THRILLER -" Back To The Future" !!!!

Satruday, October 31, 11:30 AM
Funny thing happened today as I was channel surfing before the Saturday football games come on. I can not wait for the Florida Gator/Georgia Bulldog game later today. In my impatient clicking of the remote, I hit the MTV channel and there was Michael Jackson and this fine young thing coming out of the movie THRILLER . Without even realizing it,  I found myself completely caught up in the THRILLER video and  the obvious talent of Michael Jackson. This set off a series of analytical thoughts about his gifts and genius.
Just how does a person get to be this good ?
Then the analysis sets in. First of all I could see some of the same and simliar dance moves I had seen Jackie Wilson perform at stage shows way back in the late 1950s. Then I saw some of the abrupt shoulder and torso movements of James Brown, not to mention the quick and snappy syncopated  foot movements James Brown was famous for. But the scariest thing of all was a few days ago I had seen a Dick Van Dyke do the “moonwalk” on a rerun of The Dick Van Dyke Show on the PBS channel from an episode a decade or so before Michael Jackson made it famous.
What the hell then was I really seeing ?
Genius is never totally original. What it is, is a unique methodology and approach to synthesizing things that have gone on before in order to create a new and special entity. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything is, to varying degrees, influenced by what is going on around it. In the case of real creativity, innovation and progress, we often have to not only take in the current and present, we also need to draw upon relevant and valuable things that have gone on before us. So in many cases in order for us to go forward, we need to understand and apply the relevant things from the past. In order to achieve status approximating what Michael Jackson did in his area, the rest of us in our area, like Michael, have to demonstrate that we can draw upon the past in order to prevail and succeed in the present and future. Essentially, we have to go back in order to successfully go forward into the future,……Back To The Furture !!!!
Like Michael Jackson, the first thing required is a total mastery of the basics and fundamentals as demonstrated and articulated by past practitioners in the area under consideration. One of the problems that exists in our sport today is that too many of us, coaches and athletes alike, think that in effect the sport came into existence at about the time we first entered it. Too often the lessons and gifts of the past are overlooked because of the total self-absorption and self-centeredness of these people. Their focus is on the now and the current, not ever fully exploring and discovering the advantages of knowing the past. The results then, usually are a repetition of the mistakes and disasters of the past.
At about this point in my thought processes my oldest son stopped, looked in and said,
” Dad you watching THRILLER ? “
” Aaaah, as a matter of fact I was. “
” I thought you did not like Michael Jackson because you think he did some pretty sick things.”
” Aaaah, you’re right, I think he did some pretty sick s..t.”
” What’s up with watching him ? “
” Just got caught up in just how good he was at what he did.”
” People say he was a genius. Why did he have to do those strange things then ?”
” In order ascend to the very pinnacle of any field, or to get to the outer limits and extremes of anything, you need to have
extreme needs . Michael Jackson had some very extreme needs and these drove him to get to the top. Once he was at the
top he was able to act out, and act on, these extreme needs in a more unacceptable manner.”
” So what made him do these things after he had become so successful ? Didn’t he know it would hurt him ?”
“Maybe, but in many cases when people are very successful they see themselves as so special as to be above the limits that
hold back the rest of us. They develop a sense of entitlement and feel that their needs supercede everything else ..”
” Athletes too ? “
” Athletes too.”
“Coaches too ?”
“Coaches too. “
” Wow !”
” Wow !!!”
Brooks T. Johnson
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