『オブザーヴァー』には、Alex Duval Smith"The Left Bank's well of ideas runs dry"が掲載されていて、Andre Glucksmannとか Daniel Depland（倫敦在住の仏蘭西人作家）、Jean-Paul Enthoven（Grasset社出版部長）などの見解が紹介されていたが、特に新しい知見を得られたという感じはしない。また、The Nationにはノーマン・メイラーの（元々はLiberationに掲載された）"On Sartre's God Problem"が載っているのだが、今は読む暇がない。
ところで、先週の土曜日の『ガーディアン』に、あのベイ・シティ・ローラーズの元メンバー Les McKeownへのインタヴューが掲載されている；
I never understood 70s nostalgia. Having lived through the decade, to resuscitate its icons strikes me as aberrant. Bad TV, such as Starsky and Hutch. Bad fashion, such as flares. Bad hair cuts (take your pick). And, worst of all, bad music. Exercises in pomposity such as Yes; paragons of banality such as the Osmonds. Just plain boring, like the Eagles. Even Bowie's transgressive space opera strikes me as almost unlistenable today. I'm biased, I know, but except for a few anomalies, for me the decade really didn't get going until what we call "punk" lifted its spiky head out of the gutters of New York and London. In both cities, giving the finger to the bloated hierarchy of rococo and roll was punk's brief raison d'etre. But in Manhattan in 1975, there was an even more immediate target: disco.
話が前後してしまうが、上のBCRの話は、70年代のアイドルにとっても、80年代、90年代をサヴァイヴするのは難しかったという話だけど、こちらの方は80年代アイドルの90年代サヴァイヴァル話ということになろうか。ブラック・ミュージックの研究家であるNelson George氏は、"Jackson's soul search"で、〈マイケル・ジャクソンと私〉を語っている。曰く、
Michael Jackson has been in my life since I was a child. Born a year after me (and sharing the same astrological sign) this native of Gary, Indiana, was the first black boy I knew to receive the unbridled adoration of mainstream America. Sure, he was better looking and vastly more talented than me, but it felt like Michael and the rest of the Jackson Five were representing all of us little Afro-wearing early 70s kids. It was with great pride that my family and friends from the sixth floor in Brooklyn's Tilden Projects went to see the Jackson Five at Madison Square Garden in 1971, looking down from the cheap seats at this dynamic family group.
Fifteen years later Michael helped me get my first apartment. While working as black music editor of Billboard magazine, I penned a quickie biography of the singer to satisfy his Thriller-era fans. The royalties from that book allowed me to get my first apartment sans roommate, while the book itself launched me in the world of pop punditry. Back in the remarkable summer of 1984, Michael was still brown-skinned, had a jheri-curl and was using street dance steps in his performances and videos. Though clearly a little eccentric, Michael, with his breathy voice and childish interest, didn't seem as weird as, say, Prince.
A little over 20 years after the triumph of Thriller, and now approaching middle age, Michael looks nothing like the little boy I admired. His skin is pale and chalky. He wears bizarre outfits. Although he won't go to jail for any of the 10 counts of child molestation or child endangerment he was on trial for, his life and career will remain tainted. His fascination with young boys - young white boys - is still disquieting. The details of his personal life unearthed during the trial will shadow him for the rest of his life.
と、黒人社会にも〈マイケル擁護〉の熱気はない（上に引用したすぐ前では、" his skin tone lightened and his public persona darkened"とも言われている）。Nelson George氏にとって〈救い〉となるのは、
While black Americans are usually quite loyal to our tainted stars (see OJ and Mike Tyson), support for Michael seems more muted. I suspect this is as much because of his ongoing loss of pigment as for the crimes he's been accused of. None of his explanations for how he grew lighter have been very convincing. It is one thing to have a white district attorney target you: black people understand that game. It is another when you seem (and I use "seem" since there is no hard evidence for this) to have wilfully tried to de-black yourself.
Despite his deeply damaged reputation, I'm sure Michael's musical legacy is secure. Usher and Justin Timberlake are just the most prominent of the new generation of pop crooners who couldn't get out of bed without recycling a Jackson vocal riff or melody, much less walk on stage without his influence. Moreover, in my travels into nightclubs on both US coasts, in listening to various radio stations and just talking to folks, it's clear that Michael's trial has made people re-hear his catalogue of music.
Many of his greatest records anchored messages of paranoia (Billie Jean) and megalomania (Can You Feel It). No longer simply extraordinary pop music, Michael's songs now sound like letters from a cold, isolated island. If all art is a distillation of the essence of its maker's true nature, perhaps, millions of sales later, we're finally hearing Michael Jackson for the first time.