LIVING LIFE:The boy next door

The man with a queer affinity for shiny clothes and wild colours and a penchant for wearing white gloves and socks, grabbing his crotch, then flinging his other hand and head in another direction is no longer with us.

The man with a queer affinity for shiny clothes and wild colours and a penchant for wearing white gloves and socks, grabbing his crotch, then flinging his other hand and head in another direction is no longer with us.

Like in his life, the young black carefree boy from a dysfunctional Indiana family has failed to discourage the average person’s individual with the talents of another human being.

While I was a child, Michael Jackson was my ‘it’ person. At the age of five, my peers and I were in the summit of our amateurish break-dance careers, never mind that the chubbiness of too much breastfeeding implied that we carried too much fleshy weight around our cheeks, our waists and everywhere else.

We practiced our moves in each others’ living rooms and got to display our strokes in front of cheering house guests for a sweet or copper coin, to the chagrin of our mothers.

After those episodes, one would win themselves a proper scolding or even worse a proper whack on the backside for all the trouble.

As we grew older, our bones condensing into our exploding teenage bodies, our hormones playing havoc with our sense of self esteem, we lost the agility of our childhood, the inventiveness of flinging parts of your body in opposing directions without risking injury, and the boldness to do crazy things in front of other people without any care in the world.

The amazing thing with Michael Jackson is that as he grew older he became even better, dropping more daring dance moves up to his forties which for me is the mark of a true entertainer.

A lot has been said and repeated about the famous moonwalk.

Invented with the aim of demonstrating how a man is supposed to walk on the moon where a slight jump would send one into the sky for good, a moonwalk is basically walking while dragging your feet on the ground to avoid loss of contact between the body and the ground.

Michael’s moonwalk was a hybrid of ballet (the walking on toes) and a delicate moving of one foot while using the other as a tripod alternatively, backwards, with coordinated hand and body movements.

Every hot dance artist who prides himself in his skills has found him or herself performing some form of moonwalk, from Usher to Sisqo and anyone else whose credentials involve dancing.

For me the real classics of the man are those of the days when we were yet unborn or were walking around in nappies in the seventies and eighties.

Surprisingly for such old music, the boy or man in Michael Jackson was a free spirit. That spirit oozed into his extraordinary high pitched boy-next-door voice infused into a rare mature stage presence at an age so young.

In a grainy black and white video clip, showing a lanky five year old boy with generous amount of hair doing an audition in the sixties that has been doing the rounds lately, the beginning of an extraordinary career was born.

In the records of his music and life, Michael Jackson’s legacy, whether he is dead or alive, will live in posterity.

I wish you a free-spirited Sunday.

kelviod@yahoo.com

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