SURMISING ON THE LIFE AND DEATH OF MICHAEL JACKSON
CHRISTMAS FOR ALL YEAR ROUND SOCIETY

MAN IN THE MIRROR - MICHAEL JACKSON - Song For A Healthy Soul

It was not very long after my short initial response to Michael Jackson’s passing that one of my students, Ross Cooper, spoke of the importance of Jackson to his musical and spiritual maturing and mentioned specifically Man In The Mirror. For me, I had immediately considered Beat It, Billie Jean and Thriller though the latter always seemed a better video than it was a song. My immediate acquirement of The Essential Michael Jackson allowed me to take a closer listen to this Man In The Mirror. And indeed it is a song worth consideration. The objective critique of poverty and injustice turned back on the subjective self in his complicity and need to change the world himself;

“If you want to make the world a better place

Then look at yourself and make a change.”

Challenging, inspirational, brilliant! Even the profits from the single’s sales went to charity.

In the reams written over the days following Jackson’s death I found the most profound and startling the reprint of Sylvie Simmons 1983 article for Creem magazine in The Observer’s Review Special Issue. In this interview Jackson is the wise God believing Jehovah Witness, keeping perspective and aware of the pitfalls. “I believe in God. We all do. We like to be straight, don’t go crazy or anything. Not to the point of losing our perspective on life, of what you are and who you are. A lot of entertainers, they make money and they spend the rest of their life celebrating that one goal they reached, and with that celebration comes the drugs and the liquor and the alcohol. And then they try to straighten up and they say, ‘Who am I? Where am I? What happened?’ And they lost themselves, and they’re broken. You have to be careful and have some kind of discipline.”

Though the one song on Bad not written by Jackson, this interview and many others reveals a man with the ambition of the song, Man In The Mirror. The Man in the Mirror was ironically Jackson’s greatest battle and the childhood he had, or didn’t have, and the madness of mega stardom brought all kinds of psychological challenges that prevented him winning the battle to be the man he wanted to be. In end he was unable to do what he wanted to do and ended up doing what he didn’t want to, as St. Paul suggested about himself and indeed all of us in his letter to the Romans.

But let us take our eyes off the sad demise of Michael Jackson and start with our own man or woman in the mirror. Jackson is pointing out the importance of the individual to make the change. He is eye balling our selfishness and seeing the need for a new perspective of the love in our souls. Andre Crouch and The Winans bring the Gospel effect which adds a black Gospel hopefulness to the entire thing and you realise that this is one of those altar call rock songs like Seeger’s We Shall Overcome, Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready, Springsteen’s Land Of Hope and Dreams, U2’s Yahweh or Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down. You can hear the black preacher hit his crescendo, “Play the King of Pop one more time now... come on one more hand now... commit yourself to change now... One more time... ‘Oh to make a change for once in my life... I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways’... do I see one more hand there!” I’ll feebly raise mine and pray for fewer of the ghosts and demons that Jackson had to fight to be the change!

Comments

Seb Morrow

Brilliant!

George Abbs

Man In The Mirror is the only Michael jackson song I ever play and it was the only one I chose to listen to when he died. It shares the title and message with a Graham Nash song from an earlier era, but little else.
I suppose if you wanted to be remembered and I'm not sure why you would, this is song is a pretty good way to achieve that. Much deeper than his other hits and closer to soul and gospel than he usually got. A good song.

buy generic viagra

The pronunciation Jehovah is believed to have arisen through the introduction of vowels of the qere—the marginal notation used by the Masoretes. In places where the consonants of the text to be read(the qere) differed from the consonants of the written text(the kethib), they wrote the qere in the margin to indicate the desired reading. In such cases, the kethib was read using the vowels of the qere. For a few very frequent words the marginal note was omitted, referred to as q're perpetuum. One of these frequent cases was God's name, which was not to be pronounced in fear of profaning the "ineffable name".

Asics shoes

In this world, equal to others and to make them the difference between these two equal always exist. The former is the precondition of a free society, while the latter as D, tocqueville described, means "a new kind of slavery.Do you think so?

generic viagra

Hey dude!!! I think the information that you have given in this article is kind of misleading. Though may have written it with a good intention of informing us, but don’t you think that the article is prompting people to going against the subject instead of going against it?

Supra Footwear

People will also like the romantic love. Still we often ask ourselves what on earth love is?

Discount Sunglasses Outlet

Now, bless me, " says such a mind, "I have done my duty, " when , as a matter of fact, it has merely done its old, unbreakable trick once again. I don't like this.

Jacob

This article is simply gorgeous. I think that it can be useful to everyone who is interested in this topic. More detailed nowhere else seen.

Irito Soldado

Hello! Great article! All so briefly and accurately with examples. Even there is nothing to add here.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)