Monday, 13 July 2009

The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson

The Resistible Demise Of Michael Jackson
Edited by Mark Fisher

Michael Jackson was a supernova; we loved him, we worshiped him, we found his appearances and performances almost godlike — and this “we” was probably one of the widest, most inclusive “we”s in the history of the world. — Steven Shaviro

Michael Jackson showed that there is no such thing as ‘just’ pop music. The quantitative scale of Jackson’s fame was not only unprecedented, it is unlikely to ever be repeated. Jackson was at the burning core of the major changes in politics, the economy and culture in the last 30 years. It’s not surprising, therefore, that his death induced a spontaneous outpouring, not only of emotion, but of theoretical reflection. Providing an antidote to the mixture of unthinking sentimentality and scurrilous prurience that Jackson usually attracts, this book offers impassioned and informed answers to the urgent questions that Jackson’s death has posed. What was it about Jackson’s music and dancing that appealed to so many people? What does his death mean for popular culture in the era of Web 2.0? And just how resistible was his demise? Was another world ever possible, where the ‘we’ that Jackson brought into being could have stood for something utopian, instead of the consensual sentimentality of a world hooked on debt, consumerism and images?

The essays in The Resistible Demise Of Michael Jackson consummately demonstrate that writing on popular culture can be both thoughtful and heartfelt. The contributors, who include accomplished music critics as well as renowned theorists, are some of the most astute and eloquent writers on pop today. The collection is made up of new essays written in the wake of Jackson’s death, but also includes Barney Hoskyns’ classic NME piece written at the time of Thriller.

Contributors include: Barney Hoskyns, Ian Penman, David Stubbs, Steven Shaviro, Joshua Clover, Ken Hollings, Mark Sinker, Geeta Dayal, Kodwo Eshun, Sam Davies, Tom Ewing, Owen Hatherley, Jeremy Gilbert, Suhail Malik, Marcello Carlin, Alex Williams, Dominic Fox

Mark Fisher is highly respected both as a music journalist and a cultural theorist. His work appears regularly in The Wire, frieze, Sight & Sound and New Statesman. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre For Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and his site k-punk is one of the most successful and widely read theory weblogs.

Publication date: December 2009 Press enquiries:

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