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November 21, 2003


Right now on my headphones is 'Jam', the Michael Jackson song from the early 90s. It's still a jammin' song, and I can still see Michael Jordan and Heavy D in the video of my mind. Last week I played F6 (soon to be F7) in an XBox game of NBA 2K2. We still like to play as the Lakers and the Kobe character still sinks 3 pointers as well as ever. People everywhere still remember Ronald Reagan the way they want to, CBS be damned. What's going on here? Have we all lost our senses of dignity?


We are resisting erasure. While we witness what is effectually a blitz of questioning what was unquestioned, popular interpretation of history is being put back into the realm of subversive speculation. And yet there are emotional memories associated with these men which will not be subjected to the latest foofarah. They are part of us in a way that cannot be touched, and that's a good thing.

The mediasphere is actively edited. Like blurred logos in an MTV video, editors decide according to commercial, legal and sometimes ethical concerns what is presented and what is hidden. As popular sensibilities change.

Speaking specifically of Michael Jackson, there has never been such a moment as when he performed 'Billy Jean' at the Motown's 25th Anniversary Show in 1983. It was the introduction of the Moonwalk to the world, and the world froze with its mouth open. More than anything else, Michael Jackson danced. There has never been nor will there ever be such an electrifying dancer as he. He would demonstrate this numerous times in subsequent years, indelibly.

It's possible to forget Jackson, Bryant and Reagan in their finest moments. There will always be those who never caught the fever, those with no emotional attachment to their accomplishments, those who shared no joy at their triumphs. Such people will always be subject to the whims of those who will edit out their finest moments only to portray them in shame, incapacity and misery.

What will you remember?

Posted by mbowen at November 21, 2003 06:52 AM

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I will remember Reagan's wink to white racists/racism on the site of one of our country's most shameful acts. It would have been so good had he honored Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner instead.

Posted by: ronn at November 21, 2003 05:08 PM