Saturday, March 8, 2008

Quarter-life Crisis

On his blog,, writer Miles Marshall Lewis notes that the Thriller album turns 25 this year. And that in recognition of its lasting influence, the album has been reissued with many guest artists. Yes, it's under the auspices of the gloved one's empire, and yes, if you go to his website there's a big ol' ClearChannel logo looking back at you, but if it does nothing else, it sparks a few memories.

Also Lewis has a great essay on Thriller (new and old) over at the Village Voice:,lewis,79102,22.html.

And then there's Thrillercast...a podcast with music industry insiders recalling their own Michael Jackson stories and their experiences with the album. Good stuff if you, like I, were old enough to be aware of the MJ phenom, but not old enough to be cool.

...sometimes I still practice moonwalking around the house.


URBISMUS said...

have you heard about the lee harvey inc post on jaxcal? would you have any comment, insight on it?
just curious

madeleine said...

Dear urbismus,

I did notice that there was a flurry of activity over at in concert with Lee Harvey’s post. Here’s my take on it, whether you love him or hate him, Lee has always been working towards something larger than himself…and I admire him for it. When he decided, as a member of the (at this point) old guard in Jacksonville, to participate in a blog discussion, he was attempting to use the blog for its stated purpose, "Think of it as a sounding board for contemporary art and culture. This is everyone’s site. Anyone can join and post content. We all have a voice and ideas on how to improve our arts community. It’s about time we all started having a serious open dialogue in order to make this needed change come to fruition."

Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, he has been a good friend to me: when I first started sniffing around the art scene here, he shared his studio with me. Later, when we were friends, he helped teach me to surf because he truly believed that it would change my life.

So, to disparage him over something that was pretty clearly a typo (the people I spoke to seemed to think that as well), just seems mean-spirited and a little short-sighted. That is not to say that Lee and I always see eye-to-eye, we certainly have had our disagreements, but they tend to resolve themselves. Basically, I believe that although Jacksonville has been tough on Lee--ultimately he’d like nothing better than to see a thriving art scene in here…because that is what his actions tell me.

As for the back and forth in regards to the hierarchy of artists in this town, I agree with Lee’s (implied) statement and Stephen’s (explicit) statement: one must work at being an artist, at pushing past trite ideas and developing something singular and individual.

Thus, I can only guess that Lee’s post wasn’t done in anything other than a spirit of hopefulness within a rubric of dedication. A sort of , "if I can you."

He knows that as lofty as ideas about art are, it is also a business with its own set of rules...he has taken great pains to learn them.