Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

I’ve never been an “Ooooo Michael — the King forever!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’•” sort of Michael Jackson fan, but there’s no denying he was a performer to admire. Great singer, AMAZING dancer, good songwriter — and a decent actor, too. I just discovered his 1997 short film/long music video Ghosts from 1997, and it’s delightful.

The citizens of Normal Valley, led by their portly, middle-aged mayor (played by Michael Jackson — a pretty good feat of makeup and transformation of posture and voice) march up to the spooky mansion on the hill to drive out “The Maestro” (also Michael Jackson), the “weird freak” who’s been corrupting the youth of Normal Valley by telling them ghost stories (gasp!). But The Maestro won’t be budged so easily — and neither will his ghostly family.

The film was directed by Stan Winston, the special effects genius, famed for his work on the Terminator series, Aliens, Predator, and part of the Jurassic Park series, just to name a few. The story was co-written by Stephen King and Michael Jackson. At forty minutes, the Guinness Book of World Records calls it the world’s longest music video (three songs, from two different albums), but I prefer to think of it as a short musical.

It’s hard not to think about Jackson’s personal troubles while watching this. But I think many who were “the weird one,” or “the freak” while in grade school, or maybe even after that, can relate — the Maestro is there, to speak up for them.

Anyway. It’s winter tale time, and I’ve fallen behind on my yearly selection of winter tales for this blog. I have a few lined up, and I will post them when I can. In the meantime, enjoy Michael Jackson’s Ghosts.


4 thoughts on “Michael Jackson’s Ghosts

  1. I recently saw another blogger reference a Jackson song, which prompted from me an instant response. You have alluded to it. I flashed back to the video capturing Jackson holding one of his tiny children out over a high landing, as well as the various accusations of child abuse against him. Whatever the truth is, artists are rarely as good as their art. Beethoven was a man of lofty ideas and the use of touching words too โ€” โ€œall men become brothersโ€ in the โ€œOde to Joyโ€ from his 9th Symphony โ€” but he could be incredibly disagreeable and even dishonest in trying to sell the same work to multiple publishers. Do we expect too much from talented people? Ah, humanity!

    • It’s always a question with very controversial figures: what wins out, their behavior or their art? Their art, usually, which may or may not be a bad thing, I don’t know.

      MJ seems to have been a bit of a control freak, and his behavior was eccentric, to say the least. But I remember the ’93 scandal and the 2005 case a little — I always thought that the parents of the children in question were a bit suspect, and there doesn’t seem to have been an outpouring of “yes, he abused me too” cases, as there was in the case of Bill Cosby.

      There was an article about it in the Huffington Post not too long after he died, which raised some questions about the press coverage of the case: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-thomson/one-of-the-most-shameful_b_610258.html .

      On the other hand, he got away with a lot that a less wealthy and famous man would never have gotten away with. Who normally lets their children hang out with an unrelated 35 year old?

      • I liked the last question, Nina. My answer, based on what we see in everyday life, is quite a lot of people behave irresponsibly, even with their children. The front page of every daily newspaper, it seems, also carries a “hair on fire” politician saying things that would have disqualified them from public life as recently as 20 years ago. By which I mean, too many people are behaving irresponsibly. But yes, the press sometimes does too much and often does too little.

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