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Why was Michael Jackson so popular?

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cliveandrews
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And here I thought you were all just follwoing along on the joke.

You stated earlier that people such as myself are essentially retarded/brainwashed/uncultured/etc., and that's why we like Michael Jackson.

The worst I said about Jackson's fans is that they have bad taste. I do not casually insult forum mebers, much less for a joke.

I know it could not be true that you would give quite subjective reasons for your objective conclusion of Michael Jackson's inferiority, so i am simply asking that you give some of your objective reasons.

When did I claim Jackson was inferior to anyone else? I spoke only of his music. I kid, yes, even about the dead (I speak ill of the dead elsewhere, not while joking).

I don't get Jackson's fans, either. I can kid much worse than this with Broncos and Cowboys fans and we get along well anyway (and if there was a rational reason to follow the Cowboys before they got their new stadium, I still haven't heard it). See? No angry Cowboy fans looking to defenestrate me and wondering how to spell it.

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So you're defining it in purely subjective terms? Every use of the word "one" here is incorrect, and should be replaced with "me".

Subjective? I think not. What I listed were the effects (thoroughly exagerated beyond all recognition but well documented) Jackson's music had on me and other people who coulnd't stand said music.

We didn't keep count of how many sprains, strians, pulled muslces and other injuries resulted from quasi-super-human efforts to change the station/eject the CD/eject the tape/knock the turntable arm/turn the damn thinkg off, but there were too many to count. And many a time when such pseudoheroic actions were just impossible (as they might have been plain rude) men did declare "I wish I was deaf," and "I wish I was dead," with such passion that was really hard to believe.

As far as I know, though, no one quite managed to run faster than light.

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Guys, music is linked to personal taste and experience. I highly dislike pop for the simplicity of structure and relatively low speed of the songs. Also many of his songs do not reach me and evoke any emotion. Some songs of Jackson's which were more Rock oriented I could enjoy at times but there were very few.

I will say that in his earlier music Jackson was fairly good not my cup of tea but I do not wish to push my views on any of you.

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At the risk of angering you my sensitive friend, what defines "better music?" and why should one's evaluation be limited to the music only as opposed to the entire performance?

Just askin'.

First off, it has to be expressive. Not the words, not the tone of the voice, not the video, but the music itself has to be expressive. Instead, pop music is, for the most part, a marketing campaign rather than a musical genre.

If you listen to the "Moonlight Sonata", or this instrumental version of Amy Winehouse's song "I'm no good", perhaps you'll find that they both suggest a particular state of mind. (the Beethoven sonata is anxious, but soft and reassuring at the same time, the other is defiant and adventurous, like good rock, but very different than rock)

With Michael, the music itself is just not expressive. The dancing is, at times, interesting (no, not the moonwalk, the rest: it's very rebellious, very rock and roll, which I assume hooked a lot of people-the moonwalk seems just a meaningless gimmick to me), some of the videos are great, I'm sure he was great in concert, but we're discussing the albums-people did not buy videos of him dancing, they bought the albums. And no, the dancing and the performance does not redeem the music. The music should stand on its own.

So you're defining it in purely subjective terms? Every use of the word "one" here is incorrect, and should be replaced with "me".

He's saying that it is unpleasant. There is such a thing as objectively unpleasant sound, that would make 'one' very uncomfortable. I'm not concurring that the Thriller album contains such a sound, just explaining.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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First off, it has to be expressive. Not the words, not the tone of the voice, not the video, but the music itself has to be expressive. Instead, pop music is, for the most part, a marketing campaign rather than a musical genre.

And what is this "marketing campaign" selling? Is it selling more selling, of, more selling, of even more selling? Are you serious?

With Michael, the music itself is just not expressive.

I suggest this url for your consideration, and offer that perhaps you have a bias against the man, and are not being honest in your critique. Michael's music was "pretty," and most expressive. Simplicity is not shameful in art: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unzjah4gm-8

I'm sure he was great in concert, but we're discussing the albums-people did not buy videos of him dancing, they bought the albums.

EXACTLY! Who are you to say that someone listening to a Jackson song in his car, but envisioning Michael's performance of the song whilst listening, is not in appreciation of great art? I suggest that some people--perhaps not you--are capable of using their minds to recreate what they have seen. Listening to a song that was playing during awesome, majestic, and emotionally charged dance--I suggest--can assist the mind in recreating the experience over, and over again. This is why the man has sold almost a billion records.

And no, the dancing and the performance does not redeem the music. The music should stand on its own.

... Thus, said the Lord. From the book of Dolikemedius, Chapter 2 verse 1. You funny.

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EXACTLY! Who are you to say that someone listening to a Jackson song in his car, but envisioning Michael's performance of the song whilst listening, is not in appreciation of great art?

I'm the guy who answered your direct question. If you didn't think I was qualified to answer it, you shouldn't have asked it. If you don't agree with what I'm saying, start coming up with arguments, stop attacking my person. Prove that you're capable of an intelligent conversation, stop trying to bully me into agreeing with your idiocy.

So far your big arguments were that judging quality of music by how much it sells is objective, now you're saying that he's better because more people like him, and I'm not someone who should go against this large group of people. Neither of those two arguments address the issue, the quality of music, in any way. You can say them over and over again all you want, with the occasional insult sprinkled in against whoever you're trying to tire into agreeing with you, it won't change the fact that they're not valid arguments, and you have no understanding of music.

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NOTE: by "good" in this context I mean "quality." Specifically I mean music that does not induce vomiting, nausea, rage, or any other kind of feeling that makes one either 1) try to move faster than humanly possible to change the station/eject the CD/eject the tape/knock the turntable arm/turn the damn thinkg off, 2) wish passionately one were deaf or dead, 3) make one run faster than light to wherever something else can be heard.

Subjective? I think not. What I listed were the effects (thoroughly exagerated beyond all recognition but well documented) Jackson's music had on me and other people who coulnd't stand said music.

What you listed are emotions. You're judging his music on feelings. That is definitely subjective. You explained why you don't like it. You didn't explain why it is bad. Art can be good whether or not you like it.

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What you listed are emotions. You're judging his music on feelings. That is definitely subjective. You explained why you don't like it. You didn't explain why it is bad. Art can be good whether or not you like it.

I won't claim I'm a great humorist or that my particualr style of dry wit is popular or even all that funny, but seeing serious reactions with arguments to a joke is very funny.

Like this: So you're saying music that induces suicidal despair is not necessarily bad?

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I'm the guy who answered your direct question. If you didn't think I was qualified to answer it, you shouldn't have asked it. If you don't agree with what I'm saying, start coming up with arguments, stop attacking my person. Prove that you're capable of an intelligent conversation, stop trying to bully me into agreeing with your idiocy.

Since you accused me of "idiocy," I will drop some of my tact as well.

I am not as you assert trying to change your silly opinion on the matter; I have absolutely nothing to gain by doing so; I don't admire you; nor, am I trying to sell you my Michael Jackson record collection. Belay your delusions of grandeur!

Once again (hopefully you can understand this time), you said, "I'm sure he was great in concert, but we're discussing the albums-people did not buy videos of him dancing, they bought the albums."

Then, I said, "EXACTLY! Who are you to say that someone listening to a Jackson song in his car, but envisioning Michael's performance of the song whilst listening, is not in appreciation of great art?"

If you had sufficient intelligence, you would easily see that your statement--once again--is bigoted, and dogmatic. You declare: "People bought Michael Jackson albums; so, regardless of their reasons why, I will play god, and declare that their reasons for buying MJ's music for themselves are invalid. They should have judged his music by my standards, which would have been: music alone!"

You are a silly, small man. Admittedly, by my standards.

So far your big arguments were that judging quality of music by how much it sells is objective,

Money IS an objective standard by which something's value can be judged. Under a capitalist system, money accumulated by someone, in exchange for the products of their mind, is an undeniable testament of how valuable his product was, to the people who purchased it. It is "quality music" to the 750 MILLION people who bought it... objectively speaking.

“Value” is that which one acts to gain and keep, “virtue” is the action by which one gains and keeps it. “Value” presupposes an answer to the question: of value to whom and for what? - Ayn Rand

Silly child.

now you're saying that he's better because more people like him, and I'm not someone who should go against this large group of people.

No I didn't! I have tried to believe that your past misrepresentation of my statements was due to error, but you do it too often. You are either 1). A pathological liar, or 2). Too dumb to have a discussion with.

I said:

I suggest that some people--perhaps not you--are capable of using their minds to recreate what they have seen. Listening to a song that was playing during awesome, majestic, and emotionally charged dance--I suggest--can assist the mind in recreating the experience over, and over again. This is why the man has sold almost a billion records.

Slanderous twit--as if you didn't already know--I suggest in my statement, that your insistence that Michael Jackson should be judged as an artist for only his music is irrational. People who bought his recordings were buying more than music was my point; and, the mention of how many people who bought more than the music, was only a "cherry" on top of the argument!

and you have no understanding of music.

Your mama don't understand music. Twit.

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so, regardless of their reasons why, I will play god, and declare that their reasons for buying MJ's music for themselves are invalid. They should have judged his music by my standards, which would have been: music alone!"

You asked me what defines better music, so I'm telling you. If you can't get past the point that it's definitely not dancing that defines better music, then I'm talking to a dolt.

Your mama don't understand music. Twit.

Urban vernacular, especially when it isn't used ironically, is not charming, it is retarded. The fact that you know better is sadder still, so knock it off already, because I'm embarrassed for you.

I'm not interested in the "black perspective", or what "black people" think on various subjects. If you want to talk to intelligent people who don't give a fuck about your "heritage", act as a human being who can obviously spell English, don't go in and out of irritating personas I can't talk to. Just sayin'.

P.S. Say, are you that Harvard prof. who needed the President to chime in, because he got arrested in his own house for bringing up people's mothers?

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Money IS an objective standard by which something's value can be judged. Under a capitalist system, money accumulated by someone, in exchange for the products of their mind, is an undeniable testament of how valuable his product was, to the people who purchased it. It is "quality music" to the 750 MILLION people who bought it... objectively speaking.

Look at my first post on this thread.

The sales of an album, as the sale of movie tickets, does not indicate quality. It is an indication of popularity. Yes, Jackson still has a huge monetary value (one could argue he has more now than the ten years before his death), meaning he's popular, not that he's good. Consider bernie Madof(sp?) he got people to invest billions on his scam. Did that popularity and huge monetary value made the Madof scam a good investment?

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I think that Michael Jackson's works were, as a whole, of good quality. It was all of the elements together that made him such a great performer, which included dance, music, vocals, and video.

As to the music qua music, I have specific criterion for what I believe to be quality music, which I've mentioned in various music threads here and based on my criterion I don't consider his music to be great. The music was reasonably good, just not great, because it wasn't innovative. I applied this same conclusion to Marlyn Manson, whose music qua music (that which I've heard) is not very innovative. Now, to be sure, I was never a "fan" of Michael Jackson in the sense that I was into his music, but I appreciated his work and enjoyed it.

But, as I said, all of the elements of MJ together made him a great performer and worthy of accolades.

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You asked me what defines better music, so I'm telling you. If you can't get past the point that it's definitely not dancing that defines better music, then I'm talking to a dolt.

Dummy, for the last time: I am not arguing Michael Jackson's music as a "stand alone," but, I am arguing Michael Jackson's performance (videos, dance, music, acting, directing, etc., i.e. his creative process) as noteworthy--world class even--art. The entirety, not a simple component which you insist on reducing his art to being, oh silly small man of limited scope.

Urban vernacular, especially when it isn't used ironically, is not charming, it is retarded.

I say that dry, subjective, bigoted, evasive, reductive, slanderous, and down right dumb commentary is worse, my dry, subjective, bigoted, evasive, reductive, slanderous--dumb--friend.

The fact that you know better is sadder still, so knock it off already, because I'm embarrassed for you.

Be embarrassed for yourself! You are the one reduced to misrepresentations, context dropping, outright evasion, and dogma, in order to rationalize your bigoted "opinion." As for your categorization of my discourse as "Urban vernacular:" humbug! Ask your mama, she probably knows far more about "urban vernacular" than you do--if you get my meaning. :lol:

I'm not interested in the "black perspective", or what "black people" think on various subjects.

When did I offer a "black perspective," or tell you what "black people" think? In fact, the vast majority of what I have written, have been questions of your "reasoning," albeit, under the bad assumption that you are capable of such a feat. Sonny, your preoccupation with racial categorizations are starting to give a huge clue as to the real "reasons" expressed in your biased views towards Michael Jackson. Just sayin'.

If you want to talk to intelligent people who don't give a fuck about your "heritage", act as a human being who can obviously spell English, don't go in and out of irritating personas I can't talk to. Just sayin'.

Here you go again with that "heritage" stuff, and then following with remarks about how I should "act" as a human being. Just thought I'd mention that before I discussed how this sentence makes absolutely no sense! I should not "go in and out of irritating people that you can't talk to"? Well, what if I know the person, but you don't? What if I am next to the person, and you are a thousand miles away without a phone? Do you see how retarded you sound? You probably need to concentrate more on your grammar, as you already conceded the spelling of English to me! Again, just sayin'.

P.S. Say, are you that Harvard prof. who needed the President to chime in, because he got arrested in his own house for bringing up people's mothers?

I guess that this is your attempt at non-"ethnic vernacular" humor? You failed.

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The sales of an album, as the sale of movie tickets, does not indicate quality. It is an indication of popularity. Yes, Jackson still has a huge monetary value (one could argue he has more now than the ten years before his death), meaning he's popular, not that he's good. Consider bernie Madof(sp?) he got people to invest billions on his scam. Did that popularity and huge monetary value made the Madof scam a good investment?

Valid argument, but not sound. Madoff or whatever the spelling of this crook's name is, was just that: a criminal; one who's crime was fraud even. Michael Jackson sold music, performances, music videos, etc., and was not like Milli Vanilli. He did write his music. It was him dancing, etc.. In short, unlike Madoff, Michael delivered what he promised. There were no protesters at the memorial service with signs that read, "Michael robbed us!"

Now, to address the "spirit" of your argument, I will state again in Ayn Rand's words: Value is a function of, to whom, and for what. An objective measurement of value that encompasses these two variables is $.

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There were no protesters at the memorial service with signs that read, "Michael robbed us!"

Irrelevant. Whether they received enough value for their money or not still does not mean the music is good, just popular.

Now, to address the "spirit" of your argument, I will state again in Ayn Rand's words: Value is a function of, to whom, and for what. An objective measurement of value that encompasses these two variables is $.

Same thing. Still measuring popularity.

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Dummy, for the last time: I am not arguing Michael Jackson's music as a "stand alone,"

Good. I made my opinion on Mike's music very clear, you're not arguing with it. Case closed.

I guess that this is your attempt at non-"ethnic vernacular" humor? You failed.

You didn't get the joke. It was meant to point out the irony of someone using the same insult an old professor on the front page of newspapers just used, while in a fit of rage, in an attempt to come across as clever and casual.

By the way, to whomever it may concern: is there a limit to the level of uncontrolled anger one is allowed to hurl around on this board? Is it possible that Charles reached it?

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Irrelevant. Whether they received enough value for their money or not still does not mean the music is good, just popular.

You said--among other things--initially, "Consider bernie Madof(sp?) he got people to invest billions on his scam. Did that popularity and huge monetary value made the Madof scam a good investment?" <-- This statement established the criteria for evaluation, and the context in which my response was directed. As such, my statement, "In short, unlike Madoff, Michael delivered what he promised. There were no protesters at the memorial service with signs that read, 'Michael robbed us!'(un-redacted version)" is not irrelevant in any way. You can't establish a context and criteria of evaluation through an analogy, and claim lack of relevance, when someone points out the flaws in your analogy.

Same thing. Still measuring popularity.

My statement--"Now, to address the "spirit" of your argument, I will state again in Ayn Rand's words: Value is a function of, to whom, and for what. An objective measurement of value that encompasses these two variables is $."--carefully uses the term: value. Changing my words is likened unto creating a straw-man.

Boy, where did you guys learn philosophy? I am not measuring "popularity," I am measuring value of Michael Jackson's art, to some people, for some purposes, as expressed by $!

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You can't establish a context and criteria of evaluation through an analogy, and claim lack of relevance, when someone points out the flaws in your analogy.

Ok. Several of Madoff's "investors" got paid. Does that mean it was a quality investment?

Boy, where did you guys learn philosophy? I am not measuring "popularity," I am measuring value of Michael Jackson's art, to some people, for some purposes, as expressed by $!

From http://dictionary.reference.com: Popularity:

the favor of the general public

In other words you are measuring Jackson's popularity through his album sales. Lots of people favored Jackson with their money. I stipulate this is so.

Where did you learn English?

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You didn't get the joke. It was meant to point out the irony of someone using the same insult an old professor on the front page of newspapers just used, while in a fit of rage, in an attempt to come across as clever and casual.

I "got" your joke. It was just lame. Your sense of "irony" is a bit skewed, and lacking necessary relevance.

By the way, to whomever it may concern: is there a limit to the level of uncontrolled anger one is allowed to hurl around on this board? Is it possible that Charles reached it?

Cry baby! Don't start things that you aren't man enough to take when they come back your way!

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Ok. Several of Madoff's "investors" got paid. Does that mean it was a quality investment?

No, and no. The analogy is a bad one. You should acknowledge your mistake, and think up another one. It's a small person who can't admit when they are wrong, and it only serves to reinforce erroneous "thinking" on their part. Make the choice for yourself. I am done with the matter; it is evident that you were wrong to draw such a comparison.

In other words you are measuring Jackson's popularity through his album sales. Lots of people favored Jackson with their money. I stipulate this is so.

"When people refuse to consider the source of wealth, what they refuse to recognize is the fact that wealth is the product of man’s intellect, of his creative ability, fully as much as is art, science, philosophy or any other human value." - Ayn Rand. :D

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No, and no. The analogy is a bad one.

No, it isn't. If I buy in early on a pyramid scheme and get off with a return and no losses, did I make a quality investment?

But you want more, fine. Do people who pay money for books on intelligent design are getting quality science? Do people who pay for an astrological birth-chart, a palm reading, tea-leaves reader, a fortune teller, etc etc are they paying for quality forecasting? Did people who vote for Obama get a quality president?

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well his genre - pop - is incredibly popular and Michael Jackson was one of the best pop songwriters

i think almost everyone i'd ask would admit to liking a few Michael Jackson hits (not necessarily the same ones), even if they've never investigated further

i'm not saying Billie Jean or They Don't Really Care About us are much better than what a typical pop one-hit-wonder might produce, but the point is Jackson generated about 40 such hits, and most of them were written by himself. over a long period.

as to why he was more popular than comparable talents like Stevie Wonder (superior talent actually), i'd say that's when you can bring up his stagecraft and his videos and his cult of personality and his promotion machine, but it's not worth worrying about, it's not a popularity contest. just recognize that he was a great pop songwriting talent

most 'more talented musicians' could never come close to penning so many classic melodies

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No, it isn't. If I buy in early on a pyramid scheme and get off with a return and no losses, did I make a quality investment?

No you didn't. You unknowingly participated in a fraud; you were part of a crime. Get it? There is no similarity in buying a record, where the record plays the songs that you expected, and buying into a cascading fraud... Sad that you would still try and argue in such a way, but your choices about who you want to be are yours to make.

But you want more, fine. Do people who pay money for books on intelligent design are getting quality science? Do people who pay for an astrological birth-chart, a palm reading, tea-leaves reader, a fortune teller, etc etc are they paying for quality forecasting?

Dood, are you really this confused? Someone who sincerely buys into intelligent design, palm reading, fortune telling, etc., are all ripped off, and will learn this invariably. Those who are not what I would classify as "serious," are ones who are not buying the stated "product," but are buying assistance in their various evasions. The bottom line here is that someone who hears a song on the radio, hears the actual song, and knows full well what they are receiving, and if the song gives them positive inspiration or positive feelings, then the money was well spent. There is no similarity in your analogies again.

Did people who vote for Obama get a quality president?

This analogy is not as bad; however, it still fails. In order to properly evaluate Obama, one has to ask: Does Obama promote or sabotage freedom; and is he qualified to be an executive responsible for upholding the rights to freedom of his posterity? Such an evaluation would conclude that Obama is indeed a piss-poor president, and, now perhaps your analogy with Madoff would be more appropriate.

Now in regards to Michael Jackson, one has to first see that his work lies within the context of esthetics, and should be judged as such. In regards to esthetic appraisals, I quote my girl Ayn: "The fact that one agrees or disagrees with an artist’s philosophy is irrelevant to an esthetic appraisal of his work qua art. One does not have to agree with an artist (nor even to enjoy him) in order to evaluate his work. In essence, an objective evaluation requires that one identify the artist’s theme, the abstract meaning of his work (exclusively by identifying the evidence contained in the work and allowing no other, outside considerations), then evaluate the means by which he conveys it—i.e., taking his theme as criterion, evaluate the purely esthetic elements of the work, the technical mastery (or lack of it) with which he projects (or fails to project) his view of life"

Unless you try and do what christians do when confronted with a scripture they don't like, you have to concede.

In John Gault's name,

Amen!

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