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Social Studies

Mike in Five

By Vincent Williams | Posted 3/23/2005

Iíve been thinking about Michael Jackson. Of course, weíve all been thinking about Michael Jackson lately. I mean, with the trial and the pajamas and that weird-ass Court TV re-enactment thing, how could you not? But Iíve been thinking about Mike because I love Mike.

All that cape and mask and monkey bullshit aside, Mike really is one of the best artists to come out of popular music in the last 50 years. People talk about Thriller and everyone knows about the early J5, but whenís the last time you listened to the pre-Off the Wall Jacksons stuff on Epic? Or the late-Motown, ďDancing Machine,Ē older-Jackson Five era, where all five brothers were the same height? If you put on ďCan You Feel It?Ē right now, a wave of love will go through me like Iím related to Michael Jackson. And, because of that love, Mike is always close to my thoughts and, my friends, I swear Iíve come up with a plan to bring him home.

Now, if heís found guilty of raping little boys, I think they should put him under the jail, but, if heís not . . . I just keep thinking about what those couple of months did for Martha Stewart. And I think, even if heís found innocent, he should still be sentenced to some jail time. With me. Because I could fix Michael Jackson in five months. Watch.

Month 1: First thing Iím doing is moving Mike in with me and the wife. The root of Mikeís problem is that heís surrounded by people that work for him. If everyone around you is eating because of you, theyíre much less inclined to call you a fucking moron when you float ideas like the whole marching-band uniform aesthetic thing or the monkey or, well, having prepubescent boys sleep over. Mike needs to be around real people. Mikeís just living with me and taking out trash and learning how to help with dinneróďMike! Steam some broccoli! No, dumb-ass, not in that pot!Ēóand watching Battlestar Galactica would go a long way toward getting him to do stuff like, oh, I donít know, dressing like a regular human being. Iím also going to shave his head. Baldheaded, bringing in the water we bought at Costco from the car, waiting for the shower to heat up because someone flushed the toiletóthis is the first step.

Month 2: Iím thinking Mike will be ready for limited exposure to other people who donít work for him besides me and the wife. So, Iíll invite the family over and, maybe, ask my mom to make some dinner. No offense to Mrs. Jackson, but Iím thinking Mike hasnít had a good, straight-up home-cooked meal in years. And, people, I canít think of anyone who needs a piece of hot corn bread more than Michael Jackson. Iíll also invite some of my boys over so that Mike can hear us cuss and drink and talk about Gina Torres and movies and, most importantly, argue about music. Mike needs to be around some peopleówho donít work for himódiscussing music and articulating what they like and donít like, and just acting normal.

Month 3: Outside. My father and I disagree on this. (Did you think I was joking when I said Iíve thought about this? Iíve run this past a half-dozen people.) But I think I could take Mike out in public, especially with three monthsí growth of natural hair. Think about it: People maaaaay recognize him with the kooky face (I wonder if he can really grow a beard?), but the first thing they would think is, Naw, that couldnít be him with no bodyguards. And heís wearing jeans. Mike has to go outside and be in the world. I would take him to get some Indian food and go to a record store, and we would check out stuff at the listening station and buy some CDs.

Month 4: Clubbing. Honestly, all of my effort would be focused on getting here. The secret to Off the Wallís masterpiece status is that Jackson had the pulse of the club. Off the Wall was a dancing, club album because Mike loved to dance and club. The further he got away from the pulse of the night, the colder his music got. Iím taking Mike out dancingósalsa, house and club, ballroom, reggae, you name it. And, while Iím not going to go near Mikeís sexuality, frankly, gyrating with a thicked-up, sweaty brown girl to some rockers couldnít hurt. Month 4, we are ga-rooving.

Month 5: Mike should be back in fighting form by now. Heíll pack up his Quasimoto, Massive Attack, and Nina Simone CDs. Weíll club some more, of course. And while Iím firmly against grown men with cornrows, Mike will get his hair cornrowed or twisted by an approved hairdoing woman of his own choice. Because, Lord knows, sitting in between the warm thighs of a sister for a couple of hours as she greases your scalp and runs her fingers through your hair should bring anyone home. Then Iím sending him somewhere to make some music.

Five months. I could give us a Michael Jackson weíre all happy with in five months. Guaranteed.

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