I’m not a terribly tuned-in, worldly person, okay — not so clever about paying attention to what other people are paying attention to. I know this. Allow me to come clean now about some ignorance & prejudice I’ve harbored. I’ve had an image of Prince, from high school days (that’s the ’80s) on, as a doe-eyed little fop who just wanted to have his thing fondled, mostly, and found himself better equipped for making that pay off in media than most do. I was dismissive. In that idea of him there’s something true, of course; but on the other hand, I was also learning over time that people who cared about the music saw more in Prince than I did. Still, I never bothered to really bring my settled mental image up against what I was hearing from others.
Well — my image of Prince has finally had occasion to undergo some correction, lately. Is it reasonable to be somewhat in awe of a guy the preening archness of whose sensuality can cast an unpleasant shadow over everything in your awareness, as you watch, up to & including yourself? Reasonable to hold in admiration a guy whose person you know you’d prefer to keep at a distance, despite the fact his public persona conveys no more threat than a puppy’s? — Yes, I’ve decided. Yes, oh yes. Reasonable enough. What a master of his work the man is.