Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson



The first paragraph of the press release for something forthcoming from Zero Books:

The Resistible Demise Of Michael Jackson
Edited by Mark Fisher

Michael Jackson was a supernova; we loved him, we worshiped him, we found his appearances and performances almost godlike — and this “we” was probably one of the widest, most inclusive “we”s in the history of the world. — Steven Shaviro

Michael Jackson showed that there is no such thing as ‘just’ pop music. The quantitative scale of Jackson’s fame was not only unprecedented, it is unlikely to ever be repeated. Jackson was at the burning core of the major changes in politics, the economy and culture in the last 30 years. It’s not surprising, therefore, that his death induced a spontaneous outpouring, not only of emotion, but of theoretical reflection. Providing an antidote to the mixture of unthinking sentimentality and scurrilous prurience that Jackson usually attracts, this book offers impassioned and informed answers to the urgent questions that Jackson’s death has posed. What was it about Jackson’s music and dancing that appealed to so many people? What does his death mean for popular culture in the era of Web 2.0? And just how resistible was his demise? Was another world ever possible, where the ‘we’ that Jackson brought into being could have stood for something utopian, instead of the consensual sentimentality of a world hooked on debt, consumerism and images?

11 Comments:

Blogger steve said...

boring. The over reaction to Jackson's death might be worth analysing, but calling him the centre of the the last 30 year's politics is just embarassing hyperbole. He made some great songs, but thousands of others have too, and lived a indulgent life on the back of it, then died the cliché way pop stars do. All the rest is just writing whatever you want to read.

9:13 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

yeah, it's all just borin'. Nothing interesting or symptomatic about Michael Jackson at all. Not compared to another book on punk or the Beatles. Oh no.

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