Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Tribute To Eccentricity

I suppose by now all of us are well aware of the passing away of Michael Jackson. Frankly, I suppose this has been by so far one of the most read and sought after news articles that has gripped people from across the world.
Now frankly what has captivated me by far, is not the musical genius of Michael Jackson, but the ability to reach across to millions of people across the globe. I doubt there exists even a single nation, whose occupants would not recognise him. There are very few people who manage to evoke such a powerful response to either their talent or their works of other nature. I do not call him a genius merely on account of the number of records he sold or the number of Grammies he won. But I call him a genius on account of the faithful adoration he received from millions of his fans till the end of his days. Its not everybody who can please a crowd of such stupendous proportions.
I hope the media who spent hounding him for the past decade accusing him of being an embezzler, a pervert or even a freak would finally acknowledge his true genius and give him due credit.
Truth be told, I have never been particularly passionate about his music. For neither did I follow his career in earnest, nor did I listen to every song churned out by him. Personally, for me the person in particular, interested me more than anything else.
It really makes me wonder so as to what makes such a person tick. What is it that makes a person become the legend he/she is and the sort of lives such people in question lead.

People in the later years considered him to be a freak. Waco Jacko they would call him. For in the eyes of the common strata of society, he perhaps was indeed a freak. A freak they could never understand, a freak that was almost always misunderstood, a freak that could never be at par with the sort of insipid society that sought to surround him.

Thats the trouble with genius. Your mind will never be at par with all and sundry. It can never belong to the same wavelength of the common folk that exist around you. To them, your ideas will always remain insane, and your perceptions of reality will always seem ridiculous.
As a genius you will always remain alone, forlorn to the extent that even those close to you will never be able to understand you.
But these are the very individuals, that revolutionise the world as we know it. These are the same people who rake up a storm and seek to banish the sort of monotony one exists in. These eccentric "freaks" are the ones who are responsible for making our lives feel all the more worthwhile.

Michael Jackson's life reminds me of a similar individual, called Howard Hughes.A man who revolutionised the aviation industry. His story is depicted in the film 'The Aviator', by Martin Scorcese.
Known to develop one of the most sophisticated aircraft back in the day, he too in his later years was known to be a reclusive freak, who lived a life of eccentric proportions. Similarly hounded by the media, and accused of embezzling millions of dollars, he lived a life quite similar to most of the misunderstood geniuses we know today.
Seclusion I suppose is the only refuge such people have, to get away from the contemporary world that they all belong to. For they can never be understood. Their fears and delusions in their later years become the source of mockery for the very society that once benefited from their contributions.
I have never been fond of contemporary society. For while you are at your prime, you are their patron and their messiah. But once circumstance takes a turn for the worse, you turn into a freak, to be ridiculed and mocked at, like a common ape in a zoo.

Just like the indignity suffered by the celebrated author, Oscar Wilde in the later period of his days.
Even Queen Elizabeth I who heralded the golden age of England, spent most of her remaining years as a misunderstood senile recluse, much to the merriment of her subjects.

No one can understand genius. For the thoughts and emotions that run through their minds have very little in common with the remainder of society.
Their lives usually end up alone and solitary. In spite of all they have managed to contribute to society. A precious few can actually comprehend what runs in the minds of these eccentric individuals.
And yet you have to hand it to them, as they struggle to overcome the differences and manage to win the hearts of those around them.
They are a different race by themselves. The sort of people who seek to enrich the lives of those around them, while in return forsaking their own.
All in all, I would like to raise a toast to all the misunderstood geniuses around the world and across the ages. It takes a great deal of perseverance and fortitude to live the sort of lives they live. And as fellow humans it is only fair that they are granted the credit they truly deserve.
For one may never understand them. But at least one can acknowledge them for their works, overlooking their flaws.
For its the only fitting tribute to genius and eccentricity, which sets them apart from others in the grand scheme of things.


brocasarea said...

sad even now!!....will miss him!!

Gayathri said...

exactly how i felt on MJ's death..had never been his fan..have even despised him on those allegations.. but somehow,it was when he died that i started thinking of how well he,despite being a black,captured millions of hearts across the world..

Gayathri said...

oops..forgot to say..
amazingly put!

Anonymous said...

I was a huge huge fan of MJ as a child. His music was the first that I sang and BAD the first cassette that I bought.
& by far this is one of the best tributes that I have read. I am sure MJ is smiling somewhere feeling the love of fans and others :)

Oh & welcome back. Hope your exams went splendidly!

Shadowthorne said...

Not a fan of Wacko Jacko, and his only song I ever liked was 'Remember The Time."

He converted to Islam sometime ago. It would be interesting to see what type of funeral he's going to get...

Stupidosaur said...

Maybe being hounded and misunderstood by everyone gave him an early heart attack.

But its probably good for him. He was saved the worst. I say so in normal sense cos switch suddenly going off by heart attack is perhaps better than slow deterioration, getting weaker, perennially sick, dependent on others, and maybe having nobody to depend on. I say so especially in 'for Jackson' sense because of his horrible physical catastrophes worsening each passing year (brought about by his own voluntary medical misadventures of course!), the controversies surrounding him and all. It would have gone one mounting unbearably in his mind after his heydey stardom.

And anyways, it would have been strange to see someone who owned the Neverland Ranch to walk (or not walk) around old and haggard. (Ok he had already arrived at the haggard part :P)

Anonymous said...

Well said. Is it too wrong to find a few eccentricities in someone who gave us revolutionary beats, sounds, vocals, music, videos and promos with every single new song?

Was saddened by what the new generation will be missing out, as I realized in a recent conversation with a 6-year old: (latest post on)

Nice touch with the Calvin&Hobbes, btw.

acp said...

Well written Reminds me of the famous apple campaign

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

When everyones writing obituries its good to see a different angle Keep writing

Anjana R said...

loved this. :)

rads said...

Trust you to come up with such a nostalgic n emotional post...All I can say is R.I.P MJ

Thousif Raza M.B said...

vyass the article is amazingly written, you know what, i wanted to write about MJ's death but i couldn't find time,

and you wont believe it i wanted to write similarly like this post that you have written, but you have written it far better and noteworthy and beautifully than what i could ever write......

i agree i too wasn't a big fan of him, but still when i heard abt his death, there were tears in his eyes,

even when i was talking with my cousin y'day he too said, nobody can achieve a status and position he achieved

and i agree genius are never understood, i wont say i am a genius :P, but it happens to me too, cause i listen mostly to English music, while most of my cousins are sworn Indian on that side, they call me a 'English freak' and ridicule me, and when i tell them the stories written by me, they say "shee its not good at all", and something like that

great post and it was great to see you back yaar, :)

take care and keep writing......

Vyazz said...

@Brocasarea: Indeed we will!! :)

Vyazz said...

@Gayathri: Thnx...and yeah...after his passing only did I realise the legend that he was. Guess it takes the absence of a person to realise his true genius.

Vyazz said...

@Choco:Thnx...and yeah my exams are done, and I am now a graduate. Do I feel like a doc? Heck no!!...Freaked out in fact!!!

Vyazz said...

@Shadowthrone: Not a big fan either, but like I said, its when people pass away you realise their true worth!!

Vyazz said...

@Stupidosaur: Even I feel that way. Passing away in his prime is way better, coz that way he is pretty far away from those who would want to do him harm by baseless allegations and scandals!!

Vyazz said...

@theishu: Welcome, and I have always liked Calvin and Hobbes. Frankly all of us are eccentric in our own way. But the thing is when one is famous one is expected to be flawless, we forget down the line that the celebs are humans after all.

Vyazz said...

@acp: Hey....nice to see you!! NIce quote by the way. Pretty much in sync with what I am thinking!! :)

Vyazz said...

@Anjana: Thnx....much obliged!!

Vyazz said...

@Rads:Thnx....guess we all can acknowledge his true genius!!

Vyazz said...

@Thousif: Thnx...I agree. I know what it feels like when you seem different from everyone else. But I suppose its that difference that makes an individual stand out from the crowd!!

Anonymous said...

Amazingly written.
I am still heartbroken to say more. Writing a post on him has exhausted me. Loved your post though.


Kaddu said...

Exam cleared dude! Back now! Read a lot of posts on MJ's demise recently, but urs kinda stands out. Even the pic is awesome! Love it! Would have been fantabulous to have that pic as a poster up on my bedroom's door... if I had been that crazy abt him of course! Tribute to eccentricity for sure! Salute!

Anonymous said...

being eccentric was considered good for health; longevity. that is why people in scotland live long lives. m.j. proved to be an exception.
be eccentric. beat your own drum!