Results for tag "popular"

Jacksonian Democracy & the Power of Popularity

Wow, back after a long hiatus. Not gonna’ lie, not much has really gone down to stop me from writing, save the fact that my next post will most likely be from the friendly confines of my first house.

Anyway, Michael Jackson has died. You’ve heard about it. You’ve formed your opinion on the guy. It’s the aftermath of the tragedy that has been particularly fascinating to me though.

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop. This is without question. His body of work includes the Thriller album, which is enough to qualify this title all by itself. But to me, it’s amazing the roller coaster that has resulted from the perception of his POPularity along the way.

Michael Jackson has never been conventionally cool in my lifetime until now. In the late 80s, early 90s, you could break out a copy of Thriller or the Bad album and get away with it; appreciating the King for the artist he was, even though he was starting to turn a little whiter and for some reason was hanging out with the kid from Home Alone. Come mid-90s, you could get beat up, or at least ostracized for a couple grades for even admitting you owned a Jackson album. These were the years I told people I listened religiously to NWA and Dr. Dre even though I was never allowed to actually own the albums. Closet Jackson fans had to enjoy the music solo mission style, or in my case in the company of other non-cool Jackson listeners poolside while playing billiards, as the “Pop” star was continually in the press for a bunch of outlandish crap. Now that he’s dead, the appreciation of his music, and amazingly, the man himself has resurged like a tidal wave. It is now “cool” and “POPular” to like Jackson again.

The interesting thing to me is that Jackson achieved his momentous 80s popularity while suffering from the same social anxiety and desire to fit in that made people NOT listen to his music 10 years later.

Jackson’s not a criminal, but he is a weirdo. I mean, there’s no way around it. He never achieved the ability to socialize or understand anyone over the age of 8, he most likely underwent a host of plastic surgeries to create an appearance he thought people he couldn’t communicate with would better appreciate. He lived in an amusement park, had weird relationships, and treated children as though he were their own age (much to the dismay of their parents. This being said, everyone knew he was a weird guy; for that reason alone, why would anyone let their kids hang out with him?).

But, yet, though much of this was at least apparent early on, his tremendous ability pulled the wool over the world’s eyes and led to the creation of the King of Pop persona that rendered him untouchable and yet even more vulnerable to attack.

And it was this same popular opinion, that kept fans down for a decade, until he died and it was cool again to listen..

The power of pop…and Jackson was a master of it in more ways than one.

Ha, in honor of Michael’s, and most people’s, search for popularity, check out the crappy video below from a few years back.