Dear Michael Jackson - Life and Style - The Independent

Dear Michael Jackson

So you've just released your first single for two years. It has lots of sirens and breaking glass in it. And as for the lyrics ... a former fan wonders what's going on in your head

I hope you were watching. Following the unveiling of "Scream", your first single in two years, on GMTV last Friday, the presenters, Eamonn Holmes and Anthea Turner, turned to each other in the traditional no-please- you-go-first manner of people who know nothing about the subject they're about to broach. Eamonn's eyebrows hiccupped. Anthea gave a little wrinkle of the nose. The news was not good. They were nonplussed. And, as peculiar and uncomfortable as it is to find myself sharing an opinion with Anthea Turner, I have to admit it didn't exactly knock my socks off, either.

We were in the minority, Eamonn, Anthea and I. A spokesperson declared that 75 per cent of all radio stations played the single on Friday morning. One breakfast DJ in Bristol even spun it nonstop for a whole hour. Chastised by his boss, he retaliated by following it with your hit "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough", one of those appalling gags you have to master for your DJ entrance exam.

Oh, we were impressed by your video. Well, by its budget, anyway. Two million dollars a minute, Eamonn announced proudly, as though it were his $2m. You haven't actually released the video yet, so GMTV had to cobble together one of their own. Judging by your past efforts, it will be a special effects-packed extravaganza with a guest appearance from, say, Jim Carey. He's just the sort of star who would excite the child in you (apologies for the phrasing).

And there's bound to be a car chase or something in there, seeing as how the song has sirens blasting whenever the listener's interest might be waning. And breaking glass - there's a lot of that on the record, too. What's that all about, then? Is it the sound of the police smashing up your ranch, looking for evidence, or did you knock a fruit bowl off the worktop? All very dramatic. Sirens, breaking glass, a man screaming, and your obligatory, pained "Oooh-hoo-hoos" and "Yuh-yuhs".

And those lyrics! I was set to tell you that the whole ordeal was probably the best thing that could have happened to you. Just like those who observed that the McCarthy witchhunts might have been the perfect Communist-engineered PR stunt. But you've beaten me to my own conspiracy theory with the words to "Scream": "Tired of the injustice/ Tired of the scheme/ The lies are disgusting/ So what does it mean?" And, "They tell me I'm wrong/ Then you gotta prove you're right." The "scheme?" A regular little Joseph K, aren't you? Welcome to the real world.

I think "Scream" is the sound of you waking up, actually. The child abuse controversy has shown that, even if you're not guilty, you're not untouchable, either - you can be injured. The song's no classic, though that will hardly matter to you: it will be straight in at Number One after its 29 May release. And I bet it will be the first record by a man once suspected of child molestation to do so. If only Coronation Street's Len Fairclough had had your singing voice.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Energy Markets Analyst

    £400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...

    Junior Web Analyst – West Sussex – Up to £35k DOE

    £30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Nursery Manager

    £22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...

    Web Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k - London

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week