Monday, June 29, 2009

Do you know any Aggie jokes?!?

So this weekend a few things got around to happening in the world. Quiet Company played two shows with a handful of great bands, I saw the new Transformers movie, and Michael Jackson died. No one really cares about the shows unless you were there or unless you're in the band (they were both good), so lets talk about the iconic plastic alien robot and then talk about The Transformers. I kid.

I was on my way home from work when the my coworker called and told me that Michael Jackson was dead. I don't mean to sound cold but, at best, I found this news mildly interesting. I love the early Jackson 5 recordings but I've never had any time for Michael as a solo artist. He's been creepy to me since that "Rock With You" video, and while I feel bad for him and his lost childhood and obviously piece of shit dad, he hasn't really mattered in over a decade. And before everyone crucifies me, I realize that he has sold more records and contributed more to pop music than I could do in seven lifetimes. When I say he hasn't really mattered, I know his early seminal work will always be hugely influential, but he hasn't made anything of importance in quite some time. Instead, anyone born in the last 15 year doesn't know Michael as the incredibly talented singer of the Jackson 5 or as the guy who brought us the moonwalk and Thriller. They undoubtedly know him as this sexually ambiguous, trainwreck of a person who is always fighting charges of pedophilia and who, maybe, used to do music. I don't know if he's guilty of those charges. If I had to bet, I would bet on guilty. I would bet a lot on guilty. I would feel like my odds were strong. I do know that if someone accused me of pedophilia and I was innocent, I would fight tooth and nail until there wasn't a doubt remaining. I certainly wouldn't pay $20 million to shut them up (unless, of course, I was guilty). On the other hand, if anyone ever did that to my child I would fight tooth and nail until everyone in the world knew what they'd done and they were punished to the full extent of the law, I wouldn't stop for any amount (unless, of course, I knew he was innocent and I was just some horrible parasite of a person). SUCH A MYSTERY!

I don't know, I guess I could say I respected him as a musician but let me tell you a secret. "I respect him as a musician" is actually musician code for, "I'm just trying to be nice. In actuality, I couldn't possibly give less of a shit about this person or their art." All musicians say it about someone. I actually do respect Michael but really only because of the Jackson 5, his solo career has never meant anything to me and with all of this hullabaloo about his death all I keep thinking is, "I wonder how many talented, creative, people in the world, who certainly don't molest children, will starve to death today and no one will notice or care because they never proclaimed themselves king of anything."

Another person that I "respect as a musician" is Sting. Once someone told me that he can have sex for something like 12 hours. My response is that its probably just like his music; It goes on forever and nothing interesting happens. Man, I'm talking some shit today!!

I finally saw the Transformers movie this weekend. While I understand what everyone's problems with it are, I will say that I really enjoyed it. Its a movie about 50 ft. alien robots that transform into vehicles, not The Godfather. If you liked the first one, I don't seen any reason that you don't have a pretty good chance of liking this one, as well. There are some pretty ridiculous things going on but overall, its a good time. I could've done without the Twins, but they did fix one of my biggest problems with the first one. In the first movie, Optimus Prime is a nice guy but when he goes toe to toe with Megatron he gets his ass handed to him. In the new film, Optimus is finally the big noble badass that we know and love from the comics. He will shoot you in the face and have no qualms about it, provided that you're a Decepticon, of course.

Don't get me wrong, critically, I could tear the movie apart, but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun. I hope, if they make another one, they take a cue from the critics and reduce or eliminate the twins' roles, just like Lucas did with Jar Jar. I will say that the twins are not nearly as annoying as Jar Jar. On an annoyance scale, he's a 10 and they're like a 6.

This post is sure to make people hate me. I don't care about the guy that everyone loves and I like the movie that everyone loves to hate.


  1. Really? His solo career meant nothing to you? I have to say, I respect your opinion and your position on the subject, I really do, but, number one, he didn't dub himself King of Pop--that was a critics' title--and number two, pop music would be virtually unrecognizable today without, like, every song on Thriller. The truth is, it's impossible to be a working musician right now and not have been affected--I'm not saying influenced, necessarily, but affected--by his music. I'm not saying he was a saint, but there's this weird thing that's happening right now where, almost as soon as he died, people have been going out of the way to say, "It's not that big a deal. I'm not that bummed." But come on, man, face it: it is a big deal. He was the closest thing we had to an Elvis--controversy and drug use and rather pathetic recent life and all. (And to MJ's credit, he was infinitely more original than Elvis.)

    Also, it's a little unfair to speak on behalf of all musicians when you say, "let me tell you a secret..." I'm a musician and when I say "I respected him as a musician" I mean "I fucking respected him as a musician, because he was a genius--at least for part of his life--and for a time there, everything he touched turned to gold."

    I don't mean to be one of those assholes who gets really riled up about something online, because it's really not that big of a deal, but I'm just absolutely baffled by this strange outcry of "I don't care that he died!" It's still terrificially sad and he was still probably the single most influential person in modern pop music, period. And now he's dead.

    I guess I'm just fighting for a little respect on the man's behalf. Couldn't we at least wait a while before we start the shit-talking?

  2. Also: "Life is beautiful and I hope that this blog, and everything else I do, shows that I know and appreciate that."

  3. I haven't noticed an slew of people saying that they don't care that he died, quiet the contrary actually. And like I said, I realize how important his early work is, but yeah, it didn't mean anything to me, personally. If I've been affected its only indirectly.

    Life is beautiful, though probably for people who knew MJ it feels less so right now. But I didn't know him, and while I feel for his kids, I don't think its weird that I'm not affected by his death, just like we're not affected by the thousands of people who will die today that we don't know. What I think is weird is that almost everyone I know is convinced of his pedophilia, yet everyone is like "Oh we lost such a great talent." My thought is that, if he is guilty, then the music world could've done without his godlike influence if it would've protected one child, even if it cost us Beyonce's "Crazy in Love." I don't think you're an asshole, and I hope you don't think I'm one. I expected someone to counter me and I could be wrong but I've always heard that he dubbed himself "king of pop" not that it really matters.

  4. i love dancing to michael jackson but man, he freaks me out.

  5. I think it's a little late for that. Fact is, people have been talking shit about MJ for a couple decades now, and there are a lot of people who are convinced that he was guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable, and that his fame and weath only enbled him to continue it.

    That being said, I liked his music on occasion, and he made contributions to popular music and to dance thtat were revolutionary and far-reaching in scope.

    But at the core of this matter for me is the fact that someone whom I never met has died, which happens thousands of times every day. I'm certainly not happy about it, I'm not going to make jokes about it, but I am a little annoyed by the media frenzy. Like all things concering celebrity, I'm a little disgused by the way the media is handling it. People who really did love his music are greiving, and that's enough to signal me to leave him and his fans be, and not go out of my way to ridicule their sense of loss.

    I'm not saying Taylor was, his comments are actually completely mild compared to a lot of what I've seen over the past few days. But the way I feel is that his career and his music were a big deal. His death, for me, not so much.

  6. Saying that MJ was the single most influential person in pop music is true. But isn't that like saying that someone was the single most influential person in creating torture devices? I mean, pop music is what i believe to be wrong with modern music. Maybe not the music, but the fact that it's a business at the top levels and less of an art (pop, that is), meant to pander to the masses of people who honestly could care less about music. However, I do love some of MJ's hits. Maybe I am one of these idiots I'm talking about.

    But I agree, if everyone is so convinced of his crimes, why elevate him as a hero? My main hang up is of a different sort though. Was Michael Jackson a believer in Christ? If not, I'm more sad about that than anything.

    Transformers was great. The only time I laughed at anything the Twins said was when one kept saying "kung fu grip!" before devestator ate him...or didn' of the "yeah rights" of the movie.

    Maybe we'll see Unicron and Hot Rod in the next one.

  7. I posted my thoughts on this in my own blog, and won't debate with anyone his merits as a musician, or his past. I however wouldn't push this all on the media. The people via twitter, facebook, etc. were the ones who spread this like wildfire and days later are still the ones talking about it. The people were already mourning an hour before CNN announced his death.

    I am also not so certain of his crimes especialy the second time around. Some interesting stuff out there if you look for it. The crucifixion of this guys charachter is something i would blame on the media, as they swayed the public even though the legal system aquitted him.

    I feel I have said to much already.

  8. I would also like to clarify that when I said "let me tell you a secret..." I had my tongue pressed firmly in my cheek. Obviously, when you say "I respect him as a musician" it doesn't always mean what I said it means. But art is completely subjective and if you like it, then it has worth to you, if you don't, it really doesn't. Whenever people that really like music debate the value of an artist, its often the phrase to signifies the end of the argument because they both realize that agreement isn't in the cards. "He sucks." "No, he's awesome." "Well don't get me wrong, I respect him as a musician." Its a polite but disingenuous thing. In actuality, the "respecter" didn't like said artist, and probably hasn't spent any time trying to, and that perfectly OK. Respect is something you should have for people because they're people, not because they're musicians. Sting may be a fantastic bass player but I really couldn't care less. How special is a good bass player, or drummer, or singer, or dancer? Not very. Being a good bass player isn't like hiding Jews in your German attic in 1943. If I met Sting I'd be respectful and nice but I wouldn't go out of my way to meet him or kiss his ass, and if he asked me if I liked The Police I'd definitely say no.

    The media wouldn't be what it is if enough people didn't all want it to be that. They do what sells, so its probably more of a reflection on us than on them. Granted, the tabloids and TMZ are clearly awful people but they exist to meet the desires of other awful people. It sucks for the family of any celebrity when said celebrity dies, and I feel awful for Michael Jackson's mom when she's accosted by these vultures as she comes out of Target.

    If I ever die, I hope people still have a sense of humor about it. But I hope that they remember that I am, in death, exactly what I was in life (as we all are).

  9. I think everyone being "convinced" of his guilt is entirely the fault of the media.

    Take a few minutes to read.

    I think the guilty parties are the disgusting greedy manipulative parents. The only thing Jackson was guilty of was having a love of children. To me, it seems if one can't comprehend an adult (who happened to be a regressed child himself) loving children and childlike things that much without it being sexual, then there might be some projection going on. This guy endured a lot of mockery and criticism from people unneccessarily. By all accounts from people who knew him, he was a great person. I'm not even a "fan", I just think people jumped to conclusions at the expense of someone else's life, based on a whole lot of tabloid bullshit. (He started abusing demerol and other painkillers when the accusations started). Sad stuff.

  10. Yeah, I've got to say, after reading all of that Wikipedia stuff, I think I've held an unfair and incorrect opinion of the man and I guess the only reasons for that would be the media's coverage and the fact that Michael was, let's face it, the easiest target. He definitely acted inapropriately, letting kids sleep in his bed and whatnot, but I don't guess he had a firm grasp on reality or propriety probably because his father is a horrible man who denied his son a childhood.

  11. Taylor I am proud that you would change course on this, after doing the research. I agree that the man is an easy target. His personal appearance scared people, and like most human beings we are frightened when things don't look the way we do. I think that alone made it easy for the media to try and wreck the guy.

    I would also agree that you shouldn't be letting other peoples kids sleep in your bed, but what kind of parent would let that happen?

  12. "I would also agree that you shouldn't be letting other peoples kids sleep in your bed, but what kind of parent would let that happen?"

    Sadly, the kind of parent that lets that happen is the kind that has their values and their view of life screwed up. The kind of parent who puts self fulfillment above the safety or good of their child. The kind of parent that is all around you, you just don't realize it.

    MJ was a sad man....I loved his music didn't understand him as a person... He lived a lonely, sad life and now he is gone. Neverland has a new meaning now......

  13. I think he claimed that he'd sleep on the floor when the kids were in his bed. I suppose he didn't conform to the same code of conduct we all hold as the norm, since he probably considered himself to be a child. In this country, we seem to love to build someone up just to tear them down. I feel awful for him but now I feel awful for his children. I don't know if they really have a grasp on who their father was or what he went through, but they're going to have a really interesting time as they piece it all together.