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Help! Inside my obsessive Michael Jackson nostalgia, plus an awesome, unmissable video

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For the past two weeks, I’ve been trapped in a strange vortex of Michael Jackson nostalgia that took me completely by surprise. After spending the past 20 or so years not giving much thought to the King of Pop, suddenly I was obsessed. I bought an out-of-print MJ biography on Amazon. I’ve been staring at old pictures ofJackson as a kid and young man and naively wondering, “How did it all gowrong?” I haven’t been able to pick up my iPod without going directly to Thriller or Off the Wall (both of which I recently added), nor can I walk by a computer without throwing myself head first into a YouTube binge of vintage videos. (Clearly, I am highly susceptible to musical nostalgia.) It all brings back such vivid memories of being in third grade and spending my allowance on MJ earrings at Spencer Gifts. (They were dangly ovals, with that picture of him in a yellow sweater vest. I’m sure you know the one.) And of course I still recall how deeply the “Thriller” video both scared and entranced me, especially if I happened to catch it before climbing up into the top bunk and going to bed.

But enough is enough. I need to lift myself out of this pit of weepy, obsessive reminiscing and get back to pretending I have a life. It just makes me too sad. If I don’t extract myself, my friend (and fantabulous Idolatry producer) Jason Averett might just have to go all intervention on my arse — something he first mentioned after I yammered on (for about the 800th time) about dancing to “Billie Jean” in a Girl Scout talent show in 1983. I wore a pink leotard, had my hair in French braids…

Ouch! (That was me, slapping myself.) Eh-hem. So seeing as I’m bidding my habit farewell, I thought it only fitting that I offer you a final, unmissable video from 1983. The quality ain’t great, but the rare site of a relaxed MJ sitting at home, joking around with big sis La Toya — at 2:21 he jokes, “I’ve got an idiot for a sister, folks!” in a comical cartoon voice — and calling to brother Tito off-camera more than makes up for it. The clip below is part 3 of 3, so if you’ve got the time, definitely check out the first (in which he introduces us to his pet llama, Louie) and second (in which he gives a lovely impromptu a capella concert by his backyard water fountain). Jackson was at the height of his Thriller fame here and to see him in such a carefree, human light is unforgettable. And heartbreaking. So go ahead and watch ’em all. I swear you won’t get addicted like me. I can stop anytime! I’m so not going to scoot on over to YouTube right now. No way!