Michael, እንደ Ethiopia ዘመን አቆጣጠር

June 26, 2009 at 1:44 am 14 comments

In the beginning were “The Jackson Five”. Then “Thriller”. Then “We are the World”.

     “People faint while he sings”, my mother told me once, “they cry… and scream. It’s as if they are possessed by evil spirit”.

Then came the change of looks. The skin “rush”. The funny nose.

     “They say part of his face is already gone”, my cousin Netsanet joked, “that’s why he wears masks, to hide it”.

He then became a pedophile, a circus-freak, a clown who avoided company and slept in an oxygen-filled tank.

We cussed him out: First we cussed his dad, for beating him. Then we cussed his talent, for putting him in the spot-light at such a young age. Then we cussed him, for the decisions he made.

We were going to cuss him more, and he was going to take it. We counted on that. What we didn’t count on, what we didn’t imagine he’d do, was give up and die. And, by dying, remind us all the joys he once brought us. The charities. The wonders. The “thrills”. Of “Micheal Dabo”. Of “Micheal jacket & Micheal suri”. Of “YeMicheal Jackson aynet tsegur aQoraret”.

Rest in Peace, M.J. You will be missed!

Related posts:
Ethiopia: Remembering Micheal Jackson
Ethiopia artists, fans and media mourn Micheal Jackson’s death
The world mourning Micheal Jackson’s death

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K’naan: A pirate, a guitar Art immitating life, or life immitating art? (or does it even matter?)

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mazzi  |  June 26, 2009 at 3:33 am

    What a sad end to sad circumstances that followed Michael Jackson in his complicated life especially in the later years.

    Talk about succumbing to the pressures of this world and show business :-(.

    How terribly sad he did not live long to enjoy the wealth and influence he could have created/maintained for his God given massive talent. A life not well examined, and not reflected upon ended so tragically.

    I, along with the world, am mourning Michael Jackson … an icon of his kind never to be seen again. He sure was one of a kind, but underneath the glitter was a very sad child and man who longed for his lost childhood and innocence and a man who never really grew up.

    His search for his lost childhood and innocence catapulted him into a life path full of self destruction and controversy. Michael may have been 50 at his death, but he was a child trapped in a confused man’s body emotionally arrested from his early ages when he was forced to be an adult way before his time. It is heart breaking to read/hear some of his past interviews when he describes his upbringing and what it meant to be that famous that young.

    He sure was the weakest link in his family because the rest of his siblings somehow survived their past, to varying success of course, but he over the years unraveled right in front of our eyes! He sure was a sensitive soul who buckled under the pressure. The world is sure not kind to sensitive souls.

    I don’t think Michael was free of what he was being accused. If so, then in his quest to redeem his own childhood, he could have been creating nightmares to other children who were his accusers and those in silence if there were many. It is sad how he will be remembered equally for these accusations and how his legal battles ruined him to the ground maybe more than his unmatched musical talent, and his ‘king of pop-star’ status.

    I have no doubt he was a tortured soul, and possibly the loneliest and yet most famous man if ever there was one! How ironic and painful. He is not in pain anymore at least, and how sad he never had the chance to have his ‘come back’, his second chance to clean up his image and maybe make some money in the process via his scheduled concert tours that were never meant to be. God had another plan for his soul I guess.

    May he rest in peace, and may the world learn from his life, the good, the bad, and the ugly part as well.

    I feel sorry for his kids who never had a normal way of life in the first place with their eccentric dad, and now they don’t even have him :-(. In the absence of a mother, I bet the influential Michael’s family will claim them….. a family he was running away from in the first place! I am sure financially they will be taken care of…. but I hate how history might repeat in their lives if their own upbringing proves to be shaky rendering them emotionally broken as Michael was. I pray for a better fate for them not just financially which they would not lack, but a strong family foundation reinforced with love and emotional security. I hope they become his legacy.

    Maybe Michael’s aching soul is finally at rest right now, after a life time of obvious public and private turmoil, and that might be the consolation in all this…..

    What a tragic end…. he was meant to enjoy his wealth and fame well into old age if this world was a different kind…

    Sigh sigh…..

  • 2. abesheet  |  June 27, 2009 at 1:29 am

    That’s exactly what Deepak Chopra said on “Countdown with Keith Olberman”. Micheal Jackson, a close friend of his and a confidante, seems to have been a victim of abuse who end up hating himself so much he won’t rest until he destroyed himself. [Which he finally did].

    I mean, take O.J. Simpson for example. A fellow African American icon. A fellow survivor of tough times. Accused of a crime he’s been aquitted of. “Guilty as sin” in public opinion. But did Micheal made us feel he “got away with it” the same way O.J. did? Nope!. He’s the freakiest celebrity ever. The man who screamed louder than most for help. But we only saw the funny side; and the sides that aren’t so amusing. Laughed more & felt justified when Emniem, Chris Rock and the likes kicked him harder where he fall. That doesn’t excuse what he did. It doesn’t make them evil. But imagine what it must have been like for him, for one who never felt loved or accepted by anyone. Failing to imagine being him, in his shoes, that is perhaps the one crime we were guilty of.

    Now that he’s gone, and “buried with his mistakes” (as we say back home), one can only hope he manages to find the peace of mind he could have used while alive.

    LeBetesebu Metsananatin yisT. Leneza laltadelut lijochu, a patient & loving father who makes them feel they belonged. [It ain’t gonne be easy]

    So weird how only three days ago, the whole world seem to be mourning over Jon & Kate separating!!! Now, even Iran feels tiresome and insignificant.

    Hmm..
    Anywho, if ever they made a movie of his life, i hope they cast Jhonny Depp to play him. They have the same fragility, “breakeability”, in common.

  • 3. Scooby  |  June 27, 2009 at 1:49 am

    Very sad indeed`,betam yasazinal.

  • 4. Daniel  |  June 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    As tragic as his death is,it would have been impossible to convince me how a lonely soul he was, had he lived ahun.That makes me think, sometimes one HAS TO JUST DIE to get more love and compassion from his surrounding.It is as if he died just to convince us (be’bizu neger yemanwedewn)….’serahulachu’ aynet….It really makes me sad when i get more information about his life now

  • 5. አበሺት  |  June 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    So true, Daniel. It’s as if the world isn’t even aware this guy was a philanthropist once. The first time i heard Micheal’s name, it was in connection with his charity work that involved kids. That’s why the child-molestation news, when it reached Ethiopia, i was like “I thought this guy liked kids”. Maybe liked them too much. Or in a way they aren’t meant to be liked.

    The other thing that bothered me is the fact that no one, except Deepak Chopra & his attorney, seem to really mourn his loss. We all know what a pig Joe Jackson is even before we saw him on the BET Award Sunday night (why on earth is this guy talking about Micheal Jackson, anyway?! He not only screwed up one talented kid’s life; he screwed up the lives of atleast half a dozen kids his son toyed with). We can imagine what the likes of Janet Jackson would try to use the exposure for. That’s a no brainier. But the fact that “I can’t stop crying, i’m in such a shock” seem to be all we get from the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, it makes you feel so cheated on his behalf.

    [ከተነሳ አይቀር .. why aren’t americans not so big on tears of woe?! I mean, don’t “tsegur menchet” or “deret medQat”; but a mother who just lost her 5 year old kid to a savage rape and murder giving interview with dry eyes… I can’t understand it! I just can’t]

    Poor M.J.
    Maybe he was right: nobody ever cared for him. Or maybe they are grateful he’s been “put out of his miseries” like some… ailing animal… and they don’t have to associate with him anymore. Or.. maybe the internet is to blame!! People seem to prefer twittering or facebooking their feelings instead of going out and putting flower outside his house. The recession may not have helped either.

    Like Mazzi said, though, I hope his kids [and those kids he’s been charged with assaulting] get someone to care for them and nurse them back to normalcy. Sounds grossly unfair. But .. hey .. who said life is fair?! I’ve said before, and you can quote me on it, ቁምነገሩ አለመወለድ ነዉ! ተወለድክ ተሸወድክ! 😥

    P.S.
    The amharic font does indeed look jibberish when you try it the first time. But that’s because you haven’t open the “Keyboard” on the left. That would show you which word can be typed where & how. It’s pretty time taking and discouraging. But when you have to write only a couple of words, like “ማርያም በሽልም ታውጣሽ!”, for example, sure comes handy.

  • 6. Mazzi  |  June 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    “sometimes one HAS TO JUST DIE to get more love and compassion
    from his surrounding.It is as if he died just to convince us
    (be’bizu neger yemanwedewn)….’serahulachu’ aynet….”

    So so true Daniel. It does seem like that, doesn’t it?

    Had Michael not severely withdrawn himself from the public eye, at a closer look it actually does not take a lot to figure out how lonely that man was. Ever since I was a kid at home, I had followed Michael’s story and music like my life depended on it, and even more so once I got to this side. Unfortunately, I knew what a lost soul not to mention how intensely lonely he was from all that I read about him and any media coverage on his life and career I had seen over the years. His feeble attempt at marriage to that rascal Presley’s daughter and his SO NOT CONVINCING kiss on stage not to mention his song “You are not alone” song, the video of which he shot with his then wife, at the time made me think … who is he trying to convince, us or himself?

    Michael always came across either as ‘asexual’ or ‘weirdly sexual’ to all of us for some reason. And I often wondered if that was why he so incorporated grabbing his crotch and simulating lurid acts in his choreography in many of his dance moves as if to convince us otherwise. I sometimes asked myself why it was so important to us to see him as a sexual being. Is it because he danced like no other performer and sang beautiful love songs sometimes and we wanted to imagine him having a love life? Or is it because he moved most of his fans to tears while listening to his music or watching him perform on stage and adoring young female fans fainted at the mere sight of him? What is wrong with being ‘asexual’ anyways? I think that must have confused him too! If he was not pressured to ‘be sexual,’ whatever that means, maybe he would not have engaged with bizarre behaviors that earned his bad reputation. Who knows?!

    Either way, he sure is getting the love, compassion, understanding, and attention he so craved for all his life in his death. How ironic!

  • 7. Inem  |  June 30, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    I wonder if all the ..ics, ,,,,isms, …logies, ….analysis wezeterfe .coined by our esteemed learned men or gurus and metertered by them and their followers could decipher the human psyche with absolute certainty. Maybe he was the man he said he was after all. Perhaps its best to celebrate his amazing craft with no strings attached.

  • 8. abesheet  |  July 1, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Perhaps!

    Perhaps not :cool:!

    Or perhaps we can find a middle-ground where we can celebrate Michael’s life, without having to deny the charges.

    ደህና ሰነበትክ እኔም?! It is “እኔም” innit?!

  • 9. እኔም  |  July 1, 2009 at 11:59 am

    ሰላም ነሽ አበሺት, I wonder if his life and craft are inseparable, as you said “perhaps or perhaps not”.

  • 10. Wollo dessie  |  September 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Does any one rememver singing ‘gebielen salisalem to one of Mj’s songs? It is last week i understood tge actual song was ‘you got to be starting something. Oh good times :))

  • 11. Wollo dessie  |  September 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    How about kotum jacketum? :))

  • 12. Mazzi  |  September 4, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    LOL Wollo dessie about how all those years ago at home many of us did not know the proper lyrics of Michael’s song “You got to be starting something” and we all sang it any which way we could by making up similar sounding words to it :-).

    Upon learning English eventually and later finding out the proper lyrics, I was stunned how many of my favorite popular English songs, movie soundtracks, and various children’s songs and nursery rhymes I had been singing all wrong throughout my childhood, and the above MJ’s song was definitely one of them!

    It was ingenious how some people came up with clever Amharic substitute lyrics to popular Western tunes, and the one you mentioned above “Kotum Jacketum” was one such fun example. It was a parody of the disco era song “Funky Town” by Lipps, Inc. and if I remember correctly, the rest of the Amharic substitute lyrics go like (to the tune of “Funky Town” chorus “Won’t you take me to, Funky Town?”)…

    “ኰቱም ጃኬቱም ቆሽሿል (Kotum Jacketum Qoshishwal)፣
    ሳሙና ስጡት ይታሻል (Samuna SiTut Yitashal…!)”

    Oh good times indeed :-).

  • 13. Wollo dessie  |  September 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Exactly!! Lela tezeta charshebgn ebakeshe :))

  • 14. Meaza  |  August 30, 2011 at 3:12 am

    ፈጣሪ ነፍስሀን ይማር I Love You Michae

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