We are the World and Black and White: Ideals that bring us together

In my post yesterday on Michael Jackson’s death, I mentioned two songs that have stuck with me because of the feelings I’ve had from living in other countries where I’ve developed friendships and have called various addresses home. In a way, I see “Black and White” and We are the World as fitting tributes to the ideals of what can bring us together.

In recent year’s we’ve had Matt Harding’s dancing videos to bring us a sense of the best of humanity through the simple joy of a crazy dance. Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds has a similar feel. Then there’s the Playing for a Change project that has produced wonderful renditions of “Stand By Me” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” among others.

For me, Michael Jackson’s Black and White is a wonderful expression of individuality blending into community, and back to individuality in a pattern where we are each other, but remain unique.

“We are the World,” co-written by Jackson with Lionel Ritchie, as commercial as a venture as it was, did raise loads of money for Africa. And as sappy as it might be, still has powerful moments. If nothing else, seeing all those musical powerhouses singing together in harmony instead of taking center stage speaks volumes to the power of sticking together.

I’m wondering who will be creating the visions of togetherness in the future? Who will stick it out long enough to see their visions come to life? On his best days, Michael Jackson knew the way. Click here to see “Black and White.”

“We Are The World” impersonated by the Japanese

I watched this video 3 times in a row, it is freakishly fantastic. Apparently the song has been #1 on the Japanese pop charts for four centuries. I’m not sure what that means.

Anyway, they’ve really paid attention to every detail of the original 1985 version and I loved seeing all our western stars played by Japanese impersonators; it’s funny, fascinating and endearing at the same time. Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen will make you split into laughter, Tina Turner looks shockingly real and Cyndie Lauper (have ear plugs ready for her bit) is just helium-tastic! Ray Charles will probably not like his Japanese version but Michael Jackson will love his, as Japanese style he almost looks normal. Enjoy!

[Via Giggle Sugar]