Germaine Greer “'Like Orpheus, Michael Jackson was destroyed by his fans'” http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jun/26/michael-jackson-death-in-la
His sudden death is a strange kind of victory. He had managed to prevent his ageing and even his growing up. There was no beard upon his chin; his voice was a childish treble. Instead of entering middle age and letting himself be chained to earth, he has floated away like a wisp, annihilated on the brink of a 50-date concert tour that I for one was dreading.
According to Madonna "the world has lost one of the greats". We haven't lost Michael Jackson, because he cannot disappear. His three great albums will last as long as electronic media continues to exist, while the dross is forgotten.
The era of his astonishing creativity ended 20 years ago; most of what has happened since has been embarrassment. Jackson's kind of transcendental creativity is typical of very young men; it seldom survives into manhood, when the glory fades into the light of common day. Jackson succeeded in prolonging his brilliant boyhood into his thirties, but eventually he ran out of inspiration.
His art had been fuelled by the vernacular culture of the streets but it was many years since he had been able to run with the kids on the block. As his imagination faltered and grew dim, the fending off of maturity became desperate, demented and pointless. The struggle against ageing turned into self-harming and self-mutilation.
Nowhere will his contribution be more obvious and his influence more strongly felt than in the world of dance. No choreographer of the last 30 years has been unaware of Jackson's achievement. He rewrote the vocabulary of dance for everyone, from kids competing in talent shows to the royal ballets of Europe.
If the dance establishment did not often acknowledge his influence it was because there was no need. His shapes, his moves were everywhere.
ところで、Germaine Greerさんは、”He became a parody of himself.”という。これはスターという制度がファンとのインタラクティヴィティにおいてのみ存立するものである以上、マイケル・ジャクソンに限らず避けられないことだろう。ファンの期待に応えると同時にそれを裏切るということが重要で、多分それがアーティストとしての〈成熟〉ということになるのだろうけど、通常は（かつてのジョン・ライドンのように）豚ども死ね！とファンを罵倒するか、ファンの残酷な期待を逆に搾取するかという（或る意味では不毛な）二者択一ということになるのだろう。唐突かも知れないが、Germaine Greerさんの文章を読んで思ったことは、数十年前の〈青春〉を売ることでどこかの県知事になった某*2は恥を知るべきだということだ。
*1:http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090626/1245979421 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090627/1246076104 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090629/1246248975 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090630/1246329884
*2:See http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20081203/1228320279 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090217/1234841867 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090330/1238340938 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090405/1238907776 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090525/1243230456