Wow! Week 71 of Raven’s wordzzle challenge. Please join in the pleasure of spinning yarns on the virtual wordzzle porch with 15 daunting new words.
Here Be Dragons
This Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: sober, spoilage, knight, laugh and the world laughs with you, peak, blueberries, owl, drugstore, lampshade, keyboard
The mini challenge: economy, Michael Jackson, ladder, clue, structure
I recognize that people have very strong feelings about Michael Jackson. My sense of kinship and empathy spring from a common experience of having one’s childhood taken. Of course, my stage is much smaller, but one never outgrows the pain and sense of violation.
Michael Jackson. His tragic death shocked me and came as no surprise. Fragile and complicated, at once Norma Desmond and Laura Wingfield, he embodied the paradox we live.
Michael Jackson had no economy of scale. He gave himself away, then tried to recoup his losses at Sotheby’s.
A thoroughbred, drilled to perfection and trained to please, he had no clue how to live in the world. And so the performer retreated to a fairy land of chutes and ladders. And cool everglades. Giraffes and tigers loped the wild with no structure or stricture.
But it was not to be. Haunted by his demons and hounded by a relentless artistic drive, the boy prince could not rest or live in the wild.
This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: sober, spoilage, knight, laugh and the world laughs with you, peak, blueberries, owl, drugstore, lampshade, keyboard
When he was at the peak of summer
and felt the thrill of blueberries running down his chin,
when he was dead sober and crashing the apartheid of MTV,
he slept ‘neath the shadow of a lampshade as any boy would;
No need for deadly nightshade or drugstore remedies.
One day the fog rolled in and the keyboard fell badly out of tune. The knight in epaulets surveyed his kingdom and saw the spoilage of the vine.
He called a meeting of trusted advisors and received false council. Laugh and the world laughs with you. He knew better than this. He knew this was no laughing matter. He would call the drugstore and the owl would be a silent witness to dreamless sleep.
James Baldwin made a prophetic statement about this possibility in his 1985 essay “Here Be Dragons.”
“The Michael Jackson cacophony is fascinating in that it is not about Jackson at all. I hope he has the good sense to know it and the good fortune to snatch his life out of the jaws of a carnivorous success. He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables, for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring,… money, success and despair–to all of which may now be added the bitter need to find a head on which to place the crown of Miss America.
Freaks are called freaks and are treated as they are treated–in the main, abominably–because they are human beings who cause to echo, deep within us, our most profound terrors and desires.”
In a world that demands
pick old or young, black or white, woman or man
Michael Jackson was a border crosser
He was controversial, enigmatic and strange. Aren’t we all?
He made us happy with his brilliance and profoundly uncomfortable with his troubles.
Now he belongs to eternity and we are the custodians of the legacy of his music and the reshaping our ethnic geography.