Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson Is Dead - What To Make Of That?

I heard just before 6:30 this evening (literally at 6:27 pm) that Michael Jackson died today. My first reaction was to turn on ABC's World News to see how the network was covering the story. MJ was the lead of course, followed by Farrah Fawcett, who also died today of cancer. Poor Farrah will now forever be remembered for having died on the day that Michael Jackson died, and Ed McMahon will be remembered for starting this particular celebrity death trifecta.

I am still trying to come up with a "take" on Jackson's death. My sister, Jill, has already plastered Facebook with 3 or 4 quick hits expressing her sadness. It's probably a gender thing, but I cannot be sad, per se. I mean, it's obviously sad whenever anyone dies, but in a way, Michael Jackson's death almost comes as a relief to me. It's the end of a freak show.

There will be those who demand that Michael Jackson's talent be remembered with respect, transcending his personal foibles and troubles. Perhaps that will be the case someday, but it certainly isn't today for many people. Michael Jackson was a child molester, just as clearly as OJ Simpson is a murderer. It's kinda hard to look past that. He spent tens of millions of dollars to keep his victims and their families quiet, and it almost seems inevitable that stories about Jackosn's private life will come flooding out into the media any second now. It's tough to see how Jackson's legacy as a popstar will be able to rise above all of that.

Jackson's "Thriller" is the best-selling album of all time, but I have always preferred the "Jackson Five" Michael Jackson... the one who sang "I Want You Back" and "I'll Be There" and "ABC".

Child stars are too young to have tarnished legacies.

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