Let’s talk about Michael Jackson for a minute.
I love Michael. He was an entertainment god and his videos have a mythic quality about them. I mean, Thriller, seriously? It is justly considered the best video of all time. However, watching his videos requires a certain suspension of disbelief because they are often about as believable as a cartoon.
As evidence, I submit the 1987 video for “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Have a look:
So the video* begins with Michael screaming “HEEEY” at a girl as she walks the streets alone one evening. The timbre of his voice definitely reads “playful flirtatious encounter”, not “prepare to be stalked, beaten, and brutalized on top of a bunch of old boxes smelling of lo mein.”
*That is, the abbreviated video above. The full version 36 hours long.
Michael is dressed to the nines in an outfit that would be sure to receive a disapproving cluck from Michael Kors and Nina Garcia. Nothing says streetwise like a floofy white scarf holding your jeggings up. Also, am I the only person who feels like the more surgery MJ got on his face, the worse he smelled? I have always felt this way. Maybe it’s because he was a child trapped in a man-ish body, and kids don’t like baths. Or maybe it’s because he was lulu and lulus are prone to forget to practice basic hygiene. Or maybe it’s because this video was filmed in the Land the Sanitation Department Forgot.
So here in the LSDF, a young lady got all dressed in a diced up wet suit that night for her beau, MJ. Right. I guess she’s pretty good in the video, but for reals, she looks a bit too much like an emaciated Janet Jackson for me to be 100% comfortable with her role as Michael’s love interest. And could someone please feed her a pizza? For sers, guys, I think Miss C weighs more than her.
Michael usually has a posse in his videos, probably because he was always an outsider in real life. In this video, his posse is a group of middle-aged hobos. I think I even spotted the Hamburgler in there. His girlfriend has a posse, too, which is good because between the four of them, one of them is bound to have a rape whistle. Most likely the one who appears to be a man in drag. According to Wikipedia, one of the girl’s friends is played by LaToya Jackson, which I guess makes sense. Wouldn’t YOU want to be in a music video where your brother does pelvic thrusts towards the girl playing your friend?
Frolicking through the streets strewn with used syringes, the girl makes like Laura Winslow and brushes off the geeky advances of Michael, who is about as smooth an operator as the electronic jug band at Chuck E. Cheese’s. But by the end of the video, someone has popped open a fire hydrant and she is embracing MJ like her life depends on it.
And yet I love this video. Go figure.
Special thanks to Angie at Childhood Relived for allowing me to completely plagiarize her What the…Friday? idea for this post, where she resurrects an old YouTube clip and then points out that the drugs of the 80s were indeed potent. She’s pretty rad.
And then there were four! Congrats to my friend Jells from I’ll Sleep When They’re Grown for the birth of A2! I am now officially not following any pregnancy blogs. I have a little hole in my heart.