapist he could hire. Did he get to the other side, the healing side I presume? Had someone assured him in his Boat of Fame about faith that needs be sanitized? You can gather all the hints and proofs you want to come up with your own tentative judgment. All I know is that had responsible fatherhood hold his childhood arms, it might have been a different Michael less mourned for a tragic end of the story. Thank you Michael. Rest in peace.


23 thoughts on “Michael Jackson: the many crossovers

  1. Pingback: Posts about Andrew Sullivan as of June 27, 2009 » The Daily Parr

  2. Indeed, if things had been different, the world would have been mourning solely for the passage of a great artist and not for an unredeemed tragedy…

    Like what I have commented in other similar blog entries kapatid, another consummate artist leaves the world… I am not a fan of Michael Jackson and I sometimes frown on the many questionable things reported about him, I still appreciate his art and his musical influence, his kindness and the causes he supported in his lifetime.

    Despite the many scandals that rocked the last 20 years of his life, many people tend to forget that Michael Jackson was the most generous person in the US music industry, donating millions of proceeds from his songs and concerts to charitable institutions worldwide…

    He has also been the topnotch voice in humanizing AIDS. He helped stern the world to see the suffering human face in AIDS victims along with other notable artists such as Elton John…

    The rest of the world may snicker, call him names and may eventually forget him, but he remains in the hearts of those touched by the part of his heart that is kind and compassionate.

    Farewell Michael… You were gone too soon…

  3. Kapatid – lovely, fair comment. I like the way you put into perspective not only the shadowy but also the selfless side of Michael. I’m a little naive of his campaign for AIDS awareness because just like you, his music is not really as endearing to me as those of Simon and Garfunkel or of the Eagles. And you hit it right – the world might be a little divided over how he will be remembered depending on how Michael, his persona, talent, voice, identity, and even shortcomings have connected to one’s search for meaning or struck a chord over their needs. Our prisoners in Cebu, perhaps, a few of them, have a deep connection with the Thriller so that the mass dance is simply irreducible to an institutional conditioning or requirement. The song may simply be a wing of inner freedom for some so that Michael will remain immortalize in their painful prison life…Thank you kapatid for taking the time to share your thoughts. I just relish every comment of yours because they are so laden with your precious time…

  4. ganda ng thought mo about crossovers…one thing i learned from this life..-there will always be crossovers..its part of the whole cycle…no one stays permanently where he is planted..one day he will be uprooted to be planted again.
    ang daming ideas ang lumalabas sa aking isipan ngayon reading through your post….

    So you think it’s all neat and sanitized guys, as if faith is a formula you only need to memorize? Storm like this – this is sanitizing your faith. We’re getting there. You can blog about this later,” the Desertfisher retorted

    many times in the past i have told this phrase to myself…even owned it as a mantra…sometimes i win…sometimes i lost in holding on….FAITH AMIDST THE CALMNESS OF THE NIGHT AND THE STILLNESS OF THE SEA is entirely different story….but when the STORM comes, it experiences wild twists and turns…reducing one’s mighty stand and stature to the ground…but i believe that when one is being grounded…that is where we learn more about our faith!

  5. Michael Jackson is the best entertainer ever. For the life of me I don’t know why people can’t see that this man was thirsty 4 lov, he had no child hood and no one 2 realy love him 4 him. all his life he amid 2 please everyone. So if you don’t no anything about this man don’t judge this man…..OK !

  6. one thing i learned from this life..-there will always be crossovers..its part of the whole cycle…no one stays permanently where he is planted..one day he will be uprooted to be planted again.

    I just remembered one scene in the The Little Prince. The little prince was looking for men and he happened to ask a desert flower about them. The flower reply that no one knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.

  7. Michael Jackson have always defied conventional wisdom. No one will ever know what went on in that beautiful head of his…. There will always be whys…. He was gone so soon. I may be called a selective fan and ignored him most days. I cannot miss his greatness in his death. For all his ‘sins’, the man child will always be one great influential artist of all times.

    Michael’s passing is also grim reminder of our own mortality and our fading youth as he and his music are now just memories. With his stature and influence, he was not above death. May you finally have your long deserved rest, Michael.

  8. “there will always be crossovers..its part of the whole cycle”

    Kaibigang Blu – true, very true. I can only think and recall mine, the many crossovers of pain and triumph. One thing i notice – the more resolved i am to join the Boat, the more storms seem to come and the interplay of fear and faith is like what you said, a whole cycle muscling each other out. I just love this text. I was suppose to write more about the unknown of “the other side”. Maybe at some other time. For the meantime, I thank God for the invitation to simply dwell on this one line. Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  9. @CWW – Kapatid, thank you for reminding us of this one jewel from the Little Prince. Very apt indeed for a post on such a beleaguered childhood like Michael’s. The Little Prince has so much sense of wonder and wisdom to share for every child and every child within…

  10. he could never dismiss the genuis of MJ. he ushered us to a new generation not only of music but most of all of a culture that we are now totally embracing as part of our identity and as a foundation of what builds our identity at the same time: pop culture.

    it is just so sad that this king has lost his childhood, something that he could and would no longer redeem on his lifetime. now that he is gone, maybe he could find the real care and love and affection that he needs from a father from the Father of all.

  11. Hi Amor – i read your post as you said goodbye to your daily blogging endeavor but am relieved to read you will come up with something new. Movement.Movement.
    From a more sociological perspective, there seems to be some convincing statistics that genius always has a price. I can only think of the American math genius John Nash whose life story was filmed into A Beautiful Mind. Nash was a pure genius, sneaking through the hallways of Princeton at midnight, writing on its walls some never-read before mathematical formulas. He had schizophrenia. Some people, especially genius ones, there is so much material coming out from the human depth they could hardly contain it (normal human beings use only a small portion of their brain). And for the rest of the normal humanity, they become abnormal. Partly, his wacky behavior i believe were some kind of misguided material from his depth.

  12. Hi Bro Elmot – talk of Michael’s contribution to the shaping of our global culture. Cebu’s inmates came up with its own tribute to the King, singing Heal the World and waved flags of different countries. His visit in Russia was barrier-breaking into a Communist ground and those who came to his concert must have carried some memories of a happy retreat from the daily rigid communist life. And yes, I agree with you – with the mushrooming of hip hop and other pop culture icons, especially African-American, making big bucks from those hardly decipherable songs, like Nelly or Snoppdog, Michael remains a great inspiration and empowerment. And yes, Death must have a way of delivering him away from the abyss of depression into his final rest…Thank you Bro for dropping by. I read your post on the state of political violence in this country. Medyo nagpapalamig lang muna ako hehe…

  13. One thing i notice – the more resolved i am to join the Boat, the more storms seem to come and the interplay of fear and faith is like what you said, a whole cycle muscling each other out.
    …hindi ko maiwasang makicomment ulit dito sa sinabi mo…
    …the boat: whether what is your understanding of this specific category in your life, the meaning would differ, but the journey for all us (in all walks of life) is the same….
    …it is a matter of understanding and living it from different perspectives.
    ….the storm is there to rock the boat, otherwise it loses its purpose for which it was created…
    but we are not alone in the boat….you know that for sure!
    …the boat of which i have been riding had been rocked many times….some as hard that it was about to sink…
    …but the calming and gentle presence of the ONE ..
    gave me enought to courage to hold on…and continue the journey!
    …in our life….calmness of the night brings about as a creative alternative…the howling winds and the tumultous stom…be not afraid the ONE whisphers…

  14. Blu – thank you for this beautiful reminder. The short exhortation “Be not afraid” – just hearing it is already empowering. Now and then, i glance at this strength of yours from your colorful blog and so i keep coming back.

  15. I cold never deny that when I come to visit your blog and read your entries, I somehow seem to turn back into my philosophy and theology years in college… full of reflections about life and GOD. Thanks for being one of my inspirations to lead a better life in GOD’s ways in our daily struggles.

  16. Miel – once you are in, you will never be out. Wherever you go, susundan ka rin Nya at susundan. Only His languages vary because human languages evolve. Labi na gyud, naa pay pari nga sige ampo nimo. Blessings to you kapatid…

  17. Beautiful piece DFish!
    Of course puera buyag (dala tutho with drizzling laway) rule of thumb considered unsanitary medical attention but it is how to “contra” buyag buyag especially sa imong kahanas sa lalom nga reflection nga only those daghan ug pundong bokabolaryo sa word nga ininglis ang makahimo.

    Wherever you go, susundan ka rin Nya at susundan. Only His languages vary because human languages evolve.

    Ug mobalik kini sa lyrics ning paboritong awit,

    You can check out anytime you like but you can never leaaaaave!

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