I am a Michael Jackson fan. I have been for a long time. My mom recently reminded me that my school pictures in kindergarten and 1st grade were of me wearing the same Michael Jackson shirt. (“People must have thought you didn’t own any other clothes”) I used to recreate his dance moves in talent shows which probably lead to me making a lot of my friends in middle school, high school and college. (It was nice of him to release a new album every time I changed schools to help me fit in) So I am sad to see him go…but I must confess to feeling mixed emotions on the subject…
Michael Jackson was a good example of what can happen with too much fame. And let’s be clear…the man was a superstar! These last few years, he’s usually been the punchline to a plastic surgery and/or child molestation joke, but from 1979 to 1993 the man was HUGE. The Jonas Brothers are like a small indie band compared to the success he had. People who HATE America LOVE Michael Jackson. Reconcile THAT in your head! Some dude is burning an American flag while listening to “Billie Jean” on his iPod.
But with all that success comes seclusion, partly by choice…but partly by being surrounded by a group of people who will never tell you “no.” So your contact with the “real” world is effectively severed, and you’re living in a world where everything is filtered through your yes men. This will undoubtedly have an effect on someone…and in Michael’s case, it seems to have turned him into the Benjamin Button of crazy. Which is why I have mixed feelings about his passing. I am sad to see this legend go, but kind of grateful that he’s not going to get any crazier.
As it is, I already kind of feel like the Michael Jackson that everyone is mourning for disappeared sometime in the early 90’s. So in a way, I’ve been missing him or a while already. But today I’ll play all my Michael Jackson songs, watch my copy of Captain EO, and maybe go find that shirt I wore in kindergarten (which sadly, still fits…in a super tight “metro” kinda way).
My condolences to Michael’s family…especially his children. I lost my father when I was 30 and it wrecked me…I can’t imagine if I’d lost him before I was even old enough to drive. I hope they remember their dad fondly…because, let’s face it, any man who had large portions of Disneyland re-created in his own backyard has got to be a good dad!
I am also sad for the world…I believe Michael had one more big thing to share with us and I’m sad we’ll never get a chance to hear/see it…it might have even been worth the crazy. I like to believe it would have been. But at least in his passing most people seem to be focusing on the great music, videos, and live performances he has left us. It’s a shame it took his passing for us to appreciate his talent again.