Everyone has those “Do you remember where you were?” moments in their life. You know where you were on September 11th, you know where you were when you received that awful bit of news about your family, you know where you were when Michael Jackson died. Right? I certainly do. I have never had such an immediate and surprising reaction to a piece of news. My friend Heather and I had just been hanging out and she was on her way back out of town. She called me and told me she had heard on the radio that Michael Jackson had had a heart attack. I didn’t think anything of it, thought it was probably a rumor, but as I was still on the phone with her, they announced his passing.
I hung up and called my mom, hyperventilating. It was almost comical, because all of a sudden, I needed to tell my mom that I was okay, that it wasn’t me, it was Michael. I couldn’t stop crying. I never really did. It is funny when someone has such a roller coaster life like Michael Jackson did. As the American public, we went so back-and-forth with how we felt about Michael until he passed away. We finally settled on an opinion and celebrated him as we should have, as we shall forevermore.
Three years later, rest in peace, Mikey Jacks. We still miss you.
EINTKILF Michael Jackson videos
1. Disobeying your parents can be fun!
“Black or White” is one of the most entertaining music videos of all time. There is so much beautiful scenery and so many pretty people and tons of dancing. But you know what the best part of the video is? When Norm is screaming at Kevin McCallister to turn his music down and go to bed and Kevin is like, “okay…” and then does the exact opposite, actually ejecting Norm from the house. What is even the point in saying “okay”?! What a rebel. Macaulay was every kid’s hero in all of his roles.
And for the record, this is my favorite MJ song, or at least in the top three because it doesn’t matter if you are Black or white, or if you travel the world dancing with everyone. Best life ever.
Also, just so you guys know, Tyra Banks is one of the facial morphers at the end of the vid. You are welcome.
2. Even if you are a King, your Queen can and may leave you for good dance moves.
“Remember the Time” is the jam. Recently, my brothers and I were watching this video and at the same time, Levi and I said, “Michael Jackson invented swag.” (Sorry Jay.) But seriously, who else could be all, “hey baby, remember the time that we fell in love?” while moonwalking his way into a homewreckin’ situation and still look cool? Go boy.
Eddie: And what is it you’re going to do?
Michael: Steal your woman, obviously.
That being said, I’ll take the Queen’s place as Eddie’s woman. He’s my man. And Magic Johnson is there! This video is the best.
And no, I don’t condone homewrecking.
3. The anti-gravity lean > gun fight.
Michael actually uses the “I’m gonna dance instead of fight” technique multiple times throughout his music videos, and aren’t we happy about that? Who wants to see bullets fly when you can see people moving as if disconnected from gravity and the laws of physics? Who wants to see someone get stabbed when you can see two men holding hands almost getting stabbed?
“Smooth Criminal” is an interesting music video because it just makes me want to watch Moonwalker, but since most people probably do not know what that is, I couldn’t possibly compose a whole EINTKILF on it. That being said, “Smooth Criminal” taught me that A) some music videos make better movies and B) drugs were the worst imaginable crime in the 80s. Kinda like pollution in the 90s. Noooo, don’t drug her! I’m gonna dance my way out of this!
Hey, does anyone know if Annie is okay? When we were kids, my older brother and I thought he was saying “Eddie, are you walking?” Daniel actually had me convinced that the song was about a kid in a wheelchair until the Alien Ant Farm cover came out when I was in high school. Mind. Blown.
4. Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Speaking of pollution…you know what was worse than being reprimanded by Captain Planet when I was a kid? Watching the video for “Earth Song.” What could make dead elephants, falling trees and burning ground worse? Hearing Michael cry, “what have we done to the world?” over those images. Oh, MJ. Humans are the worst.
5. Walking through parking garages is awesome.
Don’t you think the best things happen in parking garages, though? Like that episode of Seinfeld? Or that scene from Obsessed or New Girl?
And juuuuuust for your information, Scorsese directed this video, which makes it even more awesome.
6. Dancing keeps the peace.
No, but seriously. I know I mentioned “Beat It” already, but I feel that there are things about this video I should share with everyone. I had the kind of mom that was like, “did you guys know this and that and everything?” about like…everything. Did you guys know MJ gathered actual gang members as backup dancers in this video? The extras dancing on either side of the battle are real life gangsters, which just goes to show you that good music really can cure the world. Peace up, gangstas! Let’s dance it out.
And do we all know about Eddie Van Halen’s guitar solo? Okay good.
7. Everything about race and history.
I have very few jokes to make right now.
When I was a kid, my favorite video and song of Michael’s was “Man in the Mirror.” I was enamored and intrigued by every clip shown throughout the emotionally charged ballad. I learned who the KKK were from this video, I learned who Bobby Kennedy was, what he stood for and why he died through this video. I tried to get my mom to let me adopt a starving child because of this video. I think it is safe to say that (one of the) reason(s) I am the extremely racially sensitive and aware young lady I am today is because of this video. I still cry when I watch it, mostly because I cannot see clips of Dr. King speaking without choking up.
Make that change.
8. Bow tie + high water pants = electric.
MJ cannot even walk without lighting up the world. Step on that asphalt, make it shine.
MTV, at first, refused to play this video (“Billie Jean”) because they were just not really into playing music videos by Black people. When MJ and his people put up a fight, MTV put it on heavy rotation and it skyrocketed into everlasting fame. And now MTV does not even play music videos, so they clearly have always been worthless.
9. Spend time with your siblings.
Great things come out of hanging out with your family, like electric afros and sweet dance spins. And “Scream” is the greatest ever. Get two pissed off sibs in the same tiny little white room and expect wonders. Michael and Janet are basically my sibling duo idols.
10. Don’t go on dates.
You never know which seemingly sweet Letterman jacket wearing young man is going to turn into a crazy werecat/zombieman and try to kill you! Or at least try to dance toward you scarily for like…thirteen and a half minutes! Watch out, kiddos. You can’t trust anyone!
You know what’s really cool about “Thriller“? It is not even close to my favorite MJ song, but I could watch the video all day and all night. By this time, MTV decided that they like Black musicians, so they played this video at least twice an hour. Seeing as the video really does clock in at almost fifteen minutes, that means MTV let this video basically rule their airwaves. Iconic dance sequences, fantastic Oscar-worthy makeup, Vincent Price and even a Playboy super model? What else could you ever want in a music video? Nothing has come close since! Thank you for this, MJ.
Always in my heart. <3