Most of the general public did not care about Michael Jackson’s physical or emotional health a week ago. Perhaps they cared about their money they shelled out for a ticket to his forthcoming concert series which there was no guarantee he’d perform. Perhaps they cared about his ability to be a capable parent and his interactions with his children and friends of his children. For the most part though, they didn’t care about him at all, except as a pop icon of decades past.
But now that he has died everyone cares. They say they are about him, for his family, for the tragedy that he died at the age of 50, for his life in isolation, for his past full of trauma. They care about finding out the “truth!” about what really caused his death and how the situation was handled.
I think there is a perversion in that. It’s really no ones business. It’s also incredibly odd to me that one day people can so easily ridicule him, speculate about him, but enjoy listening to his music… and then the next, after he’s dead, be upset and “in mourning” over a great beloved icon. Perhaps that’s harsh of me to say, because I understand the complexity of emotional process behind it… it still bugs me though.
I was never really a fan of Michael Jackson. I liked a few of his songs. I knew a few vague points about his past and who he was and how he lived but I didn’t pay close attention. I never followed the story close enough to have an opinion on whether or not he was a pedophile but my intuitive leaning was, and is, no he wasn’t. Did he have a very bizarre unconventional way of interacting with children? Yes. That doesn’t mean he molested them. But again, I don’t know details that were reported, and even if I did, that wouldn’t give me any more authority to throw my opinion out there.
From what I did observe through the filter of pop culture, I knew he had been terribly abused physically, verbally, and emotionally as a child by his father. In my mind, that made completely sense in direct connection to his intensely damaged persona of the latter years which I believe (again, intuitively) that he suffered from Body Dysmorphic Disorder. There really isn’t a doubt in my mind about that. I’ve noticed a lot of articles popping up since his death speculating he had an eating disorder which contributed to his death. Perhaps, but I don’t really understand why this is being pushed. Whose agenda are you trying to push here? To prove he died from complications from anorexia, would that somehow put eating disorders into the mainstream eye in a more credible way to get better treatment for those who suffer? I doubt it. Would he help show that men also suffer from eating disorders? Again, I doubt it, but perhaps. Are people trying to find any way to feel relatable to him? Hm?
In the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is nobody could help him, which is always tragic. But in this case, I find it rather infuriating. He was surrounded by enablers and those in his life who did truly care about him were not able to keep him safe from all who put money and status above personal health.
The two things I read in lieu of Michael’s death that I appreciated (not sure how I can appreciate something being completely removed from the situation… but still…) was the post Deepak Chopra wrote on The Huffington Post and the short but intense blog Lisa Marie Presley wrote on her myspace.
He was a real person behind the incredible, incredible hype. A person who was highly sensitive, fantastical, brilliant, and so very damaged.
Last weekend I went to Washington D.C. to visit my friends and it was fantastical. I’ve never been before, so C. and I packed in an hour or two of tourism sexiness before heading back to her place in Virginia with A. and L. I took an obscene amount of pictures, many of geese and ducks because that’s just who I am, bitch. The rest of the weekend was spent being gay doing gay stuff.
Hahahaha I’m so stupid.
So here are a few a few of the trillion and twenty photos of win.
I don’t feel like writing about me, I feel like writing about my enormously talented friend Hailey Wojcik.
Hailey has worked her ass off these past few months making a record which will be one of the most awesomest awesome records ever. I even forgo grammar to express the stellar quality of her work.
If Hailey has google alerts set up for herself, this will probably show up, and I apologize for sounding like such a douche.
My cat just did a back flip because Hailey is so awesome, that is impressive. (Lie. Truth = she was hunting a bug.) Maybe she’ll lose a whisker though, and donate it to the mason jar. Then she and Clementine can be whiskermates even though were they to ever meet, they would surely punch each other in the face because both of our cats are assholes around other felines. (see : “Luck”)
So anyway… Hailey Wojcik’s last album, Jealous Sees, was released in 2005. Her single “Dinosaur Bone” became a viral hit on youtube due to her endearing costume and Brooklyn backdrop. Not to mention the catchy melody and clever lyrics. Check it out:
Her new album, Diorama, will be released in the coming months and is definitely more of an indie rock sound than the previous albums. What does this show? Musical maturity and outstretched wings! (It’s Pride month, I had to say something totally gay.) But in all seriousness, this album is solid and full of potential to create a mass cult following of fantastical glory. Here are a few previews, because I stalk her and video tape all her performances.
“Angler Fish” from my benefit concert back in February at the Bowery Poetry Club. Disclaimer: This song might make you pee yourself.
“Luck” from her Memorial Day show at Rockwood Music Hall featuring Her Imaginary Friends. Hailey is playing the strumstick, Understated Instrument of Awesome.
“Imaginary Friends With Benefits” also at Rockwood Music Hall with Her Imaginary Friends. I can tell you with confidence the album version of this song KICKS YOUR ASS. It will get stuck in your head for days and you will like it.
So now I know you want to go check out all the salacious details at www.haileywojcik.com. Right? Right.
This is the most hilarious and thrilling discovery I’ve made on youtube in a long time! Hilarious because, I mean, just WATCH it. And thrilling because THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!!! LMFAO. WHERE DO I FIND THEM AND WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!?!?!
Hello, blog. So apparently on July 5th at Bluestockings Bookstore here in NYC I will be reading some sort of written piece I come up with about recovery from eating disorders.
Honestly, I never feel like I have anything to say, because I think I kind of suck a lot and haven’t really accomplished anything. I don’t have an awesome recovery story. I’m not really recovered. But I don’t WANT an eating disorder, so that’s something. And I have come a very long way since the beginning of it all.
It’s for the release of the book You Are Not Alone.
My friend Jenn Friedman is organizing it and asked me if I could read something. So I said yes, since A) I love doing outreach, advocacy and awareness and B) I wanted to challenge myself.
Because I’m not alone. It’s very hard to remember that when entrenched in an eating disorder, which makes it all the more important to actively stop isolating in those moments of clarity.
So this post is basically a kick in the ass for me to actually start writing something that is readable, relatable, not depressing or triggering. Heh. I will post the end result here after the event. 🙂 Stay tuned! (I promise it will be better than this, that I can guarantee.)
Undeniably, one of the most gifted songwriters out there today is Noe Venable. She writes from a universal soul, and everything is earnest and beautiful, even when the underlying topic may not be. One of my favorite songs, in the whole of music I listen to, is her song “Juniper” from her album The World Is Bound By Secret Knots. It’s a beautifully haunting song and even though I had no idea what it was about, ha, I was inexplicably drawn to it’s calling. The thing about me when I listen to music, is that I don’t really hear the lyrics. I will catch on to one or two words or catch phrases but I HEAR everything else. I hear the timbre of the voice, where the singer chooses to breathe, the melody, the harmonies, the arrangements, and the essence. That sounds odd, but it’s true. I hear the feeling of the song… I don’t know how else to describe it. So when I heard “Juniper”, I understood a girl was in a tree, whether or not literally or metaphorically, and she was speaking to her mother. (The repetition of “Mama, oh Mama” gets me every time… in that phrase there is so much longing for understanding…) Plus, it’s about a girl who has an affinity for a tree, which I certainly relate to since I often much prefer the company of nature to the company of other people. (“Where Juniper’s edges and mine become blurred”)
I never looked up the lyrics because it wasn’t important to me, I loved the sound of the song so much. (Sometimes I do want to know exactly what someone is saying, and once I read the lyrics I can then hear them in the song.)
Then one day a few years ago I found a video of Noe performing “Juniper” on youtube. Before she started singing she explained that she wrote it for a girl she saw on a talk show about pro-anorexia websites.
When I heard that I was shocked, and happy, and sad. Then it all made sense, haha. “Hiding my feet ’cause I’m too shy to dance, hiding my face behind both of my hands” No wonder I was so drawn to this song, it spoke to me. (Even though I’ve never, sadly, qualified as anorexic.) I was very immersed in pro-anorexia websites in high school, which was incredibly masochistic since I hated that I’d never be as “good” as the other girls, but I couldn’t help it, they understood what I was going through. And it was the internet, they didn’t know I was actually a size 10 and not a size 2. “Mama I’ve seen them the others like me, once I could see them it was all I could see”. The fact that Noe was able to capture the complex emotions of people who experience eating disorders, without ever having experienced it herself, shows how truly gifted she is. And it’s not just this song. I was actually going to write about another song of hers, “Say A Prayer For Beauty”, but my story of “Juniper” just came tumbling out. I highly recommend everyone check out her music. Visit www.noevenable.com. Oh, and not only is she a talented singer-songwriter she just got her Masters of Theologian Studies from Harvard University. This is a weird thing to say, but I feel like she’s the person I would be if I didn’t spend almost every waking moment struggling with eating disorders and depression. Which is kind of sad, haha, but oh well. We all have our own paths.
Here’s the video:
And the lyrics to “Juniper”:
mama oh mama I don’t wanna come down
not if it’s all like it was on the ground
hiding my feet ’cause I’m too shy to dance
hiding my face behind both of my hands
mama oh mama don’t make me come down
’cause I don’t know what will come out of my mouth
people will hear they won’t know who I am
people will hear and they won’t understand
mama I’ve seen them the others like me
once I could see it was all I could see
the silent procession that crosses the snow
in which skeleton ladies like skeletons go
mama oh mama up here where I’m free
I have seen beauty you wouldn’t believe
Juniper’s ledges and Juniper’s birds
where Juniper’s edges and mine become blurred
mama oh mama if you only heard
the reasons for living the freedom of words
the blooming balloon of a thought being born
safe in the branches of Juniper’s arms
mama oh mama I’m not like you think
some harrowing walker down narrowing streets
if I had my way I would bring the whole world
every sleepwalker and each hungry girl
mama oh mama and old uncle tom
my father the thinker my daughter the song
tell every bell to just wake up and ring
tell this whole choir to just shut up and sing
mama oh mama I’m holding your hand
in these glorious dreams in which you understand
mama oh mama we’re spinning around
mama oh mama don’t make me come down