I did not plan to write about Michael Jackson’s passing, but after watching the tribute held at the Staples Center today, I changed my mind. The journalists and reporters say that some people are sad about Jackson’s death because his music is closely connected to parts of their life. Besides admiring his talent, I associate the music and videos with growing up. Given that those were some of the happiest years of life and living at home, it is sad to realize that yet another part of those memories is forever gone.
Many sounds, scents, and tastes can make us travel back in time for a short moment. Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video takes me to my parents’ living room in an apartment on Prospekt Mira. During the first minutes of the video my mom hides behind me and tells me not to look at the screen! Needless to say, I did not see Michael Jackson’s transformation into the hairy creature and then to a zombie for a very long time. I knew exactly what it sounded like and the exact moment when I needed to look away. Then one evening, I heard the words: “Tai, you can probably see this scene now. You will see it is just makeup and it is not that scary after all.” That was the evening I finally saw the clawed hairy monster. It was great!
That moment could have been the beginning of my long-time excitement about horror movies and scary stories. In any case, as early as I remember myself, I always enjoyed a vivid frightening story or a good chilling film. I remember Jackson’s music for being a part of my childhood days, which have certainly played a role in leading up to who I am today. Just as many things shape us, that iconic music video likely added to my imagination for oil paintings and gave me a useful “time transport” to about 25 year ago.