In loving remembrance of Michael
And so they had to tear you down, proving that total, brutal, violent annihilation of character is even more delicious when the victim is rich and black.
I always tell people the same high-minded thing: don't read a single book; watch the movie instead. By that I mean 2009's This Is It, of course, with its amazing rehearsal footage shot right before your death. If anyone has any questions or misgiving about who you were, this movie will correct it. All the drama and the Jacko the Freak-o bullshit fades away for once, revealing a musician of astonishing skill and professionalism. Not only do you hit every note on your own with your pure, naked voice, you also dance like a 20-year-old at the height of his game. To all those who scoff at my insistence that you were a genius: fuck you in the heart and prance on to hell.
But it wasn't just your artistry that made me cry in This Is It — it was your extreme, almost over-the-top graciousness as well. I was stunned by the level of gentleness and respect you showed every single member of your crew — from the dancers to the musicians, the lighting guys to the PAs. You surely didn't have to be so kind. Equally revealing was how your crew responded — unable to contain their awe and ecstatic delight, they were just plain thrilled to work with a compassionate legend like you. To them, you were the embodiment of love, humility, and respect. And if the people who worked so intimately with you before your death knew this, why can't everybody else?