Friday, July 10, 2009

My thoughts on Michael Jackson

I was never up on pop-culture growing up. I didn't listen to Michael Jackson's music. I heard Beat It at youth dances and Thriller on Halloween, but really all I knew of MJ was his creepy looking face (post-surgery) and the charges against him about child molesting. I always felt sorry for celebrities too, because their lives get so twisted and they seem so lost because they are caught up in fame. I now listen to more pop music and try to give celebrities the benefit of the doubt. Going to college has opened my mind a bit. But it has also helped me appreciate my background and how my parents taught me to be careful of what I watch and listen too, and to seek first the Kingdom of God and not get caught up in worldly icons.

I only ever started to listen to Michael Jackson's music just recently, which is really ironic for me, seeing as he died so soon after I became acquainted with him, so to speak. My first MJ experience was at a friend's house where a group of us were hanging out and the host popped in the DVD's of his music videos. I was blown away by the man's dance talent, a little offended at some of his provocative moves and kind of shocked by how beautiful his face was. Almost feminine, I thought. So anyway, because of the point I was at in my life and the people I was with, I developed warm feelings towards Michael Jackson and his video of, The Way You Make Me Feel. After he died, I, like many others, as evident in the pattern of top-ten lists lately, took to looking up some of his songs. Seeing as there was almost nothing else on television I watched some of CNN's and Larry King's coverage of this sudden event. I was rather enchanted by Neverland Ranch. I even created a mii character in MJ's honor on our wii. But I still couldn't vouch for the character of this man. I do believe that we should appreciate good art whatever its source, but I know that as a disciple of Christ I also need judge for myself what is admirable and what is not. I was amazed at how many people wanted to go to his funeral. I was not impressed by people chanting "Long live the king!" That was bordering on idolatry in my mind. Michael's brother Jerome defended his character on TV, saying he had a message that impacted people. That may be true. But to me, when you have the living scriptures, the word of God, as meat in your life, "Man in the Mirror," is just an inspirational twinkie. I think people just might have been blowing his virtue way out of proportion.

I really liked the words of Rev. Chuck Colson. He acknowledged MJ's musical genius and realized that people's mourning was justified. But he said we should all "mourn the real tragedy that Michael Jackson's story is." He quoted Andrew Sullivan from the Atlantic Monthly Blog:

Michael Jackson "was everything our culture worships; and yet he was obviously desperately unhappy, tortured, afraid and alone."

He goes on to say, "[Michael Jackson] was, as Sullivan noted, nothing but a creature of our culture, which puts "fame and celebrity" at its core, with money as its driving force, without regard for the person caught up in it or the character he exhibits."

The King of Pop obviously had some problems. But nobody is perfect. I still have a warm spot for MJ in my heart...and on my wii. I wish him the best in the next life. Maybe he'll learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ and really "ask the man in the mirror to change his ways." But I do think we need to be careful who we idolize. As for me, I worship the King of Israel, Jesus Christ. Millions watched the funeral of Michael Jackson, but when that day comes, "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess," that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of all mankind. Until then, you might find me listening to The Way You Make Me Feel on occasion. : )

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Milk Portraits

Kylie needed to do a portrait project for her photography class. She asked me to be her model. I was more than willing. : ) She wanted to do something about my PKU. So when we got together she said, "go get your milk." I couldn't help but laugh as I posed seriously like I did for my senior picture photo shoot except with my milk in hand. And then we realized it was just like my life! I have a normal life, except that I have PKU. Like my milk, PKU is an abnormal thing in an otherwise normal picture. So I thought that was interesting, and I think these pictures are fun. So, enjoy!