Skip to main content

Michael Jackson some thoughts
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 27 June 2009

Like many people I am in absolute shock that Michael Jackson is dead. The only thing more shocking is if the Queen died. No actual this is more shocking, the Queen is old, Michael Jackson was only 50.

And for once I am not just in shock as a person, but as a black person.

Michael Jackson was the most famous black person in world history. It is impossible to underestimate his importance to black people. It wasn't just that he made incredible music created amazing videos and put on ground breaking shows, he also broke down barriers in a way that hadn't been done before and can't be done again.

It hard to believe it now but before Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, black entertainers were in a cul-de-sac. Black musicians were continually struggling to reach a wider audience outside of black communities.

Twenty five years ago MTV had an unofficial policy banning videos by black musicians. Herbie Hancock, an early pioneer of techno music, famously made a video in which he was not in it.

Jackson changed all that not by political statement but simply by producing material that was so vibrant, so kinetic, and so damn entertaining that it demanded to be shown.

Jackson worked in many genres. Strictly speaking from about the time of “Thriller” he was not an R n B musician. Rhythm and Blues isn't a genre, it's a marketing term for music which is popular with Black America. Jackson's music was popular with everybody. But his roots lay in African-American music of the 50's and 60's, in the dance routines of James Brown in song machine that was Tamala Motown and the youthful appeal and catchy melodies of Frankie Lemon and the Teenagers.

In recent years Jackson had managed to alienate many black people. As an African-American showbiz friend once said to me para-phasing one of Jackson's songs,

“It doesn't matter if you are black or white and Michael Jackson has proved that because he used to be black and now he is whiter that any white man.”

Yet even before his unexpected demise there was still good will towards him.

A story in the American press that the all the Jacksons apart from Janet had fallen on hard times with one stacking shelves in a supermarket, was greeted with; well-wishes, disbelief and anger at the “lying white media” in black-centric internet forums.

People were genuinely excited about his comeback, though it was clear that he was doing it for the money. He will be sadly missed.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Black men, Estonian women: the truth
By Abdul Turay
Published Postimees 11 November 2009
Well that got your attention; the headline I mean. Any story on this subject, the technical term is miscegenation, is bound to get punters. The yellow media, women's magazines and reality TV shows are obsessed with the subject. Not a month goes by without some publication writing about it. Anne and Style, for example, recently ran a long feature about mixed couples.
Most of these stories are muddle-headed and wrong. There's paranoia in this country that there is an army of dark-skinned men form Turkey, the tropics, some place south, who are going to make off with the nation's women. It's never going to happen. I'll explain why in a minute.
Seriously, I think there are more important things to think about and worry about. I worry about feeding my family. I worry about other people being able to feed their families, so I write about politics and economics.
But the press won't leave…
Aus valik näib rumal, rumal valik on aga aus. Abdul Turay
Järgneb minu lugu Donald Trumpist.
Varastel üheksakümnendatel, enne seda kui keegi üldse internetist kuulnud oli, töötasin Hong Kongis ühes ajalehetoimetuses nooremreporterina. Üks kolleegidest täiendas Trumpi-teemalist ilutsevat kirjatükki omapoolse märkusega: „Ta ego on sama suur kui ta hotelliäri.“ Paar nädalat hiljem viibis tulevane president Hong Kongis ning üks kolleegidest pidi teda intervjueerima. Ta kirjelduses esines Trump hea instinkti, intelligentse ja kohalikes oludes väga hästi informeeritud vestluspartnerina. Kolleeg lisas, et Trump oli vestluses nimeliselt vihjanud ka reporterile, kes tema kulul mahlaka väljaütlemisega lagedale oli tulnud: „See tüüp X on paras sitapea.“
Donald Trump on oma tegemistes pedantne ja põhjalik. Toona koha peal viibides ei palunud ta endale tuua mitte ainult sealseid lehti, et siis ainult enda kohta avaldatu üle vaadata, vaid luges terve eksemplari otsast lõpuni läbi, mistõttu ka tema võr…
Galojan will not be coming home soon. By Abdul Turay Published Postimees 27 February 2012
Anna Maria Galojan is quite a boring person. I am bored with reading about her case already. Frankly I am not that interested in her, but since I have some insider knowledge with the system she is facing, I thought I'd share it with you.
Miss Galojan claims that she is not running away by staying in the UK and if she really wanted to run she would have gone to South America.
The reverse is true. I suspect Galojan choose Britain precisely because it the best place for her or anyone else to evade justice.
Britain has a slow and inefficient bureaucracy, especially when dealing with law and order issues. If Galojan has actually claimed asylum like she says, she will be caught in this system, certainly for months and possibly for years.
Countries with a history of dictatorship, often have fast and efficient bureaucracies. Dictators need to sure that they can get rid of political opponents quickly.
The re…