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Friday, June 26, 2009

Thank You, Michael!

He was one of my idols. He fueled my idealism. And now he's gone. Gone too soon.

Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon » скачать клип

A Ukrainian kid growing up in the late ‘80s-mid ‘90s, I embraced Western music as my spiritual guide through the breadlines and hyperinflation.

Western music electrified my soul and energized my English studies. I wanted to grow up in that “better place.” I’d listen, I’d watch, I’d sing, I’d learn and I’d dream. I’d dream my way into the MTV generation, even though few Western kids at that time knew of a country called Ukraine. I wanted to put Ukraine on the map.

By the way, did you know that his “Black or White” video features hopak, a traditional Ukrainian dance? (3:48-4:12)

When I learned of Michael's death, early in the morning, I was shocked. Like many people, I couldn’t believe it. Then, I went on YouTube and got a little tearful.

I just wanted to thank you, Michael! Your music was freedom to my ears.



Unknown said...

I have never been a Michael Jackson fan but all death deserves our sorry.

Taras said...

I’d say it’s a bit different.

If you’re a dictator or a corrupt ruler, your death will hardly make a lot of people feel sorry. But if you’re the King of Pop, you will live on in the memory of millions of people.

Unknown said...

True, but I just meant he wasn't a great icon for me.
By the way your prime minister has cool hair. Is she the lady with that folklore hair style? Yulia Tymoshenka or something like that, right?

Gabriela said...

I guess we all got a little tearful when we heard the news.
Very insightful post, Taras, so "from the inside".
All the best.

Taras said...

Thank you, Gabriela!

I was waiting for YouTube videos from his upcoming concerts in London. He broke so many hearts when he left. Had he stayed with us, he would have made quite a comeback.

Saludos desde Ucrania!

Thanks for clarifying, Ropi!

You can think of Tymoshenko as our Queen of Populism. She wears a lot of expensive stuff, including, as some stylists believe, her hairdo. If her hairdo consists of other-woman’s hair, then it can be reduced to a fakesy-folksy crown worn for political purposes.

For a male comparison, consider John Edwards’ $400 haircuts.

elmer said...

Michael Jackson, Dead At 50, Was Hugely Popular Across Former Soviet Bloc


Superb touch, Mr. Krastev! Unlike the other article by some obscure music critic who seems not to be understanding anything about where this gloriuous radio station broadcasts to, your words strik e a chord with all those in eastern Europe who were escaping into Michael Jackson's music and video appearance (yes, we did have VHS video players in the 1980s, even though they would cost as much as a car, and the tapes from the west had a way of pouring in, defying the censorship) from the crude day to day Communist reality.

Taras said...

Thank you for this link, Elmer!

I don’t know about Medvedev's experience with Western music, but mine was truly life-changing.

I wish Michael had made it to Ukraine in those roaring early ‘90s. In 1993, it took three Ruslans to fly Michael’s equipment to Moscow.