In Memoriam: This Is It

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Next month marks  decade in this artistic-music era where there is no Michael Joseph Jackson. That didn’t resonate with me until the documentary/movie This Is It  came through my Netflix home screen. You see, I remember Michael Jackson as this entity that could do anything–include defy gravity!

I remember watching Thriller every time it was on. My mother’s youngest sister, whom is 11 years older than me, had that album cover on the wall of her room! She played his music constantly, which means that the younger nieces and nephews that she watched listed to him and the Jackson 5 all the time.

I remember…I remember where I was when he died. My boyfriend at the time, living and working in California, called to let me know. I didn’t believe him. And this morning, I am still in a dream state. While this documentary played, I became that 8-year-old girl watching MOONWALKER over my cousin’s house after school. There was this aura that surrounded him. Perhaps as an artistic child, slightly out of step with the world, I noticed the otherworldly nature that was Michael Jackson.

I am old enough to remember singing to every song in his songbook when it came on the radio*. I remember for a month and some after he died that the hardest dudes I know were bumping Billie Jean, Thriller and Bad from their cars. I remember.

I’m also old enough to remember the first scandal. And the trials. And the settlement money. And the craziness that is the Jackson family. I am under no illusion of the cloud that hovers over his legacy. And in the age of #MeToo, we need to believe the victims. Conversely in the age of #MeToo, we know that people lie and are devious. But let’s move on.

I fought tears watching this. I grieved him. Just like I grieve Prince. Just like I grieve Aretha Franklin. There is something divine in being about to create, to walk in that God space of pulling something  that wasn’t there, was unseen, to where it can be seen. I know that Mike died from an overdose of prophophol–a powerful anesthesia. However, I know what it’s like to be that consumed with an idea, or a vision, that it robs you of sleep. Where you have to make yourself shut down–to stop, and even that sometimes doesn’t help.

I get it.

I was never graced to see Michael Jackson perform in concert. But everytime he was on television, I watched. I remember the raucous that was over the Black or White video when it premiered on Fox! I also remember how when that aired in 1991 (when was 10!), Mrs. Grant’s fifth grade class talked about it! Everything he did seemed so damn special. This Is It is no exception. I am happy someone had the presence of mind to record all this.

Y’all will excuse me while I get my Michael Jackson playlist rolling through Apple Music.

 

*-Top 10 favorite Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 songs (no particular order):

1.) Liberian Girl

2.) I Just Can’t Stop Loving You

3.) Jam

4.) Can You Feel It?

5.) Speed Demon

6.) Thriller

7.) Ghosts

8.) Bad

9.) Dangerous

10.) PYT (Note:  THE JABBAWOCKEEZ MADE ME LOVE THIS ALL OVER AGAIN!)

My Heartbeat Bill, Part 3

*NSFW:  These screenshots were taken on Saturday, May 11, 2019. These were taken from my personal Facebook page. I have known this person for some time. While I am not shocked at her comments, I am distressed at the lack of compassion shown by her. For those that need support, my inbox is open:  theladyofharris@icloud.com   -JBHarris

 

I kept the secret of me having an abortion for over a decade.

I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my mother or best friend. I didn’t tell anyone else I had dated. I told my OB/GYN  because it pertained to my health. My first husband was so nosy, that he sat in with me on these Well-Woman Exams when we were together. So, I had to tell him.

As of this year, the child Dominic and I had would have been 18. My tribe, at age 37, would have been three. When I got pregnant to term with my oldest daughter,  was 26. With my youngest daughter I was 27. My kids are now almost 12 and 10. The woman that made this post cannot image the vitriol that is rolling off this page. The palpable hatred and condemnation I felt reading this was one of the reason why I thought God didn’t love me and may never love me again. It is this vapid, dissociative empathy that I believe causes people to turn from God. In so doing, they are sent out to fight the world–and their demons–alone.

Alone. 

Again, if you have never been faced with an impossible, fucked up decision like this, you cannot weigh in on these types of impossible fucked up decisions. I understand this is social media and this is the price you pay for free speech. I get she has a right to be passionate about her beliefs and faith. I get that. I became pro-choice after my abortion. I could no longer wag my finger in the face of someone else that was in the same situation I was in. That doesn’t make me any better than the next girl that had a horrible decision to make.

I believe that the people that feel as she does aren’t pro-life:  they are pro-birth. Forgetting that children need food, clean water and shelter. In some circumstances even if the woman were to have the child, church’s laity or their leadership will shame this woman AND the child! Furthermore, if you have never had a child die of a disease like Tay-Sachs (where the child will die before age 5), you cannot possibly weigh in on genetic testing which may rule out your predisposition to pass on this disease.

Moreover, when I was pregnant with my youngest? They thought she had the genetic markers for Trisomy 21:  Down’s Syndrome. I did a amniocentesis to make sure if she did or not have it. The clinic I was at sent a genetic counselor in, and told me that if I wanted to not keep the baby, I didn’t have to. I was about 4-5 months along.

I chose to keep that child–whom is now 10. And she didn’t have Down’s Syndrome.

As I said before:  everyone has dirt on them. But you don’t get to bury someone else with it. As a person of faith that makes you a hypocrite and a Pharisee! You have to take the beam outta your eye FIRST.

I meant what I said in response to this post. That was  about the only thing I could do!  I meant that I am glad people’s hearts are being revealed with the passing of this bill. I am glad that she said what she did:  I see her heart. With that vision, that let me know the love of Christ that is supposed to be evident in her–clearly didn’t make it to this post.  Does that mean I don’t believe she doesn’t love God? No. I’m saying you can’t see God anywhere in this.

My Mama says it like this:  “Be careful what you say to people, because you never know who you might need.”

As I read it, I debated making a part three to this series. I debated to truly respond to this. It’s her page, she’s an adult. She can say what she likes, how she likes. This post wasn’t aimed at anyone. But, in the interest of being forthright, I had to respond to it. Here and there.

I really had to.

It has become far too easy in this nation to shame women. It is easy to let toxic masculinity influence legislation over the female form. Just like this bill does. I believe that real, healthy patriarchy encourages and protects women. Real masculinity isn’t intimidated by femininity.  It values women. Toxic masculinity and patriarchy seek to rule over women to the point the have no personhood or power.

Why is it okay that the right to have a child, should be determined by people whom have no biological capability to push one out?

If legislation like this is okay, then why is it that men–whom have the biological component to determine conception and sex of child–how are they not charged in a ‘commission’ of this type of crime?

This is where her rant falls short–it has no backing or bottom. If pre-martial sex/adultery is wrong–let it be wrong for women and men. I am tired of the brunt of decisions like this expected to be carried by women. For another woman, to say this? And stand on it? I mean–what can you do with that?

I give her the love of Christ, and keep moving. I don’t verbally spar with the unequipped. Lunacy doesn’t have ears. Again, we all got dirt. But, I refuse to bury someone with it. Otherwise, the world is a cemetery.

[images from author’s photo gallery]

Me & ‘US’ (MOVIE REVIEW)

Author Note:  There are spoilers. There will be some discussion of the themes seen. This is not meant to be a complete breakdown, but that is coming on the official Facebook page. Enjoy.

Jordan Peele is a genius.

In a Facebook live that I did last year after seeing the poster for Jordan Peele’s new movie, I joked that my future self had already seen the movie three times. I also joked (half joking, really) about how I would need to take a day to process all that I know I would see in this movie.

I was right.

I appreciate this movie, as a writer and as a Black woman. Some of the themes I saw are (but not limited to):

-the treatment of Black women in regards to trauma

-the policing of Black bodies

-what it means to be whom you say you are

-How Black women deal with trauma while more trauma is happening

-How we as humanity treat each other

-Eugenics

-Minimizing of trauma as it relates to Black women

-Black woman shero complex

 

I think it is safe to say now that there will be a certain audience for Jordan Peele movies. He makes you think. He makes you rethink. He scares you with his interpretation of what can be considered mundane.

Yes, Us is based on the idea of dopplegangers. These second, parallel or alternate selves. This idea that you, as a unique human being, are not really, or the only, you. That concept is loosely based on a Greek myth written by Aristophanes. The fact that Jordan was able to put it on its head, creating a world and a mythology that weaves the survivalist nature of Black women. And even from that, find out the person you are (or whom people think you are) isn’t that at all. That is universal!

From the backstory of Adelaide Wilson wandering off. Of her shutting down due to a trauma and not speaking. And dealing with this trauma in a fashion that most Black women are used to:  being silent about the things which might kill us. In her shadow self having no control over her life?  Powerful.

In confronting the other Wilsons, she still had to keep her head about her when all Hell was breaking loose? I was enrapt. Only because I truly have been that Black woman and had to be my own anchor and to quote Fight Club:  ‘I am the calm center of the world.’ And alternately, “I am Jack’s cold sweat.”

At the end of the movie, amidst all the dead ‘originals’ and the Hands Across America Tethered, my writer’s Spidey-sense erupted. Something was off with Adelaide. Something was wrong. And I began how to notice how and to find out that Red was the REAL Adelaide, and the Adelaide that was the mother to Jason and Zora, wife to Gabriel, was the copy THE WHOLE TIME?! And it was her (original Adelaide) life she stole, and Jason was the first to notice?

The levels, y’all. The LEVELS.

In Alice in Wonderland, Alice was introduced to a new world by a white rabbit. This is no different. And if memory serves, that land was not Wonderland, it was Underland.

The levels. The feels.

I sat and held my head in my hands for like five minutes before leaving the theatre.

To add more depth, let’s add the Old Testament–Jeremiah 11:11. Which reads:

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. (KJV)

I’ll let y’all watch and be judge of this.

Brava, Jordan. Brava.