Around the time of his death, Michael Jackson was staging a comeback tour. It’s sad to think that his death is a comeback of sorts. The media is talking about him again. The sales of his music have skyrocketed in the last week. He is all over TV and especially the 24 hour news channels. MTV played nothing but his videos for two or three days straight. Celebrities, politicians, leaders of nations, and ordinary people have done nothing but talk about Michael Jackson for the last week.
And it got me thinking. Michael Jackson’s death is to my generation what Elvis Presley’s death was to my parent’s generation. Elvis Presley wasn’t at the top of his game when he died in 1977. He had become a bloated shell of his former self. A joke in a sequined jumpsuit. And so was Michael Jackson. He hadn’t done anything significant career-wise in years. At the time of his death, he hadn’t released an album in almost 8 years. The last thing he had done publicly was stand trial for child molestation charges, of which he was acquitted.
So today they memorialized Michael Jackson. The legend that he is. The man that he was. I didn’t expect to cry as I watched his friends and colleagues pay tribute to him, but I did. His family – their hearts are broken. You can see it in their countenances. His daughter barely said two sentences before she collapsed into the arms of her Aunt Janet. I know her pain. I too have lost a parent.
Michael Jackson will forever be a part of my childhood. My earliest remembrances include watching “Thriller” and “Billy Jean” videos on MTV. And I’ll never forget all the Weird Al parodies that are very much tied to my memories of Michael Jackson. No, I wasn’t an avid fan of his, but his music is a part of my life. The songs he wrote and performed are on the soundtrack of my life. His music is intertwined and enmeshed into my childhood.
“Heal the world. Make it a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race.” Simple, but eloquent.
Goodbye Michael. God be with you ’til you moonwalk again.