Friday, June 26, 2009

Off the Wall: Reflections on Michael Jackson and A-Rod

When watching Alex Rodriguez having a great game against the Braves last night, and tying Reggie Jackson's career homer record, I was reminded tonight of what it's like to see undeniable talent in action. And why he is the most famous player of his generation. Watching all the Michael Jackson clips today after his untimely death yesterday reminded me of how much undeniable talent he also had. And why he was the most famous artist of his generation.

Both A-Rod and Jackson had that star quality and charisma that set them apart from their peers. They also both achieved stardom at an early age, and liked to wear white gloves. When A-Rod is "on," as he was against the Braves last night, it takes your breath away. It was much like how seeing an 11-year-old Jackson belt out "ABC" or an older Jackson moonwalk to "Billie Jean" amazed fans.

But then there's all that other stuff - the tabloid fodder, the weirdness, the lackeys and yes-men telling them what they want to hear, the use of dubious substances. It all takes away from what they should be remembered for. Heck, I was just using Jackson as a punch line hours before his death.

It's kind of sad that it was only after Jackson's passing where fans could remember him for being something other than Wacko Jacko. The Los Angeles Times noted the reaction of some employee of Jackson upon hearing a nearby fraternity house blare the King of Pop's music after his death:
"Oh, now they’re playing Michael Jackson," the suited man declared in exasperation into his phone.
Tying all this back into the Yankees, I hope we get more of A-Rod the great player, and less of A-Rod the freak show, over the next 8 1/2 years. I don't want to see him become another cautionary tale of the perils of fame and fortune at a young age.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Symphony said...

One person's freak show is another person's colorful.

Until he lures three year olds into the back of a white van with a piece of candy, until he rapes women, until he takes someone's life, until he plots a terrorist attack I just can't care too much.

Yes, I suppose my standards for being an overall decent person are pretty low but everyone is sane and normal right up until someone finds the bodies in their basement and body pats in the freezer.

I tend to trust people who have a few skeletons out of the closet because "normal" people can be very scary.

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson and the word normal don't belong in the same sentence. Undeniably a musical genius, but that is where it ends for me. Personally, I'm tired of all the celebrity weirdos that t.v. and the paparazzi cram down our throats. I think his death is surprising and unsettling because there is hardly a person who is not aware of him. It is sad for his family, especially his children, but his music will live on. Unfortunately, many will now try to turn him into a misunderstood saint. What I saw was someone who preyed upon innocent children by using his money to bribe their ignorant, greedy parents. Normal, I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

michael jackson became famous because he was talented.

check out the jackson 5 song list with links to the songs here and see

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