Now, I don't want my blog to become any more of a Michael Jackson fanboy site than it already is, but there's something I really need to talk about: 

The 1991 music video "Black Or White." 

I'd forgotten how insane this video was.  Hell, the only thing I remembered clearly was that Macaulay Culkin had a super embarrassing lip synch/rap solo halfway through the song, and I intended to just write about that today.

1991: the awkward stage in American history when  a small child pretending to rap was still considered a good creative decision.


But then I watched the full video again. 

And was it ever a beauty. 

Some thoughts about "Black or White": 

1.  Holy crap, that's Norm from Cheers playing the father with rage issues. 

And maybe I'm just getting older, but I think he has a legitimate gripe about his kid blasting crappy metal music and jumping on his bed.  I mean, I don't condone verbally abusing children or whatever, but come on...Norm obviously had a rough day at the office and wants to unwind by watching the baseball game.  How the hell is he supposed to get in any quality Norm time with his kid hopping around upstairs pretending that he's Slash? 

(Author's note:  Slash actually recorded the guitar for this song.  Rock and roll!  Yeah!)

2.  Macaulay Culkin basically murders his father. 

Okay, so I'm willing to believe that Norm is like the guy from Highlander and somehow survived getting blasted into the stratosphere by Macauley Culkin's comically oversized speakers, but still, dude lands in Africa. 


Right next to an effing lion.  

Sure, Michael Jackson and all the tribesmen are around with their spears and shiny gloves and so forth, but they're too busy dancing to help out the unarmed clinically obese man in a LA-Z-BOY recliner. 

This leads me to one inevitable conclusion: that lion totally ate Norm from Cheers. 

And Macauley Culkin is a criminal genius. 

3.  This is actually a video about racial tolerance. 

I know, crazy huh?  You'd think the director could have thought of a slightly more appropriate beginning to this video than a three minute skit about verbally abusing children and murder by lion. 

4.  Macauley Culkin's rap. 

Besides William H. Macy's sex scene in the "Cooler", the most uncomfortable 30 seconds of my life. 

But, despite all this, Black or White was actually a pretty cool video.  MJ danced with some Native Americans and some Russian guys, which was pretty cool, and there was a pretty neat face morphing thing at the end of the video. 

And then the video's over, right? 

Oh no. 

There's still a little four minute gem that aired at the end of the original video.  Something that I blocked from my memory until this afternoon. 

Gentle readers, I would like to present the infamous "Panther Dance": 

Whoa...

I'm feeling a lot of things right now...

This was still supposed to be a video about race relations, right?  So why was he rubbing his crotch and breaking windows?  I mean, if you saw some guy outside of your house rubbing himself and dancing on cars, I'm pretty sure race relations would be the last thing on your mind.  Personally, I think I would be more focused on calling the police and hoping that the man in the arm brace wouldn't urinate on my Honda. 

And why the hell does he turn into a panther at the end?  God, I'm confused.   

I miss Captain EO

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Libby
12/5/2008 06:15:35 pm

That's funny, I was the exact opposite- I blocked the video from my mind and only remembered the Panther Dance. Blame that on being an impressionable young girl, I suppose.

Have you seen the In Living Color parody "Am I Black or White?" Classic.

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sam
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stop talking crap about michael and his cast crew man dont care if its your job

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