Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Michael Jackson’s genius stirs deep emotions across both genders around the globe

June 28th, 2009

Men and women of all ages, races and religions across the world are both mourning the death and celebrating the life of Michael Jackson who died Thursday at age 50.  His 1982 album, Thriller, is the the best selling album of all time.  How does one become the best seller of all time in any category? The only way to cross gender and culture preferences is to deeply connect to human emotions through one of a kind brilliance.

Reporters seem surprised by the outpouring of emotions and deeply personal responses to Jackson’s death by millions of people who never personally saw him, much less knew him. Why do so many feel a deep emotional connection to Michael Jackson?

Maya Angelou wisely asserted, ” They will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they never will forget how you made them feel.”  Jackson never ceased to arouse our feelings; to evoke our deepest emotions through the two most powerful connectors to the brain– music and novelty.  

Music is a universal human obsession, as fundamental to us as language. Music makes it easy for your brain synapses to “fire together and wire together” to form a memory. Hence that subversive jingle that you can’t get out of your head and why many Alzheimer’s patients no longer recall their children’s names or faces but can sing entire songs. Jackson not only wrote and performed music, he was the music. His songs were powerful stories, performed with precision and passion.  His body became the most powerful musical instrument in each composition; his every cell and pore seemed not to perform the song but to be the song.  One can just image that his pulse beat in rhythm to Billie Jean and Beat It.

Not only was Jackson’s music extraordinary, there was nothing normal,  common or ordinary about Michael Jackson on or off the stage. The human brain is wired to focus attention to anything novel or unique and ignore what is ordinary. Every move he made, every interview he gave, fascinated us. Michael made us feel:

  • Tenderness for the sweet, 11 year old boy from Gary, Indiana who during the racially tumultuous year of 1968, reminded us that love was as easy as ABC
  • Joy at his ability to get us off our own butts and try to moon walk to Billie Jean
  • Awe at the genius of  every performance
  • Hope for the world, when he co-wrote and performed with 39 other celebrities We Are the World, raising millions for famine relief in Africa
  • Sympathy when he was severely burned while filming a commercial
  • Horror as he held his infant over a balcony
  • Pity for an emotionally scared boy-man on Oprah
  • Wonder as to how someone blessed with so much talent and money could be so unhappy
  • Disgust at allegations of his sexual child molestations
  • Dismay at each new picture of his changing appearance and sadness that no amount of plastic surgery could hide the anguish in his eyes
  • Grief at his early death

Pure genius is universally revered. Men and women of all cultures are in awe when viewing a Michelangelo fresco, a Michael Jordon slam dunk or the Michael Jackson video in this blog.

Michael, may you have the peace that you could not find on earth.  We mourn that the boy who promised, “I’ll Be There,” will no longer be with us.