Precious Bodily Fluids

Michael Jackson


He may be known more for his music (justifiably) and his dancing (damn, could he dance), but some of my earliest memories of Michael Jackson had to do with his movies. As opposed to Elvis, the only other person in pop music to have done anything like MJ, Michael didn’t sell out by creating a string of weird, cult movies that probably denigrated the untouchableness of his image. As the Scarecrow in the fantastic Wizard of Oz musical The Wiz, the 20-year-old Michael appealed to a kid the way he did when singing “ABC” with the Jackson 5. That strange film, with Diana Ross as Dorothy, did to The Wizard of Oz what Jim Henson and David Bowie’s The Labyrinth did to The Muppets. There is a weird, dark side to everything, but having Michael in The Wiz somehow made it accessible to me as a child.


More than that, however, Michael Jackson blew my mind at Disneyland, in 3-D, as the title character in Captain EO – incidentally, directed by Francis Coppola. Michael and his misfit crew were completely devoid of cynicism, bringing a quintessentially Reagan-esque message of peace and joy to the dark, Borg-like queen – incidentally, played by Anjelica Huston – of a planet that knew nothing of music. Who better to show them music than Michael Jackson? (The entire movie is viewable here in part one and here in part two, although it pails horribly in comparison to the big-screen in 3-D when you’re six years old.) And lest we forget, other memorable screen appearances by dear Michael include The Simpsons episode “Stark Raving Dad” and an uncannily appropriate cameo in Men in Black II.


Thankfully, there is plenty of classic, remarkable MJ in which to wallow right now, instead of the neverending bizarre-fest that filled the last umpteen years of his sad life. Having been born in the year of Thriller and danced in diapers to “Billie Jean,” the legend and phenomenon of “Michael Jackson” is too big for words. This much is certain: very few performers can make an audience forget there’s no live band.

This entry was published on June 26, 2009 at 11:25 am. It’s filed under Obits and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Michael Jackson

  1. adamgust on said:

    Zach, thank you for this, I love what you had to say about MJ.
    It has been very sad for me.

  2. moonwalkerQ on said:

    I love Michael Jackson! I had tickets to his upcoming shows and have had a tattoo dedicated to Michael for some time now. His death has shaken my world and it’s fantastic to see people that show respect for someone who has done so much for me. Thanks for what you said, i LOVE MJJ FAns! Long Live THE King!!!

  3. Christina Hildebrand on said:

    I love captain eo!!!

  4. Maria ianca on said:

    Mikee e tudooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    I love you so much!”
    I love captain Eo !!!!!!
    The king of pop forever!
    I love you Mikee!

  5. prince(blanket) on said:

    michael jackson king of pop was my dad and he was the greatest man alive

  6. he looks like the splice girl from that wierd movie

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