Are there any books you wish someone would write about Michael?

staywild23

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I've been thinking about what subjects Michael's fans would enjoy reading about in a well-researched book format. I am a writer and researcher and due to my all out obsession with Michael these days, I have considered if I should try to write something about him.

Since bumping a related thread earlier today, I personally would love to work on a project about the media's total erasure of Michael's sex appeal by studying the way he was represented in the media throughout his career and the juxtaposition of that to how his fans talk about him as a sex symbol to this day (if you think it's only the women on this forum think again - Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube are the Wild West lol). Anyway, to me this is an amazing research subject and one I would love to explore since I am endlessly fascinated by "sex symbol" Michael and, as far as I know, there aren't any books about it. In some ways it feels like Michael's sex appeal is this complete secret, while also being totally out in the open, for anyone to discover at any moment. Why is it ignored? Why is it actively erased (and why has it been since the mid-80s when for many fans, that's when his sex appeal increased)? How does it continue to sustain and grow his fan base, while being actively denied by the mainstream media? I mean, the man got no help at all from the media in promoting this idea of him being sexy and yet there are teenage girls TODAY that are losing their minds over him the same way they did 40 years ago. This just fascinates me, honestly lol.

But what other subjects SHOULD there be a book about? What has not been covered enough? What angles need to be addressed? This can be anything from his personal life, to more academic study, or cultural commentary?

Personally, I'd love to see more books about his cultural impact, his artistry, his impact globally, especially in non-Western countries, etc. I'm personally over the people from his life writing books about him, or stretching their relationship with him to fit some word count. I'm personally over conjecture about his personal life. But that might just be me. Maybe there is other stuff people want to learn about that I haven't considered.

Any ideas, or suggestions? I think it could be an interesting topic to discuss :)
 

ChanceToDance

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I would love to see more books on MJ's final years, we do have 3 books about it already but it's an era looked upon that never gets much attention, a lot was going on behind the scenes still.
 

staywild23

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I would love to see more books on MJ's final years, we do have 3 books about it already but it's an era looked upon that never gets much attention, a lot was going on behind the scenes still.
Do you mean in terms of his personal life? Or his creative work in the final years? or just something all inclusive? I haven't read the books about his later years, so I'm curious if there is something you think is missing from them that you'd like to see.
 

ChanceToDance

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Do you mean in terms of his personal life? Or his creative work in the final years? or just something all inclusive? I haven't read the books about his later years, so I'm curious if there is something you think is missing from them that you'd like to see.
Both, he's had such a troubled life that I'm sure there's still a lot of stories to tell. He'd also break contracts and leave a lot of projects unfulfilled and I'd love to read more on those, like the 2007 Las Vegas concerts, the 2005 Bahrain album, autobiography, etc.
 

zinniabooklover

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I'm not sure why I'm jumping into the conversation, lol. I don't have much interest in books about artists. Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs. Just can't work up a lot of interest. And books about Michael don't really get me going. I still haven't read Susanne Fast's book properly. Have only dipped into Joe Vogel's Man in the Music. Can't get very enthused about that Margo Jefferson thing. That said, I would love to see a book about Michael as a dancer (see my own 'necro-bumping' activity, lol).

I have always loved Michael first and foremost as a dancer. Which doesn't mean I think he should have kept dancing until he dropped. Dancers have short careers compared to other performing artists. It also doesn't mean I think he should have prioritised the dancing over live vocals for his gigs - although I think there are complications there because of his health issues which I don't want to get into here but those things can't be discounted. Back pain, the lupus, the lung inflammation - those are just the most obvious ones to mention. It was a complicated and difficult situation for him to manage, I think. I know there are many arguments back and forth over whether his voice was overworked.

All of that said, Michael's dancing is the thing that most interests me. Recently I was trawling the web for comments that other dancers made about Michael as a dancer. I already know that my fave dancer / choreographer - Michael Clark - did not like Michael's crotch grab and thinks it was obscene. Which made me howl with laughter. If you know anything about my lovely Michael Clark and his work (especially the stuff he did back in the 1980's) you'll know why I was so amused.

Anyway, I was collecting little bits here and there and wondering why there wasn't more. The stuff that came up was the stuff I already knew about. Mikhail Baryshnikov. Carlos Acosta. Akram Khan. I'm pleased that they all love Michael as a dancer. I think it's beyond awesome that both Carlos Acosta and Akram Khan started off as kids who were big into hip hop dance and massively influenced by Michael. Carlos is on record saying he just wanted to be the next Michael Jackson. Akram has spoken about being bullied as a kid - he says the bullying stopped when he started winning dance competitions with his Thriller routine.

I also wondered why I never seem to find any info re books about Michael as a dancer. Maybe the stuff is out there although I have tried to find it a few times already. There are books about his style, his voice (Isabelle Petitjean, yay!) and probably too many books about his personal life. I want stuff about his dancing. There are articles but not even a huge number of those. Whenever I try to find out if any of the dance magazines wrote about him I come up empty.

I don't want someone to write a hagiography about Michael. Not interested in that. I don't think Michael was the greatest dancer that the world has ever seen (sheesh! should I take this over to the heresy thread, lol). But he was a great dancer and he was - and still is - very influential. And his dancing was such a big part of his life. I just want someone to take it seriously. Even just to examine the many strands of all the influences you can see in his work, all the many artists he admired, all the different art forms that informed his own work.

When I was hunting for this stuff I came across a really striking image. An artist called Diet Wiegman did a sculpture inspired by Michael as a dancer - or at least inspired by Michael's dancer physique. This is kind of the point I'm trying to make. His influence as a dancer goes way beyond the world of dance. That is awesome.

One thing that was new to me was a Vanity Fair article from 2014. I haven't read it properly, just took a quick glance at it. But it was so interesting. It was a review of a number of important and influential dancers or dance companies over the years. Suzanne Farrell, Mark Morris, Alvin Ailey's American Dance Theater, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Christopher Wheeldon (yes, that one), Wendy Whelan, Dance Theater of Harlem, American Ballet Theater, Karole Armitage. These are all huge names in the world of dance. And Michael was in there. Yes, maybe partly because of Vanity Fair's own cover story of Michael with the infamous Annie Liebovitz (sp?) photos. But I very much doubt if that was the only reason they decided to include him. I'm sure he was there on his own merits. This was a big, important article. They were putting Michael into the mix with these big hitters. The main emphasis was on ballet and contemporary dance although Latin American dance was also in there. So Michael was the only dancer from outside of the world of ballet and contemporary dance that was included. That is HUGE. That is a huge statement being made right there. I was so stoked to see that. I want more of that type of thing. I don't want Michael celebrated as a dancer as if the only thing he ever did was the Thriller routine - as awesome as that was. There is so much more to be said about him as a dancer.

There is an old thread here on the board asking the question - was Michael a dancer who could sing or a singer who could dance? Fascinating question. I don't have an answer but I think his singing is celebrated more than his dancing is. The dance part of his artistry just gets the same old responses over and over. Thriller. Sometimes Motown 25. Very, very occasionally someone mentions Beat It. Er, that's more or less it. I want more.

"I want everything and I want it NOW"
(lyrics by Cyndi Lauper)
 

Lacra

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In some ways it feels like Michael's sex appeal is this complete secret, while also being totally out in the open, for anyone to discover at any moment. Why is it ignored? Why is it actively erased (and why has it been since the mid-80s when for many fans, that's when his sex appeal increased)? How does it continue to sustain and grow his fan base, while being actively denied by the mainstream media? I mean, the man got no help at all from the media in promoting this idea of him being sexy and yet there are teenage girls TODAY that are losing their minds over him the same way they did 40 years ago. This just fascinates me, honestly lol.
sorry for being so off topic, but I have to focus on that

snippets from the book "M Poetica"

I don't have the book and didn't read it, but while I looked for it, I saw these parts.


1668893510276.png


1668893528658.png



There is also a really nice blog entry from a blog that is not really online anymore (site is not working)

snippet:

1668894400322.png

If you are interested in that blog entry, I still have it on my computer. Just say so and I will try to fix the broken picture links etc, and then I could make screenshots or post it in some other way. :unsure:
 

zinniabooklover

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sorry for being so off topic, but I have to focus on that

snippets from the book "M Poetica"

I don't have the book and didn't read it, but while I looked for it, I saw these parts.


View attachment 2033


View attachment 2034



There is also a really nice blog entry from a blog that is not really online anymore (site is not working)

snippet:

View attachment 2036

If you are interested in that blog entry, I still have it on my computer. Just say so and I will try to fix the broken picture links etc, and then I could make screenshots or post it in some other way. :unsure:
Lacra, is that from allforloveblog.com? I recognise this piece. I've def read it, more than once.
 

staywild23

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sorry for being so off topic, but I have to focus on that

snippets from the book "M Poetica"

I don't have the book and didn't read it, but while I looked for it, I saw these parts.
OMG OMG OMG YOU GET IT.

This is the exact kind of stuff I am talking about! I have so many thoughts and feelings. Jesus. OK.


I want to scream! This is everything I have been interested int!!! I have to find this book. I can't stand that it exists and I haven't read it yet. I am obsessed with the idea of deconstructing the cultural conditioning. We have been provided lenses through which to view him. They are like filters, or screens, that change our perspective so much that it makes the image we see totally different than the reality of what it is. People talk about Michael having body dysmorphia, but what if the entire mainstream culture has Michael dysmorphia where so many people cannot see him as he actually exists in front of us?

There is also a really nice blog entry from a blog that is not really online anymore (site is not working)

snippet:

View attachment 2036
Again, YES! This was my exact reason for being so interested in all of this. Here's how it worked for me. I started listening to Michael in late December (probably between Christmas and New Years of 2021) and by the first week or so of January I was Googling "is Michael Jackson sexy?" because I was absolutely dumbfounded and completely confused by own extremely visceral response to him. I came of age in the 2000s and media coverage was so incredibly cruel. It didn't seem possible to me that Michael could be sexy. These thoughts were so deeply engrained in me that I actually questioned my own physical reaction as a woman in my mid-30s with a full and thorough grasp of my own sexuality. It was easier to question myself than the entire culture at large that was telling me what to think of him. Yet, it only took me maybe a week or so of watching Michael's performances to try to find out if other women were reacting this way to him, which is how I ended up finding MJJC. I lurked on the manhood thread for weeks before officially joining MJJC. But his attractiveness and sexiness is quite literally what brought me here lol.

Anyway, I love the distinction here about loving Michael in spite of his appearance (as I imagine non-fans might assume) vs. loving him and finding him actively incredibly sexy and attractive. This is an important distinction and one I think needs more attention.

If you are interested in that blog entry, I still have it on my computer. Just say so and I will try to fix the broken picture links etc, and then I could make screenshots or post it in some other way. :unsure:

I would love access to any and all information about these topics. Seriously!
 

Lacra

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Lacra, is that from allforloveblog.com? I recognise this piece. I've def read it, more than once.
Yes!!! 🙏

@staywild23 I think you should make a new thread with this topic, it really deserves one! :unsure:

If you do, you should copy your texts again, they are so interesting:

"These thoughts were so deeply engrained in me that I actually questioned my own physical reaction as a woman in my mid-30s with a full and thorough grasp of my own sexuality. It was easier to question myself than the entire culture at large that was telling me what to think of him."

🙏

It will also be a good place to gather all these texts 😊
 

zinniabooklover

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Yes!!! 🙏
Fab. That used to be my fave blog to read. It was the very first one I got into and was so helpful. Raven writes so well, she's a trained journalist although she works in education, college level, I believe. Her writing is so thoughtful and she covers every aspect of Michael. She's amazing.

Sorry to hear the blog is not coming up so easily. I'm pretty sure I was still accessing it up until last year. She always had amazing photos on there as well.
 

Lacra

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Fab. That used to be my fave blog to read. It was the very first one I got into and was so helpful. Raven writes so well, she's a trained journalist although she works in education, college level, I believe. Her writing is so thoughtful and she covers every aspect of Michael. She's amazing.

Sorry to hear the blog is not coming up so easily. I'm pretty sure I was still accessing it up until last year. She always had amazing photos on there as well.

I'm a fan, in case you didn't notice, lol.
Yes, it was one of my favorites too. I hope it will be reachable again. :cry:
 

zinniabooklover

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omg, and never knew it was THAT Raven. AMAZING! :love:
Indeed. The very same.

Still off-topic, soz!

Another Raven link:


Abstract: Raven Woods, who gave us permission to republish the first part of her essay, ‘Langston Hughes’s ‘The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain’. It occurred to her that much of what Langston wrote in 1926 could be applied to what Michael Jackson had to endure as an African-American artist.

@staywild23 - FYI
 

Lacra

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I wait with posting of this blog entry I was talking about (probably tomorrow?) until @staywild23 comes back 🤭 I'm still not sure what is they best way to post it AND I need to figure out first how to edit blog entries here, because maybe I will just put the whole thing there.

@staywild23 DON'T FEEL PRESSURED TO REALLY OPEN A THREAD FOR THIS, but I thought it would be a good idea, and you making one made the most sense for me 😌 I really loved your first posting here and your answer, I just screams new thread 🤣

Maybe I will find some fitting texts in other short academic texts, I remember that I had something like this somewhere

I think that answers the main question of the thread: I want more academic books about MJ, that really care about his art. I bought a really expensive book just this week, I still didn't read it. (I always read so many books at the same time, and I'm really bad at finishing things, so this is a struggle)

817dgcjw2CL.jpg
The ebook is also expensive, it's insane. 🥲

But the one thing I really want to collect about Michael are books, so 1. I couldn't resist, and 2. I want to support stuff like this. 3. I'm poor again now

I already posted these today, because the topic of a thread reminded me of this 😢

1668877058515-png.2002

1668877077110-png.2003




🙏


1668903025072.png
1668903047218.png

Also, I wish I could have all these amazing Michael blogs (like allforloveblog.com) as books. 🥲

I WANT THEM IN MY SHELF!
 

DangerousGal91

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sorry for being so off topic, but I have to focus on that

snippets from the book "M Poetica"

I don't have the book and didn't read it, but while I looked for it, I saw these parts.


View attachment 2033


View attachment 2034



There is also a really nice blog entry from a blog that is not really online anymore (site is not working)

snippet:

View attachment 2036

If you are interested in that blog entry, I still have it on my computer. Just say so and I will try to fix the broken picture links etc, and then I could make screenshots or post it in some other way. :unsure:
God...

Not gonna lie, I got emotional reading these. Because of how true it is, in more ways than one. The media onslaught was very true, but his millions of fangirls all around the world... You know, people like us! Those are just as true, perhaps even more so! Because we, or at least myself, don't parrot what anyone else says. I found out all on my own that I found Michael Jackson attractive, because I could finally be honest with myself. And just like @staywild23, I thought I was perhaps weird because of it! Obviously, I'm not, and neither are his other fangirls - we are women of taste! Let the world know!

Though I will say, that little quote about the warts did make me laugh a bit. 🤣 Because of how not like Michael that would've been. He cared way too much about his appearance for something like that. Though, I do agree with the larger comment, of course - Michael Jackson was a beautiful man. No ifs or buts about it.

Also lol, "critics"... aka positing your own subjective opinion with some false sense of authority and get paid for it. And then people blindly follow your lead because of that false sense of authority. You can tell I'm rather cynical about the profession, it's not even exclusive to Michael either. I find objective analysis much more interesting, because it gives you the tools to form your own opinion based on what you yourself find important. A lot of critics care too much about things they themselves find important, but other people might not. What they say often says very little, in my opinion.
 

zinniabooklover

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I wait with posting of this blog entry I was talking about (probably tomorrow?) until @staywild23 comes back 🤭 I'm still not sure what is they best way to post it AND I need to figure out first how to edit blog entries here, because maybe I will just put the whole thing there.

@staywild23 DON'T FEEL PRESSURED TO REALLY OPEN A THREAD FOR THIS, but I thought it would be a good idea, and you making one made the most sense for me 😌 I really loved your first posting here and your answer, I just screams new thread 🤣

Maybe I will find some fitting texts in other short academic texts, I remember that I had something like this somewhere

I think that answers the main question of the thread: I want more academic books about MJ, that really care about his art. I bought a really expensive book just this week, I still didn't read it. (I always read so many books at the same time, and I'm really bad at finishing things, so this is a struggle)

View attachment 2062
The ebook is also expensive, it's insane. 🥲

But the one thing I really want to collect about Michael are books, so 1. I couldn't resist, and 2. I want to support stuff like this. 3. I'm poor again now

I already posted these today, because the topic of a thread reminded me of this 😢

1668877058515-png.2002

1668877077110-png.2003




🙏


View attachment 2063
View attachment 2064

Also, I wish I could have all these amazing Michael blogs (like allforloveblog.com) as books. 🥲

I WANT THEM IN MY SHELF!
Yet again, I am shamelessly promoting this thesis. No, I do not know this person. I just found this online, read it, love it and now I want everyone to know about it. Don't care if peeps don't like it. That's allowed, obvs. But someone taking Michael seriously and writing about him intelligently? I am so up for that.

Lacra, this might not be for you. I read it and am now on my second go-round. But here's the link just in case you are interested:

 

zinniabooklover

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Here's a quote from Chris Cornell:

“It’s impossible to say, musically, where I may have been influenced by Michael Jackson,” admits Cornell. “Because I didn’t buy his records and listen to ’em. [But] I think that an artist whose music is on television, and constantly coming out of radios and speakers in people’s cars, and just sort of permeating pop culture, there’s no way you could say that you weren’t in some way influenced by it.”

Clearly, there's more to it than simply being all over the radio etc and I'm sure Cornell knew that. This is just a short quote from a 2009 Rolling Stone feature about how much impact Michael had on rock musicians. Back in the 80's it really was true, you would hear Michael's music coming out of cars, shops, everywhere. Surround - Sound!!

Other artists were on heavy rotation and yet didn't have the impact that Michael had. But I love this quote and it says a lot to me. I'm posting it here bc the cultural impact that Michael had - I'm convinced people still don't take it seriously, even now. Or if they do, I wish they would shout a bit louder, lol.
 

zinniabooklover

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I want more academic books about MJ, that really care about his art.
Same.

Here I am with another one of my fave MJ fans. She is a French academic, a musicologist, who mostly writes in French but has had 2 of her books translated into English.


She's done 3 books on Michael, the one I'd most like to get is Voice Upon A Time. I won't post any quotes from it, I've done that so much already, lol. But it does look interesting. Her blog entries are great - they are in English.

Also, I wish I could have all these amazing Michael blogs (like allforloveblog.com) as books. 🥲

I WANT THEM IN MY SHELF!
I can't tell you how many times I wished for the IT skills / magic skills / Harry Potter magic wand, lol, that would allow me to turn allforloveblog.com into a book so I could read and re-read as much as I want. It's not just that I loathe reading stuff onscreen. It's that Raven has so much interesting stuff to say. Her pieces are really long and that's great but they take time. I revisited that blog countless times but it's not the same. I need the thing on my shelf.
 

Lacra

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I uploaded that article now on some website as .rar or .zip file.
For the case that the page is not loading (it needs some time to load, so that is probably normal), I also put screenshots of the article in the file.

so all the 01.png, 02.png etc are the screenshots of the article

LINK HERE



1668974192648.png

I hope it works :giggle:
 

mj_frenzy

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But what other subjects SHOULD there be a book about? What has not been covered enough? What angles need to be addressed? This can be anything from his personal life, to more academic study, or cultural commentary?
Michael Jackson's fans should be extremely sceptical before buying and reading these so-called academic studies about his art.

Many of these authors come up with their own conjectures, which can be very misleading.

For example, Professor Susan Fast in her 'Dangerous' monograph writes that the women in 'Who Is It' and in 'Give In To Me' are metaphors for the Holy Spirit!
I would love to see more books on MJ's final years, we do have 3 books about it already but it's an era looked upon that never gets much attention, a lot was going on behind the scenes still.
It appears that it is extremely difficult for an author to obtain correct information about Michael Jackson from that hazy era.
 

zinniabooklover

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Michael Jackson's fans should be extremely sceptical before buying and reading these so-called academic studies about his art.

Many of these authors come up with their own conjectures,
That's what academics and writers do. Come up with their own conjectures. And the readers make up their own minds as to what they think of those opinions. It's called having a conversation.

Michael's fans are not all three years old. We can cope with reading the occasional challenging book here and there.

which can be very misleading.
There is a lot of misleading stuff out there but that's no reason to try to dissuade someone from reading stuff, especially if it seems to be from a reputable source rather than tabloid nonsense.

For example, Professor Susan Fast in her 'Dangerous' monograph writes that the women in 'Who Is It' and in 'Give In To Me' are metaphors for the Holy Spirit!
I've had her book hanging around for years and still haven't read it. I can't comment on an idea that's been taken out of context. But even if her idea is nonsense that doesn't mean people should shy away from it. Some people really like her book, others are deeply unimpressed. People can decide for themselves.

It appears that it is extremely difficult for an author to obtain correct information about Michael Jackson from that hazy era.
It's difficult for writers to obtain accurate info on Michael from any era, I would say.
 

zinniabooklover

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I uploaded that article now on some website as .rar or .zip file.
For the case that the page is not loading (it needs some time to load, so that is probably normal), I also put screenshots of the article in the file.

so all the 01.png, 02.png etc are the screenshots of the article

LINK HERE



View attachment 2072

I hope it works :giggle:
Hey Lacra, just wanted to say thanks for the blog thing you did for allforloveblog.com. I couldn't use the stuff you posted here. I could download it and save it but then couldn't open it to read. 🤷‍♀️

Life with a chromebook is often so weird, lol.

Doesn't matter, I accessed the blog post. Very happy to re-read that. It's been nearly 2 years since the last time I was accessing Raven's blog so this was lovely. She is such a good writer. So thoughtful, so intelligent. Fab!
 

zinniabooklover

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Posting the link here again, just in case someone else wants to read it :giggle: (sorry that the files I've send didn't work :cry:)
It might be the chromebook. Sometimes it just doesn't do things the way a PC or a Mac does them. I don't understand it, I just go with the flow, lol. :ROFLMAO:
 
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