Posted by: kinshipcircle | June 26, 2009


6/26/09 BLOG: Seriously Off Topic – The Day The 70s Died
By Brenda  Shoss

Farrah  Fawcett, 1947-2009 * Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

Readers of a certain age will mark June 25, 2009 as the day the 1970s died.
Within 48 hours, we lost an Angel and an Icon. Farrah  Fawcett succumbed to
cancer and Michael Jackson ended in cardiac  arrest.

My profound sense of loss embarrasses me. I’ve got the Jackson  Five on TV
and Farrah on computer. My youth sits in my lap…like some  creature
released from a dream.

If you’re a 35+ female, you’ve  feathered your hair Farrah style. You can
deny it, but your blow dryer  remembers. If you’re a guy in that demographic,
Farrah’s red-swimsuit  poster beamed from your bedroom wall. Touseled mane
and come-hither smile,  she was our Marilyn Monroe — only leaner and more
athletic. Who can  forget the Charlie’s Angel star zooming after the bad guys
with perfect  hair?

Like Monroe, a certain fragility belied the sex symbol. We wanted  Farrah to
transcend cheesiness and she did, nabbing an Emmy for her role  in “The
Burning Bed” as a victim of domestic violence. Today there’s buzz  about a
posthumous nomination for “Farrah’s Story,” a documentary about  her cancer
and alternative treatments.

When I was a counselor at  Camp Taum Sauk in the late 1970s, the guys
nicknamed me “Farrah Fawcett  Minor.” It was a hair thing. Winged and blonde,
I felt a tinge of her  it-girl status (albeit at a camp in the Ozarks). I’m
not sure where to  file this feeling, but I will miss Farrah Fawcett.


Why am I crying?
Farrah and Michael shared a loneliness that comes with  mass celebrity, but
no star lived more remotely — more weirdly — than  Michael Jackson. From
grade-school singing sensation to breakout pop idol,  Michael’s genius
coincided with self-destruction.

About the time  Michael belted “ABC, as easy as 1,2,3…do rei me…baby you
and me girl,”  I had a crush on Scott Anderson in Mrs. Renken’s second grade
class at  Craig School. Michael sang about each life passage, but somehow
missed  those passages himself. The day I gave Scott Anderson my entire box
of  pretzels in the name of love, Michael Jackson was in rehearsal.

A  ferociously determined father pushed him to the brink, even beating young
Michael, the singer confided in adult interviews. In his chart-topper  “Ben,”
a sad boy seemed to emerge: “Ben, the two of us need look no more.  We both
found what we were looking for. With a friend to call my own. I’ll  never be
alone…” Ben was a rat, the ultimate reject among animals. But  when Michael
sang to him, we believed in their bond.

Neverland  Ranch — Michael’s lavish 2,800-acre amusement park home in Santa
Barbara  County, California — was the obvious fantasy of a man robbed of his
childhood. I don’t know if alleged transgressions happened there.  Foolishly
or not, I want to believe in his innocence.

Michael urged  us to dance. And dance we did, to I Want You Back, Thriller,
Beat It,  Black or White, Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, Billie Jean…

When his  heart stopped Thursday afternoon in his Holmby Hills, CA home, I
began to  cry. Later, my husband and I Googled every Michael Jackson song we
could  recall and belted familiar words. Our 8-year-old son became an instant
fan  and danced with us late into the night. It struck me: The man who
struggled to find his own family brought such happiness to mine.

He  loved in broad strokes, singing for humanity, world hunger…and even the
animals. In Michael’s lesser known “Earth Song,” he sings: “What about
animals? We’ve turned kingdoms to dust.” We see monkeys watch a bulldozer
trample their jungle. A poached, dead elephant. A hunter’s club against a
seal’s head. A dolphin trapped in a giant trawler net…

Halfway  into the song, Michael “rewinds” images of animal and human
violence. The  fallen elephant stands, his tusks restored. Seals flourish on
the ice  floes. The dolphin swims free. Chopped trees rise from the forest
floor.  Hope returns to human faces.

As his world crumbled, Michael clung to a  child-like faith in his own
restoration. But he never made it back. I am  surprised by my own corniness.
I can’t help it. Today I am crying for  Michael Jackson.

Earth Song, by Michael  Jackson

“I  remember writing Earth Song when I was in Austria…and I was feeling so
much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth… I  think
nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of  the
Earth… This is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of  the
planet. And this is Earth Song.”

Earth Song is Jackson’s  biggest hit in the UK, selling 1,038,821 copies. The
single sold over  three million copies worldwide.

What about sunrise
What  about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain..  .
What about killing fields
Is there a time
What about all the  things
That you said was yours and mine…
Did you ever stop to  notice
All the blood we’ve shed before
Did you ever stop to  notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores?

What have we done to the  world
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge  your only son…
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What  about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine…
Did you ever  stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to  notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores

I used to dream
I used  to glance beyond the stars
Now I don’t know where we are
Although I know  we’ve drifted far

Hey, what about yesterday
(What about  us)
What about the seas
(What about us)
The heavens are  falling down
(What about us)
I can’t even breathe
(What  about us)
What about the bleeding Earth
(What about  us)
Can’t we feel its wounds
(What about us)
What about  nature’s worth
It’s our planet’s womb
(What about us)

What  about animals
We’ve turned kingdoms to dust
What about elephants
Have  we lost their trust
What about crying whales
We’re ravaging the  seas
What about forest trails
Burnt despite our pleas

What about  the holy land
Torn apart by creed
What about the common man
Can’t we  set him free
What about children dying
Can’t you hear them cry
Where  did we go wrong
Someone tell me why
What about babies
What about the  days
What about all their joy
What about the man
What about the  crying man
What about Abraham
What about death again
Do we give a  damn



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  1. Hi Brenda,
    How could I not write. You probably don’t remember, but in 1982 right after turkey day you me and Sam in Brentwood Forest waiting for your your dad smoked a little and then your dad showed up and we played I Want You Back and ABC for your dad and you danced like crazy and your dad was like yea yea Mickael Jackson like you know how he could be, big deal. Anyway, sad times, and my dad just died. Hope alls well. Take care. I know, typos… I just found my 45’s for ABC and I’ll BE There, But know I want you back.

  2. Nice!

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