Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Michael Jackson -- Genius or Madman?

It has often been said that the line between genius and insanity is thin (and in some cases, very thin). By its very nature creativity (one of the oft-touted signs of genius) invites people beyond the boundaries of normal and into the world of the extraordinary and, at times, the very abnormal. Almost anyone who has observed Michael Jackson's musical career will acknowledge that he exhibited an extraordinary talent, a gift, the spark of genius. Sadly, nearly everyone who has followed Jackson's life and career, has also witnessed what happens when genius crosses over into the realm of severe eccentricity and some would say, madness.

In this round of the blog, I'd like to invite you to share your experiences of Michael Jackson's genius -- how his music, his dance, and his message might have impacted you. I'd also be interested to hear your own thoughts about genius. How have you experienced that spark? How do you manage your creative process? How do you maintain balance? Does that desire to be balanced prevent you from being as creative as you might be?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences.

P.S. As always remember that to see the comments in a separate window, click on the "Comments" link. To see the comments in the body of the topic, click "Links to this Post"

Views of those commenting have not been checked for accuracy and do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog publisher or his associates.

For a glance at other topics covered so far, please visit:
Christopher Harding's Entertainment Column at the Examiner,

My most recent posts are:
Leonard Cohen (writer of "Hallelujah") Collapses During Concert Performance
Music Nomad -- a Philanthropist for Indie Artists
How to Empower Your Band -- Do You Want to Know a Secret?
Artist Integrity and the New Music Business -- A Match Made in Heaven?

Or check out some of the articles that have generated the most discussion:
"20 Questions Every Band Should Answer"
"Secrets of Social Networking for Bands -- Do it Yourself Music: part 3",
Social Media Basics for Bands -- Do it Yourself Music: part 4 and
Social Media Stragegies for Bands -- Do it Yourself Music: part 5


  1. It's easy to lose track of Jackson's spectacular talent because of his odd lifestyle. I think that one of the challenges he and many extreme talents face, is that no one knows how to relate to them and so they end up in extreme personal isolation (even when they're surrounded by people). The man had a profound gift and it certainly opened my eyes and the eyes of others in the creative world as to what was possible.

  2. I wont say he was a genius, which along might anger some people. YES, he was a very talented dancer, singer, writer, and performer. He was also...ONLY human - from his youth he was prepared and trained to become a person of entertainment...a person to be on TOP of entertainment. To think pursuing such HIGH standards of creative exploration will NOT lead to issues of understanding or mis-communication between the artist, and the audience, is childish and arrogant. It's hard enough not to "Miss the whole point" as an artist, trying to make ART...but you throw in "other people" and genius becomes JUST a term...and perhaps one day we'll see each life as "GENIUS" for the only one it could be...them. Bless

  3. ktakatheo, I really appreciate your comment. Ultimately it is the aim of this blog and my work personally to encourage each of us to find, access, and bring to our daily lives that innate genius that we each possess.

    Thank you,
    Christopher Harding

  4. What is genius? If it means people who exhibit talent or ability far beyond the collective norm, then it is limited to those few. If it means the potential we all seem to have to go beyond our own norm, than I'm interested in that. I believe we all have access to that extraordinary slipstream from which creative ideas come. Giving ourselves permission, learning how to access it and reveal it... those are the skills we as people are hopefully developing.

  5. As an artist myself, although no where near the artist MJ is, I understand that insanity and creativity often dance hand in hand. We creatives often have so much in our heads that we are considered a bit crazy by the passerby.

    I think it's sad how misrepresented Michael's life was by the media, and I have one question for the parents who had molestation claims against him. How much were your kids souls worth (since they all settled for a lump sum amount of cash from Jackson). As a mom, I'd never settle with a pedophile. I'd want the predator 6 feet under. This makes me wonder of the validity of these parents' stories. Some people disregard his genius because they believe him to be a pedophile.

    We all have a little bit of genius in us. Some of us/them just go lucky to make millions with it.

    Michael's music, no doubt, is a legacy for many of our generations.