Monday, June 29, 2009
It's 1984 once again.
The Filipino jailbirds spawned a worldwide Internet hit two years ago with their morning exercise routine using synchronized movements based on the groundbreaking 1982 "Thriller" video.
The prisoners' dance found its way onto the popular Internet video-sharing site You Tube, where it developed a huge fan base.
The four-minute video has so far generated more than 27 million hits.
I know I will get a bashing from AA who have had enough of talks about MJ. He said his tv spews out nothing but news and tribute to the guy from morning till evening. I am sure as hell he won't read this post because just the thought about the subject would make him puke!
But I cannot help it. You see Michael Jackson's moonwalk had more than just an entertainment effect on Filipino lives. We live in a third world country, where rich kids could be living nextdoor to kids in shanties. Where the difference on paper between both family and anywhere in the neighborhood is staggering.
But they have one thing in common - Michael Jackson.
When "Thriller" hit it big, there were no more class devide left in the my country. There were no more rich, no more poor. Every teener had a copy of his poster or has a notebook or a bag or a plastic cup with MJ's face plastered on it. And everyone had tried to learn all the moves to "Thriller", or had bought a jacket like the one he wore in "Beat It", or figure out how to moonwalk. Many of the boys and girls tried to sing like Michael Jackson. Every street vendor sold a "minus one" tape of Michael's songs with no vocals so they could perfect their act.
Michael Jackson wasn't just music. When you live in the Philippine, it was a strange mix of being ahead and behind at once. We are close to Japan, so CDs and other neat technology was in our hands before the States. But the States knew what was hot six months before we did. There was no internet or cell phone technology to keep people in the loop. Yet Michael Jackson was hot at every time, all the time. He was our "connect". There wasn't anyone who wasn't a fan. There wasn't a boy who didn't twist an ankle or break his momma's vase practicing the moonwalk.
I am sure you too have probably watched so many MJ's video by now and didn't realize you were tapping your feet. Your legs have moved a few times to "Billy Jean". Ha ha, maybe even high-kicking that left leg, tossing sneakers across the kitchen! We all, once again, have no colors or class.
I believe that we are all quietly mourning in our hearts, maybe not shedding a tear, but on the outside you are paying tribute by singing along and tapping that foot. Whatever you believe about him, whatever you think he did or didn't do, however he died, whatever his issues, remember that as magical as Michael was, he was human just like us.
Yet his gift was to entertain, enlighten, perform, and give like no other(when he did a concert here, he took time to visit a children's hospital and even donated money).
We all know it. That's why we are tapping our foot.