Enemy from the West: Jackson-mania in the USSR

Enemy from the West: Jackson-mania in the USSR

This article from the Dangerous Zone fanzine (issue #10) takes us back to the anti-Western propaganda of the Soviet Union which also stigmatized Michael Jackson, despite his overly positive image at the time. The article is interesting because it demonstrates how rapidly Michael’s art spread across the world and influenced the youth – exactly the effect the Soviet Russia government feared the most. The period described in the article covers the beginning of the 80s, the times when Jackson-mania was reaching the USSR through the “iron curtain”. There’s an interesting blog, Michael Jackson in the USSR, which shows many examples of how Michael’s style was copied by Soviet musicians, while the Soviet press treated him with contempt, calling him “a pop marionette” and an instrument used by the capitalist world to divert the Western youth from pressing global problems.

Eras have changed, ideologies have collapsed, the old country exists no more, and the Soviet propaganda sounds silly today, but Jackson’s art keeps influencing young people who have been embracing it for two generations.
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