Lots of us are thinking about this watershed, and I doubt I have the most intelligent, insightful things to say about the King of Pop. I'm waiting to hear from several of my music writer colleagues who've spent more time thinking about the post-Black, post-sexual global star (who was nonetheless irreducibly Black and irreducibly thought of in terms of his sexuality).
It was hard to pick just one video. Jackson 5 classics? Jackson 5 cartoon? Any one of the songs from my personal favorite Off the Wall? Iconic dance/song moments? Iconic MTV-distributed visuals? What a friend called a "Fanonian masterpiece"? A riveting crowd spectacle/homage? I settled on one that showcased the brilliance and weirdness of Michael, his ode to a murderous rat.
In this rendition, the chorus is annoying as heck, but the oufit is mesmerizing, even by Jackson 5 standards. And the lyrics now seem to be about our own ambivalence to Michael. "Ben, most people would turn you away / I don't listen to a word they say / They don't see you as I do / I wish they would try to."