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Joy in the Sorrow: What it means to Xscape Part 2

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Continuation from Part 1 of this super long essay lol....


I grew up. I did so not realizing it had anything to do with Michael at all. I just assumed...I was just facing reality.

But really waaaaay in the back of my mind I was thinking 'whats the point in striving to be good and honest when someone like MJ can end up the way he did?" And it didn't matter what you believe, whether you think he was a hopped up on drugs for the majority of his later years or that he was happy and focused and it was the fault of enablers/people who had it out for MJ/people who neglected MJ. Either way it went - all it looked like to me was a good, talented man ending up broken - and taken out - by the harshness of this world. Whatever happened to him, he didn't deserve. And whatever happened to him, it wasn't all his fault. The tragedy of it, just from an objective point of view, just told my brain - "that whole fantasy of pushing through the crap in this world and coming out of the otherside? That you can even make a difference? its a fantasy."

So I graduated college, and I left that fantasy world behind. Decided to go for a stable, ordinary job. Writing, yes. But this idea that I could write novels or screenplays or anything that might make a real impact? I gave up. My focus was totally on being a normal adult. I wanted to be normal. Period. I didn't want to be like Michael Jackson, try to change the world or other people's lives, or any of that. I didn't think it was worth it anymore. And I was okay with that for a while, and I even came back to MJJC after a bit - after rediscovering his music a bit and thinking I was ready to jump back into things. But nope. Not really. I got a really consistent job - it was mind numbing. I was writing, but it was nothing I was passionate about - your typical sales/marketing stuff. And I start thinking, even if I had the option of doing something I wanted to do - ANYTHING, what would I be passionate about? And I realized I had no answer. I wasn't really passionate about anything anymore. I still believed in God, but passively. And any causes that I did care about seemed ...I dunno, like a waste of time. Because I became so pessimistic about the world in general. In hindsight, it really wasn't the fact that MJ died, it was how he did. The craziness surrounding it. The prevent-ability of it. The senselessness of it. No matter what theory is associated with it, the conclusion is still the same. It made me throw my hands up mentally about hope for many things, especially big things that didn't involve me personally, worldly things. Dreams.

So until like last month I got caught up in a monotonous job that I was unhappy in. I felt stuck.

And then Xscape happened.


I didn't even know there was another posthumous album coming out. I wasn't all that excited about it because the last one - 'Michael' - although I enjoyed it, didn't really make much of an impact for me. There was still an 'absence' about it. Something missing (and I haven't caught up to all the controversy about it not being his voice on it, so who knows), in my opinion. But I was at work when I decided to give Xscape a first listen through my headphones ( a far cry from how I used to do things, I'd wait til I get home and lock myself in my room and put it on blast and listen to it all the way through). And I was amazed.

I had to stop it because I was getting teary eyed at work. When I got a chance to listen to was eerie. See to me, and I have no idea how the rest of the fan community thinks of it, but that album was done WELL. Very well. So well, that it really felt like a NEW MJ album. And the fact that it did, just gave me chills. To me it felt like "Michael Magic" and it was the first time I felt anything remotely close to that in YEARS. But not just MJ Magic, but HAPPY kind of magic - the kind of magic that makes you think anything is possible, I was transported back into that "fantasy" world I had let go the day he died. Transported back to the days where I'd put on MJ's music and feel like he spoke to my soul and I could feel his. But instead of it usually being depressing, it was hopeful. Beautiful. The whole album, including the theme of course, made me feel like I was in another world. Michael's world, once again.


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