Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Had to Remember Michael Jackson

posted by Jon Williams
Thursday afternoon as I sat computerless watching Home Improvement, Just Shoot Me, Yes Dear, and Everybody Loves Raymond (anything to keep my mind off the lack of laptop) my brother called to tell me that Michael Jackson was dead. I guess at the point he called Michael Jackson was technically in a coma and not officially declared dead but it was close enough that many news outlets were already reporting it. I flipped away from TBS to watch the coverage on CNN, I wanted to know what was happening. It was sort of sad. The hundreds of people that have nothing better to do than camp outside Jackson's home and follow him everywhere he goes, had abandoned their camp to gather outside the hospital where Michael Jackson was brought by ambulance. I usually don't feel sorry for people like that but today they would soon realize that the object of their obsession was forever gone from their lives.

I loved Michael Jackson. I grew up with him. As I later told my father, Michael Jackson was my Elvis, my Beatles. I remember just as music was becoming a minor obsession of mine playing Thriller over and over again on my cheap turntable. I remember the inner sleeve had some drawings and the lyrics to all of the songs. I spent hours memorizing every track and pretending that I was in a music video. My brothers who shared a room with me hated that I would play the same tracks over and over again. But that was how I always responded when I came across something I really liked. I wanted to absorb it as much as possible. I did the same things with other albums and books, and comics.

The combination of facial surgery and disease caused Michael Jackson to be labeled a bit of a freak in the later days. Mostly by people who never loved him that much. Isn't it funny how when you truly love something or someone the flaws in it are just character enhancing? I didn't believe the worst of the rumors about him. I guess I've been falsely accused of too many things that I didn't actually do, not to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I wish that somehow Michael Jackson had managed to win back the respect of the world before his death. Yes he was still insanely popular but it became more about the spectacle than the music or the man himself. This was also MJ's goal at the time of his death. He has a record out there somewhere that was to be released relatively soon. I assume that record company exects being what they are will have it out even sooner now. His funeral will be an event that takes place on National Television. I just hope that the networks find people that truly loved him to make their ratings bonanza a tribute to Michael Jackson rather than just one last chance to capitalize on him.

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